PhD position

PhD student position in paleolimnological research announced jointly by the Centre for Climate Change (C3) at the University Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Aquatic Ecosystems Unit of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Research Technology (IRTA) in Sant Carles de la Ràpita (Spain).

Topic: Reconstruction of the evolution of climate and environment of the Ebro Delta (NE Spain)

Project description:
The Ebro Delta is an area of high ecological interest (is the second most important wetland in Spain and one of the most important in the Mediterranean) and very sensitive to climate change and alterations in the river basin. Deltas are very dynamic coastal systems, where geological processes occur at human scale and where the interaction between biotic and abiotic elements is very intense and complex. Therefore, the deltas are good “natural laboratories” very appropriate to study climatic and environmental changes occurring in the past and to make predictions about the future evolution of coastal areas according to different scenarios of climate change and human activities in the watershed. Through the combined study of the geochemistry of the Ebro Delta sediments and the fossil diatoms of these sediments, the thesis project aims to investigate past changes (from decades to millennia) occurred in the Ebro Delta. The analysis and interpretation of information obtained will allow establishing and testing hypotheses about the geomorphological, ecological and climate evolution of the Delta in order to reconstruct its past evolution; this may also allow establishing relationships between the types of changes as well as their interaction mechanisms. Additionally the results on the past evolution of the delta may allow, through the simulation of future scenarios, the estimation of the impacts of climate change and land use changes on the geomorphic and ecological features of the Ebro delta.

The candidate has to be granted with a degree in biology, geography, geology or environmental sciences. Experience in analysis of diatoms and/or in statistical techniques, sediment geochemistry or climate data series are merits but not prerequisite. The successful applicant should be have good ability to write and speak English, good technical skills, power of initiative, independence and ability to collaborate. Applicants should note that the research activities will take place both at IRTA centre in Sant Carles de la Rapita and at the URV in Tarragona

We offer: 4-year contract within URV

Foreseen starting date: September 2011

Application: Detail of the application and documentation required can be found in:

In addition to the documentation listed in the call, candidates should also include a letter of intent/motivation.

Deadline for application: 30 of June of 2011

Further information can be obtained in the webpage:

Or by contating:

Manola Brunet (
Centre for Climat Change, URV
Avda. Catalunya 35
43071 Tarragona, Spain
Tel: +34 977 559583

Carles Ibáñez ( & Rosa Trobajo (
IRTA Aquatic Ecosystems
Ctra de Poble Nou Km 5.5
43540 Sant Carles de la Ràpita, Tarragona, Spain
Tel: +34 977 745427