Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

PhD Physical hydrogeological processes linking land-based pollution and coral reef health in the Dutch Caribbean (SEALINK), Wageningen University

Application deadline: 15 March 2021

The Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group at Wageningen University is looking for a PhD student to focus on mapping of groundwater flows and the quantification of the water balance of Curacao and St. Eustatius as part of the SEALINK project ( funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO). SEALINK intends to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relation between land-based pollution and coral reef health in the Dutch Caribbean. A total of 9 PhD positions in varying scientific fields are available within SEALINK including this one at Wageningen University & Research (WUR).

One 4-year PhD position at WUR (advertised here) focusses on physical hydro(geo)logy, and is closely linked to a PhD projected hosted by and supervised from TU Delft focusing on (sub)surface water quality and transport. Both seek to improve the mechanistic understanding of how and to what degree various pollutants (e.g., nutrients, organic micro-pollutants, pathogens, sediments) reach the sea (overland via run-off, underground via groundwater flow, or both). Insights from these projects could ultimately support more effective land and water management options for Caribbean islands. Hence, both PhD students will work closely together during collaborative and extensive field work campaigns (about 3 months every year through CARMABI in Curaçao and CSNI at St. Eustatius). State-of-the-art and novel field measurement methods (e.g., geophysical data collection, tracer tests, and radon isotopes) will provide data to inform (ground)water flow and pollutant transport models.

At WUR you will be mainly supervised by the daily supervisor Dr. Victor Bense (WUR) and be in regular contact with Dr. Boris van Breukelen (TU Delft). Various SEALINK supervisors and collaborators will provide additional specific expertise. Furthermore, TU Delft offers this PhD position.

We ask 

  • a relevant Master degree in Hydrogeology/Hydrology, Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences, or Engineering 
  • experience with independently conducting hydro(geo)logical field work, and meteorological data collection 
  • willingness to spend considerable time in the Caribbean (3-4 months per year) 
  • experience with scientific programming, numerical modelling of groundwater flow and solute transport 
  • proficiency in English, and excellent writing skills 
  • excellent pro-active communication skills and ability to work well in a team

> More information

Wednesday 17 February 2021