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PhD positions in Water Studies and Sustainability
University of Missouri, Missouri, United States
Start reviewing process: 1 December 2021

The Hydrology Research Group led by Dr. Noel Aloysius at the University of Missouri is seeking 2-4 motivated students to pursue PhD studies in hydroclimatology, water and natural resources management. Students can enroll in one of the following units:

Expected start dates are Spring or Fall of 2022. The successful candidates will have opportunities to pursue independent research in one or more of the following research projects:

  1. Developing, testing and validating hydrologic, hydraulic and biogeochemical cycling models for watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin, and incorporating machine learning and other novel search algorithms to offer innovative solutions to problems pertaining to water availability, watershed management and water quality.
  2. Developing integrated assessment models to evaluate the economic benefits of water resource infrastructure (dams, reservoirs, levees, irrigation canals, conservation practices and green infrastructure, etc.) on mitigation and risk reduction due to climate change, soil erosion, and enhancement of public access to water supplies.
  3. Compiling existing instrumentation and monitoring technologies, and developing data integration technologies to aid in testing, validating, and improving ecosystem model simulations/predictions.
  4. Developing holistic analytical decision support tools that account for water use, environmental conservation practices, and climate change adaptation among others to evaluate new technologies for aiding sustainable resource management and precision agriculture in the Missouri River Basin.
  5. Evaluating the impacts of wetland enhancement and flooding on water table dynamics and nitrate transport in mixed agricultural and natural landscapes. Research activities include field instrumentation, monitoring, and modeling ground- and surface- water interactions.
  6. Developing field instrumentation (e.g., unmanned aerial systems, large aperture scintillometers, weather stations, soil moisture sensors, among others) and integrating cloud-based data visualization technologies to monitor, estimate, and predict ecosystem fluxes across multiple managed landscapes in the Missouri River Basin.
  7. Evaluating deficit irrigation methods to improve water management in small-scale producer systems. Research activities include setting up and monitoring smallholder agricultural plots at the University of Missouri Agricultural Experimental Station.

Successful applicants are expected to conduct high-quality research, present research findings at conferences, publish in peer-reviewed journals and assist in teaching. A competitive stipend, tuition waiver and health benefits will be provided to qualified candidates.

Qualifications: MS degree in a science or engineering discipline (e.g., Agricultural, Biological, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics or related field). Highly motivated and qualified students with BS degrees will also be considered. Strong writing, quantitative, and analytical skills are essential. Successful candidates will be creative, motivated, and capable of working independently as well as collaboratively.

Location: All positions are located in Columbia, Missouri, and will require travel to multiple field locations.

Contact: For more information about the positions, please contact Noel Aloysius at

Application Instructions: Please email Noel Aloysius ( in a single PDF: 1) A letter of interest that briefly describes educational and research background, as well as research interests/goals (1-2 pages); 2) A curriculum vitae that also includes, if applicable, TOEFL/IELTS scores; 3) Unofficial copies of transcripts; and 4) Contact information of three professional references (referees will not be contacted initially). Please write “Graduate Research Position 2021/22” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin immediately.

Diversity Commitment: The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence. The University of Missouri is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Of interest for:
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group