PhD Candidate Development of a satellite-based water hyacinth prediction tool

PhD Candidate Development of a satellite-based water hyacinth prediction tool

Published Deadline Location
2 Nov 24 Nov Enschede

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Job description

The University of Twente wants to be an organisation that optimally deploys diversity, talents, and capabilities in the labour market for now and in the future. In the framework of our diversity and inclusiveness policy, we strongly stimulate people with a (work) disability to apply for this position.

The University of Twente is committed to providing a working environment where everyone is valued, respected, and supported to progress. Our priority is to ensure that no one is disadvantaged based on their ethnicity, gender, culture, disability, LGBTQ+ identities, family and caring responsibilities, age, or religion. We encourage everyone who shares these values to apply.

Your challenge
Water hyacinth is a free-floating plant that has invaded water bodies worldwide. It thrives in nutrient-rich waters and disrupts riparian communities by entangling fishing nets, blocking ship traffic, clogging drains and outlets, and preventing access to water. It may even be associated with disease transmission. But water hyacinth offers opportunities as well: for example as biofuel, fertilizer or handicrafts.

The position aims to use satellite data to improve the management of water hyacinth, and to improve living conditions around Lake Chivero in Zimbabwe with the help of satellite observations.

You will work on the development of a long-term water hyacinth (WHY) to cover data set from satellite observations for the target region, work on the investigation of causes of WHY infestation based on the satellite data set, and on the development of a WHY prediction tool. Besides that, you will also work on the creation of smartphone apps to inform water managers and local communities. Although your developments and analyses will be performed on a computer, one or more visits to the study site in Zimbabwe will be part of the project. You will collaborate with a PhD student addressing health-related aspects of WHY (also based at ITC/University of Twente) and with another PhD student focusing on possibilities of WHY exploitation, based at the University of Western Cape in South Africa.


University of Twente (UT)


  • MSc degree in Earth Observation, Earth or Environmental Sciences, Meteorology or another relevant field
  • Experience with (satellite) remote sensing techniques, scientific programming and/or model development
  • Interest in topics such as biodiversity, (aquatic) ecology and water management
  • A creative problem-solver with an analytical mind
  • A critical and reflective demeanour
  • Good communication skills
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Love to apply your skills to improve the lives of people affected most by pollution and climate change
  • Some affinity with Zimbabwe and southern Africa is an advantage

Conditions of employment

  • An inspiring multidisciplinary, international and academic environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda
  • Full-time position for 4 years
  • A professional and personal development programme within Twente Graduate School
  • Gross monthly salary of € 2,770.- in the first year that increases to € 3,539.- in the fourth year
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development
  • A solid pension scheme
  • A total of 41 holiday days per year in case of full-time employment
  • Excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus.


The Department of Water Resources (WRS) studies water systems and their relation with land use and climate through remote sensing, field instrumentation and modelling. We aim at capacity building of communities of water professionals, scientists and engineers that work toward a sustainable and resilient living environment.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1512


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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