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Postdoctor (2 years) within fluvial geomorphology focused on channel classification

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science




  • Type of employment Temporary position
  • Extent 100%
  • Place Umeå

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The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University, Sweden, seeks a postdoctoral researcher who will work with geomorphic river channel classification in Sweden. The employment is full-time for two years with a start date of 15 January 2024 or by agreement. Application deadline is 8 December 2023.

Project description
Geomorphic characterization and classification of streams/rivers is important for both understanding geomorphic change and as a tool within water management. Because hydro-geomorphic classification of streams/rivers in Sweden is the basis for environmental protection and monitoring adherence of environmental laws, it is imperative that the classification follows a scientific basis and reflects key geomorphic processes. For current classifications in Sweden, accurate remote-sensing methods for nationwide application with field-testing have not been developed. In this project, funded by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (HaV), we aim (1) to determine metrics from remote data that can accurately classify channel segments using machine-learning and field-testing, and (2) to classify channel segments throughout Sweden using these developed methods.  The postdoctoral fellow will lead the field campaign and data analysis and will develop methods together with Dr. Lina Polvi Sjöberg and personnel at HaV. 

Project advances: We anticipate that the postdoctoral fellow will make key advances in understanding morphology of rivers in Sweden, many of which have a strong glacial imprint through glacial till that create semi-alluvial channels and channel networks with abundant lakes. This will be accomplished by 1) understanding potential controls on channel morphology (e.g., surficial geology, catchment characteristics, valley morphology), 2) determining how remote data can accurately describe channel morphology, providing a sensitivity analysis of results. The postdoctoral fellow will also make large contributions to the management of Swedish stream systems by providing important channel classification results.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be placed in the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, and will be advised by Dr. Lina Polvi Sjöberg. The candidate will be expected to collaborate with government agency personnel at the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (HaV) and international collaborators.

To qualify as a postdoctoral fellow, the candidate is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree in one of the following fields: earth science, geology, geomorphology, physical geography, or equivalent. This qualification requirement must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the decision about the position.

Priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area.

Essential criteria

  • Strong skills and background in fluvial geomorphology, with understanding of channel classification schemes
  • Strong skills and experience with GIS and remote-sensing data, including DEMs
  • Experience with field work in streams/rivers, including topographic surveys
  • Strong skills in statistical analyses of fluvial geomorphic and/or spatial data
  • Good knowledge of oral and written English in a scientific context
  • Valid driving license for cars

The employment also requires an ability to work in a collaborative team and to structure work independently in addition to an ability to apply a problem-solving approach to problems.

Meriting criteria

  • Knowledge of and experience with machine-learning techniques, including using high-performance computing centers
  • Experience applying channel classification methods

A full application, written in English or Swedish, should include:

  1. A cover letter summarizing your qualifications, your scientific interests, and your motives for applying (max 2 pages),
  2. A curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list,
  3. Certified copy of doctoral degree certificate,
  4. Copy of doctoral thesis, 
  5. Copies of relevant publications (max 5),
  6. Contact information for at least two reference persons

Further Information
Evaluations will be based on the application and on interviews. For more information contact:

Associate Professor Lina Polvi Sjöberg, Dept. Ecology and Environmental Sciences, lina.polvi@umu.se 

Information box

Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-1847-23

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