PhD Researcher in Earth Science Volcano – Geomorphology - Analogue model

    Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    31/03/2020 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Belgium › Brussels

The EVoLvE project

The EVoLvE project - Modelling temporal evolution of volcano landscape through erosion – is a fundamental research project funded by FWO – Flanders for the period 2020-23, under the coordination of Prof. Matthieu Kervyn in the Physical Geography research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The EVoLvE project aims at a better understanding the long term morphological evolution of volcanoes.

Volcanoes are highly dynamic geomorphological features which grow through eruption and erode rapidly. Although the fact that volcano landscapes change on short (1 – 10² yr) or long-term (105 - 106 yr) is evident, these processes and their controlling factors remains poorly constrained. This project aims to employ novel analogue and numerical models of landscape evolution with the fractal characterization of volcano shapes to develop a comprehensive model of long-term volcano morphology evolution.

The PhD project will first systematically characterize the morphometry and fractal dimension of composite volcanoes from selected tectonics arcs and relate these to their estimated erosion rates. Second, analogue experiments of volcano erosion will be systematically carried out and analysed to constrain the controls of volcano morphology, internal layering and tectonics on erosion rate and drainage pattern.

Research group and international collaboration

The EVoLvE project brings together a multidisciplinary research team, composed of dynamic scientists with expertise in tectonic geomorphology modelling (Dr Liran Goren, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel), volcano geomorphology (Dr Gabor Kereszturi; Massey University, New Zealand), and volcano morphometry and analogue modelling (Prof. Matthieu Kervyn, VUB Belgium). The PhD researcher will be co-supervised by Dr Gabor Kereszturi and Prof. Matthieu Kervyn. The student will be hosted at VUB Belgium, with exchange opportunity with Massey University, New Zealand. Dr Pablo Grosse (CONICET, Argentina) will also collaborate on the morphometric characterization of analogue and natural volcanoes. Interactions with other volcano geomorphologists is foreseen through a project steering committee.


Selection process

Inquiries about this position and applications should be submitted per email to Prof. Matthieu Kervyn (makervyn@vub.be) no later than 31 March 2020.

Application should include a signed motivation, a curriculum vitae including copies of the diplomas and transcript of records for the BSc and MSc degree, and contact details of two academic referees.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. An (online) interview will be undertaken with suitable candidates before an offer is made.

Offer Requirements


The selected applicant will hold a master degree (min 120 ECTS) in Earth Sciences (Physical Geography, Geology or related fields). A strong background in geomorphology and/or volcanology is required. Practical experience in geomorphometry and/or analogue modelling of earth processes is a strong asset. Moreover, a strong motivation to conduct research independently and lead the development of analogue experiments in the lab is a plus. Applicants must be fluent in English; knowledge of Dutch is an asset.

The PhD researcher will be funded for an initial period of 24 months, with a possibility to extend for another 2 years based on positive evaluation. The successful candidate will be enrolled as a full-time PhD student at VUB and will be requested to complete the doctoral training program. The selected candidate will also contribute, to a limited extent (max 10% of total time), to teaching practical’s in the bachelor or master geography of the VUB.

The position is expected to start between April and September 2020. Students finishing their master degree in June 2020 are welcome to apply.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2

EURAXESS offer ID: 498399


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