Hotspots and hot moments: the role of connectivity and resilience science for managing human-impacted catchment systems

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This ESR will use and combine different aspects of connectivity and resilience science to identity geomorphic hotspots and hot moments in human-impacted catchment systems, and will derive and test management options.


  1. To identify hotspots and hot moments of hydro-geomorphic connectivity in human-impacted catchment systems by reviewing and testing/combining existing connectivity science and resilience approaches in selected medium-sized agricultural catchments;
  2. To develop a conceptual and methodological framework and tools based on the findings of (1);
  3. To test the this framework/tools in selected catchment systems and to derive general implications for connectivity and resilience science and its application in catchment management (e.g. field measurements incl. tracer experiments; i.e. via collecting new data in the course of the project and using already existing datasets), modelling, connectivity indices.

Expected Results

  1. Critical review of existing connectivity and resilience approaches (incl. social-ecological approaches;
    secondment 1) and their suitability to identification of hotspots and hot moments in human-impacted catchment systems;
  2. Development of a conceptual and methodological framework and tools that
    1. provide a better understanding of the behaviour of human-impacted catchment systems and
    2. serve as a basis for holistic and adaptive catchment management with
    3. tested applications across selected catchments (secondments 2-4).

Marie Sklodowska-Curie PhDs are paid a competitive gross salary of 3,270 € per month, adjusted for their host country, a Mobility Allowance of 600 € per month and, for researchers who have a family, a Family Allowance of 500 € per month. All amounts are subject to employers and employees deductions and taxes.

Family is defined as persons linked to the researcher by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the national legislation of the country of the beneficiary or of nationality of the researcher, or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher; family status is determined at recruitment and does not evolve.

ESRs will also get access to funds covering Research, Networking and Training costs. ESRs will also be enrolled for PhD studies at institutions which are part of the consortium. Funding will cover the entire 36-month period. In addition to individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

Eligibility criteria
To satisfy the eligibility requirements set for an Early Stage Researcher funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie and you must be eligible to be appointed as an Early Stage Researcher:

Should have — at the date of recruitment — less than 4 years of a research career, and not have a doctoral degree. The 4 years are measured from the date when they obtained the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a PhD, either in the country where the degree was obtained or in the country where the PhD is provided.
Trans-national mobility: The applicant — at the date of recruitment— should not have resided in the country where the research training takes place for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to recruitment, and not have carried out their main activity (work ,studies, etc.) in that country. For refugees under the Geneva Convention (1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol), the refugee procedure (i.e. before refugee status is conferred) will not be counted as ‘period of residence/activity in the country of the beneficiary’.
Satisfy the eligibility requirements to enrol on a PhD degree. This includes acceptable English language requirements if English is not your first language.

Selection process
All applications are to be submitted via the hosting institution.

Applications must include the following:

A copy of your CV
Degree transcripts
A motivation letter
Names of 2 referees

Please indicate in your motivation letter if you are interested in being considered for any of the other PhD positions in our network (and if you give us permission to share your application with the host of that project).


Host Months Aim

IIASA (Brian Fath)

13 – 14

Training on feedbacks of social-environmental systems (incl. resilience and adaptive management approaches, framework development, modelling)

EA (Damian Crilly)

18 - 19

Training on river basin and catchment management (incl. framework development and implementation)

UDur/IHRR (Laura Turnbull, Louise Bracken, John Wainwright)

22 - 24

Training on risk analysis and interdisciplinary framework development (LB) and training on framework and model development

BOKU (Thomas Hein, Gabriele Weigelhofer)

28 - 30

Training on specific analyses to assess the effects of connectivity (management) on environmental parameters addressing the concept of hot spots and hot moments (e.g. inorganic nutrients, DOM, biodiversity).

Other Positions in Resilience

ESR 10

University of Vienna (Austria)

Hotspots and hot moments: the role of connectivity and resilience science for managing human-impacted catchment systems

ESR 13

Durham University (United Kingdom)

Resilience of human interactions with new landscapes


BOKU (Austria)

Changing connectivity properties impacting resilience in riverine landscapes as socio-ecological systems