We are looking for a PhD student to work on Remote Sensing / Modelling of East Antarctica’s surface mass balance (SMB) variability with the Mass2Ant project . The Mass2Ant project focuses on assessing the dynamics that affect East Antarctica's surface mass balance at different spatial and temporal scales in order to improve our understanding of Antarctica in a changing climate and increase the confidence in future projections.

The Mass2Ant project has two main objectives. Firstly, we aim to understand the local processes responsible for SMB variability in the Princess Ragnhild Coast (PRC) region and to document the changes during the last 300 years. Secondly, we will establish links between local, regional, and large scale processes to determine the origin of the variability of the surface mass balance. This will allow determining if the mass gain observed in a recent ice core record collected close to PRC is representative for larger areas and if the changes are the result of anthropogenic forcing and/or linked to the natural variability of oceanic and atmospheric circulation. Finally, the representation of the variability of East Antarctic surface mass balance in Earth System Models will be assessed and the implications for future surface mass balance projections will be analysed.

The selected PhD candidate will focus on using multi-source remote sensing in combination with snow models to establish links between local, regional, and large-scale processes to determine the origin of the variability of the surface mass balance. He/she will also participate in Mass2Ant field campaigns to the Belgian Princess Elisabeth station in east Antarctica to collect in-situ data on spatio-temporal variations in SMB.


  • an MSc degree in remote sensing, meteorology, Earth system science, or a related field
  • ability to participate in (two) Antarctic field campaigns
  • excellent communication skills demonstrated through a well-written article or thesis, a public presentation or personal blog
  • written and spoken proficiency in the English language
  • experience with data analysis, programming and/or numerical modelling


Your application should include (a) a CV, (b) a motivation letter, including possible start date and the names and contact information of at least two references (max. 2 pages), and (c) copies of degree manuscripts and course/grade transcripts. Please refer to vacancy number CITG17-18 in your application. Applications will be reviewed in August, and interviews will be held soon thereafter. The appointment will have a start date as soon as possible. Please e-mail your application by 22 August 2017 (Extended deadline) to Stef Lhermitte, Recruitment-CiTG@tudelft.nl.

The official vacancy page Mass2Ant page