PhD position “Snow stability in a changing climate” available at SLF Davos, Switzerland

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PhD position “Snow stability in a changing climate” available at SLF Davos, Switzerland


WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF

The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF is part of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and thus of the ETH Domain. WSL focuses on the sustainable use and protection of landscapes and habitats, and a responsible approach to natural hazards. WSL employs approximately 500 people, of whom 140 work at SLF in Davos.


The Research Unit Snow Avalanches and Prevention investigates the formation and dynamics of avalanches, develops warning systems for Alpine natural hazards, and issues the Swiss avalanche bulletin. For the research programme „Climate Change Impacts on Alpine Mass Movements“, our research group Avalanche Formation is looking for a


PhD Student “Snow stability in a changing climate”


You will investigate the influence of climate change on snow avalanche formation to anticipate possible changes in spatial and temporal snow stability patterns. To this end, you will use the numerical snow cover model SNOWPACK to develop a method to assess the degree of snow stability accounting for vertical layering as well as spatial (horizontal) variations of layer properties. Using climate scenarios, the model should then be applied to predict future changes in snow stability. Finally, you will perform spatial snow cover simulations to identify changes in spatial disposition patterns and to investigate possible feedback processes. You will publish your results in scientific journals and present them at international conferences.


You have a master degree in Physics, Engineering or Natural Sciences and experience in handling large data sets as well as knowledge in numerical modelling. You have good oral and written communication skills in English, are well organized, operate independently, and in a structured and efficient way. Furthermore, you like to work in a team as well as within an interdisciplinary and practice oriented research environment and are keen to transfer your research into practice.


Please send your complete application to Jasmine Zimmermann, Human Resources WSL/ SLF. Alec van Herwijnen, phone +41 (0)81 417 01 61 will be happy to answer any questions or offer further information. The WSL strives to increase the proportion of women in its employment, which is why qualified women are particularly called upon to apply for this position.

Online application link:

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