PhD Position -- Global Landslide Monitoring through Satellite Observations and Land Surface Modeling

We are searching for an enthusiastic PhD student to improve the probabilistic estimation of landslides using satellite information and land surface modeling. The project is funded by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO). The PhD research will be supervised by prof. Gabrielle De Lannoy and prof. Jean Poesen at KU Leuven.

The project aims at using reports of landslide occurrences in the global landslide catalog, along with satellite-based, model-based or data assimilation information about water budget components to improve probabilistic predictions of landslide occurrences. First, long-time integrated, coarse-scale, summary statistics of soil moisture, terrestrial water storage, precipitation and evapotranspiration will be studied for their relative impact as landslide controlling variables on the quality of global landslide susceptibility maps. Second,time-variable, percentile values of these water budget components will be used to enhance daily probabilistic predictions of landslide occurrences. It will be verified to which extent satellite observations about water budget components add useful information to land surface model information for the estimation of global landslide occurrences.

Our team:


  • Perform and disseminate highly qualitative research
  • Follow doctoral school


  • Excellent motivation and grades
  • Master in Geography, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Bio-Science Engineering, Meteorology, Hydrology, Remotely Sensed Earth Observation, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Sciences or equivalent
  • Experience with data-processing applications such as Matlab/Python, IDL, GrADS, R, or other
  • Experience with programming and scientific computing
  • Creative, critical, analytical and innovative mindset
  • Ability to work independently
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English


  • Fully funded PhD scholarship for 4 years; support and training through the Arenberg Doctoral School (

  • Multi-disciplinary and international professional environment

  • Leuven is a charming historical university town, located in the hear of Western Europe


Only persons matching the above profile should apply. Submit your resume, along with a motivation letter, and two names for references on-line. Please make sure to indicate your study grades in your resume. The PhD research should start in January-February 2018, but the exact date can be negotiated. For more information please contact prof. dr. ir. Gabrielle De Lannoy, tel.: +32 16 37 67 13, mail: gabrielle[dot]delannoy[at]kuleuven[dot]be or prof. dr. Jean Poesen, tel +32 16 32 64 25, e-mail: jean[dot]poesen[at]kuleuven[dot]be.

Apply for this job no later than 8 January, 2017 via the online application tool. This position will remain open until filled by an

excellent candidate: