The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is the Natural Environment Research Council's research centre for freshwater science. CEH coordinates internationally leading research and expertise in freshwater sciences and provides infrastructure, training and leadership to the UK hydrological community. The Hydro-JULES programme will build a three-dimensional, open source, community model of the terrestrial water cycle to support and enable collaborative work across the research and academic communities in hydrology and land-surface science.

The purpose of the CEH Hydro-JULES Summer Student Programme is to allow graduate students to visit CEH to work on specific projects with a member of the Hydro-JULES team in one of the following environmental research fields:

  • quantification of hydro-meteorological risks,
  • using high-resolution climate predictions for hydrological applications,
  • calculation the impacts of environmental change on evaporation, transpiration, and soil moisture,
  • modelling flood inundation over large areas,
  • representing anthropogenic interventions in the water cycle, and
  • application of new techniques including Earth observation and data assimilation.

For the duration of their summer internship, up to eight weeks, students will be paid at the NERC PB8 rate (c. £20k p.a., pro-rata).

Applicants should note that:

1. Applicants need a letter of support from their supervisor, tutor, director of studies or equivalent confirming that they are content for the applicant to undertake the proposed summer internship.

2. Funding is not available under this scheme for work included in the core deliverables of the Hydro-JULES programme, which are funded in the normal way.

3. If successful, the applicant will be required to demonstrate that they have the right to work in the UK and must agree to:

  • provide a one-page report to the Project Manager describing the visit and its accomplishments within 30 days of completion of the visit;
  • appear in publicity and promotion materials for CEH;
  • acknowledge the support of Hydro-JULES funds in any publications or presentations arising from the visit.

4. Successful candidates will be required to agree the exact dates and duration of their studentship with the supervisor before starting.

Application Procedure

Applications must be received by 30th May 2019 and will be considered by the Hydro-JULES Steering Committee soon after the closing date (Please allow up to two weeks for a decision about your application).

To apply, please submit the following information in an e-mail to

  1. A cover letter explaining briefly your motivation for applying to the programme, and indicating the project(s) for which you wish your application to be considered.
  2. A short curriculum vitae indicating educational and professional experience, and publications.Hy
  3. A letter of support from their supervisor, tutor, director of studies or equivalent confirming that they are content for the applicant to undertake the proposed summer internship.


Hydro-JULES Summer Student Projects 2019

A Platform for Community Modelling in Land-surface and Hydrological Science

Supervisors: Simon Dadson and Rich Ellis

The development of a platform for easy access to community models and computational resource to develop and run community models in land-surface science and hydrology requires well-supported tools that give easy access to reliable high-performance systems. The Hydro-JULES programme – a partnership between the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the British Geological Survey, and the National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences – is developing such a community model which will be available on the national JASMIN data analysis / cloud environment. In order to provide user-friendly access to modular hydrological routines available within Hydro-JULES, a Python interface enabled through the use of Jupyter Notebooks is provided. 

This project will develop user-friendly hydrological applications within Jupyter notebooks hosted on JASMIN in order to pilot Hydro-JULES applications at the UK and global scale. The student will work closely with hydrologists and land surface scientists and will need to have demonstrable skill in computational science and visualisation, with particular skill required in the use of Python via the Jupyter Notebook interface.



Developing UKCP18 Scenarios for Large-scale Modelling with Hydro-JULES

Supervisors: Simon Dadson and Alison Kay

The UK Climate Predictions programme has produced a wide range of meteorological outputs for use in climate impacts assessments at the national scale. These projections contain the latest information on climate forcings to the end of the century and have been made using state-of-the-art climate prediction models. However, the full range of impacts on hydrological and land-surface systems has yet to be quantified.

This project will process the UKCP18 outputs at 12 km and 2.2 km resolution for use with the Hydro-JULES modelling system and test the ability of the combined system to simulate current and future hydrological and land-surface properties. The student will work closely with hydrologists and land surface scientists and will need to have demonstrable skill working with computer codes written in FORTRAN and Python. 


Flood inundation modelling in Africa: evaluating large-scale model predictions with satellite Earth Observation

Supervisor: Simon Dadson

Accurate predictions of flood inundation at global scale are required for natural hazard assessment and studies of Earth system feedbacks. For example, during extreme weather events a rapid assessment of potential areas of damage is required to inform disaster emergency response and to implement subsequent policy. The role of seasonally-inundated wetlands in driving land-atmosphere feedbacks by controlling latent heat exchange at the surface and also through anoxic degradation of biomass to produce methane is also a significant driver of global change requiring better large-scale hydrological modelling capability. 

This project will combine outputs from the JULES model with the CaMaFlood global inundation model to evaluate their joint ability to offer improved predictions of inundated area in comparison with EO estimates. The student will work closely with hydrologists and land surface scientists and will need to have demonstrable skill working with computer codes written in FORTRAN and Python. 


Dadson, S.J., Ashpole, I., Harris, P., Davies, H.N., Clark, D.B., Blyth, E. and Taylor, C.M. (2010) Wetland inundation dynamics in a model of land-surface climate: evaluation in the Niger inland delta region. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115(D23114).

Yamazaki et al., 2011, A physically-based description of floodplain inundation dynamics in a global river routing model. Water Resour. Res. 47, W04501, doi:10.1029/2010WR009726 

Taylor, C.M., Prigent, C. and Dadson, S. (2018) Mesoscale Rainfall Patterns Observed around Wetlands in Sub‐Saharan Africa. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society


Deriving in situ actual evaporation across the UK

Supervisor: Jon Evans

Evaporation is an important part of the water cycle and is driven by weather conditions, available water in the soil or on the land surface, and plant transpiration. For water managers, it is required to determine the available water budget and manage flood risk, whilst for atmospheric science, weather and climate prediction, the evaporative flux plays an important role in the development of the land surface boundary layer as the water vapour is buoyant and contributes to convection of air.

The COSMOS-UK network ( has field monitoring stations at almost 50 sites across the UK. These stations collect raw wind turbulence data at 20 samples per second, enabling the turbulent heat flux (sensible heat flux) to be directly calculated using the Eddy Covariance method. This requires processing of the recorded sonic temperature and three-dimensional (3D) wind speed components measured by a 3D ultrasonic anemometer, to calculate co-variances of these components, which can be done using available software packages. Each site also measures the net solar radiation and soil heat flux, enabling a good estimate of actual evaporation to be calculated as the residual of the surface energy budget. Until now, this data has not been systematically processed – this project will setup a daily data processing path for data received by telemetry in near-real time, using scripts in Python or R and/or shell scripts/batch files to produce a quality controlled actual evaporation product from the COSMOS-UK network. There will be the opportunity to analyse these results and compare them to Penman potential evaporation and JULES-CHESS modelled evaporation, this novel work could easily lead to a scientific publication.

This project requires good IT skills, with at least some knowledge of a scripting computer language – experience with Python or R is preferred. This could be viewed as a Data Science project or equally will appeal to environmental physicists, meteorologists, and mathematicians.


Evans, J. G. et al., 2012. Determination of turbulent heat fluxes using a large aperture scintillometer over undulating mixed agricultural terrain. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 166–167: 221–233.


Infiltration and Rainfall intensity

Supervisor: Eleanor Blyth

Runoff generated by intense rainfall will be studied. We will choose a site in the UK where we have good data on rainfall. We will evaluate the JULES model’s representation of infiltration excess runoff and how it compares to traditional theoretical calculations. 

The student will: 1. Study the equation used by the JULES to describe the variation of rainfall intensity to evaluate whether it provides a realistic descriptor compared with available data 2. Investigate whether the currently-used parameters give reasonable runoff fractions 3. Compare with other models of infiltration 4. Investigate how vegetation affects infiltration and rainfall intensity.

The student will work closely with hydrologists and land surface scientists and will need to have demonstrable skill working with computer codes written in FORTRAN and Python. 


Land-atmosphere coupling strength in the Horn of Africa

Supervisor: Toby Marthews

The Greater Horn of Africa is a region that combines the whole spectrum of tropical climates (from desert to rainforest) with the whole spectrum of human experience (from expanding economies to conflict zones) and is also at the front line of global vulnerability to the effects of climate change (e.g. DW 2018). Marthews et al. (2015, 2019) analysed East African data on drought risk and evapotranspiration in an attempt to deduce patterns that might be of use in predicting extreme meteorological and hydrological events in the region. Marthews et al. (2019) drew a link between evapotranspiration data and the strength of land-atmosphere coupling in different parts of the region and this project will attempt to quantify that link in a more robust way, perhaps leading to a novel way of predicting drought in this very drought-prone part of the world. 

Research questions 

· Is there a way to quantify the vulnerability of particular regions to the occurrence of extreme events? 

· Which land-atmosphere coupling index (-ices) can be used to predict drought occurrence and/or intensity in the Greater Horn of Africa? 


Deutsche Welle (2018). 

Marthews TR, Jones RG, Dadson SJ, Otto FEL, Mitchell D, Guillod BP & Allen MR (accepted 2019). The impact of human-induced climate change on regional drought in the Horn of Africa. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres).

Marthews TR, Otto FEL, Mitchell D, Dadson SJ & Jones RG (2015c). The 2014 drought in the Horn of Africa: attribution of meteorological drivers [in "Explaining Extremes of 2014 from a Climate Perspective"]. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 96:S83-88.