UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis

Jobs and research positions

Job/research positions and other career opportunities

Research Engineer Position in Hydrology

at Polytech’Nice-Sophia, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

We invite applications for a 2-years position in Hydrology at Research Scientist level. The position will be based at the Innovative-CiTy Laboratory (I-CiTy),  in the Water and City Group of the Institut Méditerranéen du Risque, de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable (IMREDD). We focus on Water resource management, Urban services, Hydroinformatics, Optimization of distribution networks, Modeling and numeric simulation, Hydrology and urban hydraulics, Extreme phenomena (floods) and impact management, Hazard and vulnerability assessment, and Urban Resilience.


The Research Engineer will work in ALIRHYS Project, in the frame of Alcotra, founded by the European Community (FEDER). The ALIRHYS Project (Alpes Latines: Identification Ressources HYdriques Souterraines) aims to assess the groundwater resource of the French-Italian Southern Alps to secure the water supply during stress periods. It focuses on the recharge (monitoring and spatialisation of the precipitations and the snow mantle), on the transfer modeling (karst spring monitoring), and on the quality. 

The delivering of a Resource Management Guide of the Groundwater, taking into account the climatic evolution, will highlight the good practices, define a security plan for water supply during draughts, and optimize the exploitation of the resource.

Net salary: 22 000 € / year

Contract duration: 2 years (2013-14)


  • Ph.D. in Earth Science, Civil or Environmental Engineering, or a related field

  • experience in combining  groundwater and surface water modeling, GIS and statistical analysis

  • field studies in mountain area (monitoring, dye tracing)

  • areas of particular interest include karst hydrology, watershed hydrology

  • good interpersonal and communication skills

  • Proficiency in the following languages is expected: English (required), plus French and/or Italian


Potential for excellence in project management and research are the most important qualifications.

Review of application material will start on January 30, 2013. The search will remain open until the position is filled. Applications should include a cover letter and a full CV/resume, together with three references letters. Please submit applications via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Responsibilities: conduct interdisciplinary environmental research associated with the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program; provide support with field and laboratory activities; develop manuscripts for publications; present research at local and national scientific venues; participate in activities of the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program. The highly collaborative environment provides a unique opportunity for postdoctoral fellows to interact with scientists from various fields.

Areas of Research Interest Include:

  • Low temperature geochemistry, groundwater tracing, stable isotopes, and geophysics with a focus on groundwater/surface-water interaction and karst aquifers
  • Hydrogeology with a focus on water-rock interactions and ground-source geothermal systems
  • Aquatic biogeochemistry with a focus on transport and effects of agricultural and urban contaminants in freshwaters
  • Isolation and chemical characterization of dissolved organic matter in fresh and saline natural waters
  • Physical organic chemistry/analytical chemistry with a focus on the reactivity and selectivity of reactive oxygen species toward persistent environmental contaminants
  • Community ecology of stream organisms

Minimum qualifications: Ph.D. in chemistry, geology, biology, environmental sciences, or related scientific field by date of appointment; experience in environmental research.
Preferred qualification: presentation and publication of previous research.
Candidates for professional contract positions must have current authorization to be employed in the U.S. without employer sponsorship.

Send cover letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts, and the names and contact information for three references to:
Professor E. Michael Perdue
Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Review of applications will begin February 15, 2013, and will continue until the positions are filled. www.bsu.edu. Ball State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.

Click on the link below for a complete position description:
http://cms.bsu.edu/sitecore/shell//-/media/WWW/DepartmentalContent/HumanResources/PDFs/Job Postings/103670 Position Description.pdf




The Ball State University Department of Geological Sciences is seeking a candidate to admit into the doctoral program in Environmental Sciences. The selected candidate would receive annual tuition remission and a competitive research assistantship renewable for three years. The ideal candidate holds a MS and is a self-starter with experience and ambition to seek external funding. Potential areas of research include:

  • Low-temperature geochemistry, groundwater tracing, and stable-isotopes in karst aquifers of Kentucky.
  • Sediment and nutrient transport in the White River watershed of east-central Indiana.
  • Groundwater/geophysical studies related to the world’s largest ground-source geothermal project at BSU.

The Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program seeks to attract active, culturally, and academically diverse students of the highest caliber. BSU is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.

Interested students should visit the above link for application information and contact Dr. Lee Florea at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss their interest in the program. 


Limestone Cave Collapse Evolution As An Analog for Long-Term Rock Behavior


Long-term rock behavior is important for understanding the degradation and failure of rock slopes, underground excavations, dam and bridge foundations, national monuments, and other critical rock structures. Natural underground caverns are an ideal geologic analog for studying long-term rock behavior, because of the relatively constant climate and the preservation of rockfalls that accumulate on the floor of the cave over thousands of years.  In this study, the evolution of rock degradation and failure in the Kartchner caverns in southern Arizona will be investigated, using a unique combination of radiometric dating and state-of-the-art geomechanics techniques.  First of all, to date the evolution of rockfall that has occurred in the cave over the last 100,000 years, both U-TH and Carbon dating will be used.  Because Kartchner is a live cave, speleothems occur on many of the rockfall blocks, and small cores will be taken at the base of these speleothems for dating.  Secondly, a new generation ground-based LIDAR scanner will be used to obtain detailed three-dimensional point clouds of the cavern geometry and also of the rockfall fragments on the floor of the cave.  The detailed point clouds along with the radiometric data will be used to reconstruct the cave geometry over the past 100,000 years. Finally, three-dimensional modeling will be conducted using the Abaqus finite element program. A time-dependent damage model based on subcritical crack growth will be implemented in Abaqus to simulate cave collapse evolution. Seismic loading of the cave will also be considered, since southern Arizona is susceptible to small to medium levels of seismic hazard.

