Open positions


PhD grant in sea ice modelling available

Within the APPLICATE EU project, the Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research ( / Earth and Life Institute of the Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium is seeking a PhD student for 42 months.

APPLICATE (Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: modelling, observing system design and LInkages associated with ArctiC ClimATE change) is a 4-year project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 program, and coordinated by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven (16 partners), that aims at advancing our ability to model and predict the Arctic climate system along with its impacts on the weather and climate in lower latitudes (

The successful candidate will contribute to improve the Louvain-la-Neuve sea ice model (LIM;, which is part of the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO; platform, by incorporating in this model subgrid-scale snow thickness and ice floe size distributions together with a comprehensive representation of lateral ice melting and form drag. He/she will also assess the impact of these changes on the ability of the EC-Earth general circulation model (, which includes NEMO-LIM, to predict the Arctic weather and climate on short timescales (one month to one year).

Required qualifications:

  • Completed MSc or equivalent (5 years) in glaciology, physical oceanography, climatology, physics, applied mathematics or related fields;
  • Experience using complex numerical models and good computational programming, post-processing and data management skills;
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills (in English) necessary to work in a multidisciplinary team environment, author technical and scientific reports and publications, and deliver scientific presentations.

The PhD grant is for 42 months, starting as soon as possible, with a net monthly salary of about 1850 EUR. This includes social insurances.

Applicants should send (i) a statement of research experience, qualification and interest, (ii) a complete CV including a list of publications, and (iii) two letters of recommendation via e-mail to Prof. Thierry Fichefet.

The call is open until the position is filled.

Mapping the transition toward sustainable livestock production systems

The position is financed by the Belgian FNRS-Walloon Institute for Sustainable Development ( as part of a larger project coordinated by the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Dr Marius Gilbert, Spatial epidemiology Lab. SpELL ( The project will be run in close collaboration with Dr Tim Robinson (Food & Agriculture Organization, Rome).

The global livestock sector faces major challenges in terms of the sustainability of its development due to the considerable externalities that livestock production has on society, health and the environment. High-resolution maps of livestock are essential tools to assess the sustainability of livestock production systems. Maps allow, for example, the estimation of potential impacts of various hazards that have strong spatial dimensions such as the release of pollutants. They are also particularly important in epidemiology, because the density of hosts (people, or livestock, or both) is a key variable affecting the emergence, persistence and spread of infectious diseases. The main objective of this research will be to identify innovative ways to improve the spatial realism of outputs of livestock distribution maps and to explore how alternative forms of modelling and representation could provide more spatially realistic outputs at different scales. This will focus on the dynamics aspects of livestock production in emerging economies and intensifying systems.

Profile and requested competences

Master in geography with strong training in GIS and spatial analysis and statistics, working knowledge of English, and a strong interest in ecology, agriculture and epidemiology. The candidate should demonstrate an ability to work in a research team and to establish a local and international network.


30 months work contract starting July 2017


Send a detailed CV and a motivation letter to Professor Sophie Vanwambeke by email by 15th of May 2017. Applicants shortlisted for an interview will be required to prepare a summary of a set of scientific papers.


Prof. Sophie Vanwambeke, Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Earth & Life Institute,