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Research Fellow in Hydraulic Modelling

Are you an ambitious and independent researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have a background in hydrology, hydraulics and geomorphology? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities? 

Based in the School of Geography, you will contribute to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded FLOODMAL project which will investigate the use of hydraulic flood modelling to predict malarial mosquito habitat distribution and dynamics in the Upper Zambezi floodplain in Western Zambia. Utilising established techniques across the fields of earth observation, flood modelling and mosquito vector spatial ecology, we aim to develop a process understanding of the relationship between flooding in major river systems and malaria transmission at the catchment scale in sub-Saharan Africa.

Joining the River Basin Processes and Management research group and working closely with Dr Mark Smith and colleagues, you will also be involved with colleagues at Aberystwyth University and the University of Lincoln, in addition to our project partners in Zambia. Collaboratively, we will generate high resolution topographic models of the Barotse floodplain from both satellite and drone imagery. These data, coupled with sonar bathymetry and daily discharge data will then be used to drive a 2D hydrodynamic model (LISFLOOD-FP). We will create estimates of flood extent dynamics and how different climate change scenarios impact water body locations. Mapped and modelled flood extents will then drive an agent-based model to simulate landscape mosquito distributions. This model will identify spatially and temporally dynamic hotspots of vector larvae across the floodplain. Specifically, you will lead the hydraulic modelling component of the project and be responsible for developing flood extent maps for the Barotse floodplain from the supplied topographic data. Whilst based in Leeds, you will also have the opportunity to accompany the research team to the field site and assist with bathymetric data collection.

With a PhD (or close to completion) in Geography, Civil Engineering or a closely allied discipline, you will also have a strong background in hydrology, hydraulics and fluvial geomorphology and experience of hydraulic and/or hydrological modelling. Experience of working in remote or challenging environments is desirable. 

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Dr Mark Smith, Associate Professor in Water Research

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 1974, email:


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:  School of Geography
Category:  Research
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £32,548 to £38,833 p.a.
Please note that due to funding limitations an appointment is unlikely to be made above £32,548
Working Time:  100%
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (for one year due to external funding available from 1 October 2017)
Closing Date:  Sunday 03 September 2017
Reference:  ENVGE1057
Downloads:  Candidate Brief  

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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