University of Oulu

Postdoctoral Researcher in tracer-aided snow and ecohydrological modeling

2024-07-31 (Europe/Helsinki)
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The University of Oulu is a multidisciplinary, international research university, with about 3,600 employees who produce new knowledge based on high-standards research and provide research based education to build a more sustainable, smarter, and more humane world. The University of Oulu community has about 17,000 people in total. Our northern scientific community operates globally and creates conditions for the emergence of innovations.  

Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering research unit, at the Faculty of Technology, carries out research on land, water and energy systems and their interaction. Climate change, environmental degradation and energy transition are societal challenges that motivate the research to find sustainable solutions. Our water research includes a strong focus on water engineering, hydrological modelling, hydrological process, groundwater, water quality, water supply and protection. In cold climate hydrology, the research includes studies at Oulanka research station and collaboration at Pallas super site in the Finnish Arctic which forming a unique infrastructure in Northern Europe. We coordinate a Digital Water Flagship program bringing research and new innovations to support decision-making and management in the water sector – digitally. 

We are now looking for a

Postdoctoral Researcher in tracer-aided snow and ecohydrological modeling.

We are looking for a talented environmental modeler with excellent knowledge of programming, numerical methods, and (eco)hydrological processes and modelling. You will make significant contributions to the field of ecohydrology by integrating tracer data (stable water isotopes) into process-based snow and ecohydrology models.

Job description

The overarching objective of the appointment is to make use of the potential of hydrological tracers in ecohydrological modeling in northern environments. Particular focus will be on snow processes and tree water uptake. We want you to be at the forefront of developing robust process-based numerical models to help evaluate pressing changes in ecosystem water availability caused by changes in snow conditions locally and globally.

We will expect you to both develop and program process-based models, and apply existing ecohydrological modeling software. You will work in two Research Council of Finland funded projects: “Correcting a bias undermining the importance of snowmelt” (SNOMLT) and “Tree water uptake under changing snow-rain seasonality” (BFF-Water). Your modeling work will benefit from extensive and novel snow and ecohydrological datasets collected in the two projects. You will utilize existing data from long-term environmental monitoring and stable water isotope monitoring programmes in the boreal (Oulanka) and subarctic (Pallas) sites.

The specific objectives as per project:

    • Use our extensive datasets in process-based snow model development, accounting for both snow water and energy balance, and stable water isotope processes.
    • Couple the developed snow and water isotope simulation routines with catchment and continental scale hydrology and earth system models
    • Take part in collecting field datasets for stable water isotopes in seasonal snowpack and snowmelt water by both novel in-situ monitoring and conventional snow sampling.
  • BFF-Water
    • Use the unique and comprehensive datasets from two ecological critical boreal forests (Oulanka and Pallas) in ecohydrological model development (i.e., EcH2O-iso), accounting for the stable water isotope processes along tree water uptake and snow-affected forest ecohydrology mechanisms in northern environments.
    • Take part in collecting field datasets for stable water isotopes and water fluxes in tree water uptake by both novel in-situ monitoring and conventional sampling.

You will also supervise PhD and MSc researchers in collaboration with our senior staff. Some teaching and supervision of undergraduate students is also expected.

To succeed in the position, you are required to have:

  • Doctoral degree in water resources engineering, geosciences, mathematical or environmental science or equivalent experience. The doctoral degree must have been received no more than 10 years ago
  • Strong background in different computational methods in environmental modeling including numerical and statistical methods
  • Very good programming skills and experience with developing and maintaining large scientific codes
  • Experience in handling large observational and/or modelling datasets
  • Strong English language skills both in oral and written communication
  • Demonstrated track record in scientific writing and publishing

We also appreciate the following know-how and experience in:

  • different applications in hydrology and tracer-aided modeling
  • process-based snow modeling and/or forest ecohydrology modeling
  • supervision of students and teaching and applying for external funding
  • planning and executing field work campaigns

What we offer

  • We offer you an interesting and versatile position in strong research unit in water and hydrological research and the possibility to develop professionally with the help of an experienced and enthusiastic team.
  • Regular salary is paid 12 months per year, including paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • Wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture, and well-being. Read more about other staff benefits.
  • Development and career options of the big organization.
  • Work that matters and a workplace that promotes flexibility and work-life balance. Read more about working with us.
  • Our Buddy Programme and Spouse Network support you and close-ones in settling into Oulu.
  • We have an HR Excellence in Research -quality label which is a recognition awarded by the European Commission for the development of researchers’ working conditions and careers. Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, an excellent education system, and a competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.


The duration of the fixed-term position is 3 years, beginning on 1st of October 2024 (or as soon as possible thereafter). A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.


The salary will be based on the level 5 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). Typical monthly salary for a starting postdoctoral fellow is 3500-4000 € (before taxes).

Applications and selection process

Apply online latest on July 31st, 2024 (23:59 Finnish time). The application should be written in English and include the following documents:

  1. A cover letter with contact information
  2. Curriculum vitae following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity
  3. List of publications following the guidelines of the Academy of Finland
  4. Brief account of research merits linked to this position (max 2 pages)
  5. A copy of the applicant’s Doctoral and Master of Science degree diplomas, or, if not available at the time of application, a statement from the applicant and their supervisor(s) regarding the expected completion date
  6. Contact details of 2–3 persons available for recommendation

The eligible applicants fitting best in the expected research profile will be invited to a remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.

Further details are available

Due to university`s holiday season in July, please contact with possible questions during these periods: 24.6. – 28.6. or 29.7. – 31.7.2024.

In your contact, include both: Associate Professor Pertti Ala-Aho, pertti.ala-aho(at) and Academy of Finland Research Fellow Zuosinan Chen, zuosinan.chen(at)

We are looking forward to your application!

Type of employment: Temporary position
Contract type: Full time
Number of positions: 1
Full-time equivalent: 100%
City: Oulu
County: Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country: Finland
Reference number: 2024/290
Published: 2024-06-12
Last application date: 2024-07-31

Informatie over de vacature

Postdoctoral Researcher in tracer-aided snow and ecohydrological modeling
Pentti Kaiteran katu 1 Oulu, Finland
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
2024-07-31 23:59 (Europe/Helsinki)
2024-07-31 22:59 (CET)
Soort functie
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