Heatwaves and droughts are becoming synchronized. In our warmer world, soils dry faster, heating up the air even further. These compound dry–hot events propagate like a wildfire: the drying upwind can trigger heat stress episodes on populations located hundreds of kilometers downwind.

What are the physical mechanisms that drive these compound events and cause heat stress episodes on societies? Can we forecast these episodes weeks-to-months in advance using recent technological progress? Can intelligent land management attenuate the intensity and frequency of future events? HEAT will aim to answer these questions.

This will be achieved through a combination of satellite data, physics-driven atmospheric models, artificial intelligence, and state-of-the-art climate model simulations. Altogether, HEAT will enhance preparedness and resilience against extreme hot and dry events by providing accurate seasonal forecasts, novel mechanistic understanding, and land management strategies to mitigate future events and their impact on societies.

Application requirements

  • Master in the domains of Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, Physical Geography, Mathematics or Computer Sciences
  • Proficient in numerical modelling and computer programming (preferably Python)
  • Previous experience analyzing large datasets
  • Basic knowledge of climate sciences
  • Excellent level of English, both oral and written
  • Creative, critical and analytical mindset; capable of working in groups

General conditions

  • Candidates from outside Belgium are welcome and are expected to move to the country
  • Opportunity to spend stages in other leading international institutes that collaborate in the project
  • Expected attendance to multiple international conferences and workshops
  • Opportunity to joining a young and motivating research environment
  • Wages in accordance with Flemish University indices

How to apply:

Please send a 1-paragraph motivation letter and professional CV in a single pdf to Diego.Miralles@UGent.be Include contact information of two people that may be requested to send a reference if the application is shortlisted. Candidacies will be evaluated by an internal committee at the University. The application procedure will remain open until the right candidate is found

Last application date Mar 13, 2023 00:00

Department LA20 – Department of Environment

Contract Limited duration

Degree MSc

Occupancy rate 100%

Vacancy type Research staff

Job description

  •     Project: Hybrid dry–hot Extremes prediction and AdapTation (HEAT) | ERC Consolidator grant
  •     Research team: Hydro-Climate Extremes Lab (H-CEL) | Ghent University
  •     Location: Ghent, Belgium
  •     Starting date: May–September 2023
  •     Contract length: 4 years

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