Kartchner caverns provides a unique opportunity to understand long-term rock behavior, and the results should be of great interest to rock mechanics scientists and engineers as well as karst and cave specialists.  The results of this research will be used to develop and validate long-term strength models or subcritical crack growth models to correctly predict long-term rock behavior.  Kartchner caverns is also an ideal platform to communicate geomechanics to the general public, with public access to 2.4 miles of passages and attracting over 150,000 visitors each year.  As part of this research, an interactive geomechanics display case will be established in the Kartchner visitor center, and cave tour guides will provide geomechanics information on their daily tours.  The results of this research will hopefully provide new findings in the areas of cave breakdown and sinkhole development.  The results of this research might reveal the timing of past seismic events in southern Arizona, and therefore will be of interest to seismologists and also geologists studying Quaternary faulting. 

Student Solicitation

We are seeking graduate students to take on the research presented above.  Up to 3 years of NSF funding is available for either Masters or PhD students interested in participating in this Karst Geology and Geomechanics project.  Applicants need not have a prior degree in either Geological/Geotechnical Engineering or Geology, but strong understanding and interest in karst geology, rock mechanics or hydrogeology are desired for these positions.  If you believe you have the skills and passion to significantly contribute to this project, please call or email as soon as possible to the contact listed below.  Start dates may be possible as soon as Spring 2014.

John Kemeny, PhD

University of Arizona Department of Mining and Geological Engineering

Mines Building, Room 21

1235 E. James E. Rogers Way

Tucson, AZ 85721-0012

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


3 years PhD student position within a project funded by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF)

PIs: Lukas Plan, Ivo Baron (NHM-Wien), Bernhard Grasemann (Univie)

SPELEOTECT - Active tectonics and recent dynamics of micro-displacements along major fault systems of the Eastern Alps registered in caves

Start: November/December 2013

Numerous field studies, seismic data, and GPS observations suggest ongoing activity along major tectonic fault systems in the Eastern Alps. This project uses caves in Austria as field laboratories to map displacements of cave passages, monitor micro-displacements and to date active faulting by applying the U-series disequilibrium method on damaged and sealed speleothems.

Key tasks comprise

  1. identifying, documenting and dating active faults in Austrian caves
  2. investigating the kinematics of active faults and reconstructing the (paleo)strain field
  3. discriminating between fault displacements caused by seismic slip or aseismic creep
  4. monitoring the recent dynamics of micro-displacements along single faults
  5. updating the paleoseismic data for the Eastern Alps

The PhD student will be mainly involved in mapping, sampling and sample preparation of damaged speleothems for U/ Th-dating, palaeostrain quantification on faults and in high-resolution microtectonic studies (SEM, CL, EMPA, EBSD) of faulted flowstones for discriminating between fault displacements caused by seismic slip or aseismic creep.

Applicants with a completed Master’s degree with basic knowledge in speleology (and the will and the physical ability to work in vertical Alpine caves), (micro)tectonics and/or high resolution analytical techniques (e.g. SEM, CL, EMPA, EBSD) are preferred. We are especially keen to promote the careers of women, and we therefore look forward to receiving applications from female candidates.

Payment will be according to the FWF (“DoctorandIn”): 
The applications including a motivation letter and CV should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. not later than September, 30th 2013. You can also contact us for more information!

Dear friends and colleagues,

Karst Research Institute at ZRC SAZU, Postojna, Slovenia (http://izrk.zrc-sazu.si/en/predstavitev#v) is searching a candidate for an AXA postdoctoral grant. The Institute has been selected as an eligible institution by AXA Research Fund. We offer stimulating environment, field sites of classical karst, tutorship and related research infrastructure. Post-Doctoral project must be related to the topic of Environmental risk (climate change, from glacier retreat to sea-level rise; natural hazards, from earth hazards to atmospheric and space-weather phenomena; human-driven environmental changes such as urban pollution, nanotechnologies or pesticide exposure).

The candidate must comply with the following conditions:

- The candidate must have defended her/his Ph.D. thesis in sciences related to karst studies (geology, hydrology, geomorphology, speleothem science, karst biology or microbiology, and similar) before the beginning of the Post- Doctoral grant.
- Less than 5 years since awarding of first Ph.D. (extensions to this period may be allowed in case of eligible career breaks which must be properly documented).
- The candidate has to demonstrate excellence in research.

We need to report a name of one candidate to the AXA Research Fund by December 16th, 2013. The first round of selection is based on the candidate's outline proposal that has to be submitted by January 9th, 2014. Pre-selected candidates will be then invited to submit a full proposal by March 13th, 2014. The final selection will be announced on June 10th, 2014. Once selected, candidates have up to 12 months after the announcement of the campaign results to start their Post Doc research (i.e., to administratively register within their Host Institution).


Interested candidates are invited to contact us and send us a letter of interest, short CV and possible research topic. Please send an e-mail with subject AXE-Fellowship to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by December 15th, 2013.