Senior Research Associate

University of East Anglia - School of Environmental Sciences

Applications are invited for the post of Senior Research Associate to undertake research in the physical oceanographic and meteorological processes in the Indian Ocean and Maritime Continent.  The SRA will work with Professor Adrian Matthews on the UK Natural Environment Research Council and US National Science Foundation funded Equatorial Line Observations (ELO) project.

The Maritime Continent is the tropical archipelago between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, consisting of the large islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, New Guinea, and the Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia, and many smaller islands, set amongst shallow seas. It lies at the heart of the tropical warm pool – the region of high sea surface temperatures that extend from the Indian Ocean into the western Pacific.  As such, it is sometimes termed the “boiler box” of the Earth’s climate system.  Multiple atmospheric convective systems (thunderstorms) over the area combine to produce a region of intense rainfall.  The energy liberated by these convective systems is a major heat source in the Earth’s atmosphere, and can drive weather and climate patterns across the globe.

The individual atmospheric convective systems over the Maritime Continent are organised into much larger systems, such as convectively coupled Kelvin waves (CCKWs) and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO).  The dynamics and interactions of CCKWs and the MJO are only partially known, and represent a major research challenge in tropical climate dynamics.  A crucial part of these systems are their interactions with the ocean, which can strongly modify the development and propagation of the atmospheric weather systems.

The ELO project seeks to understand the dynamics of CCKWs over the Maritime Continent, and their interaction with other modes of variability such as the MJO.  ELO is centred on a major fieldwork programme in the Maritime Continent, from November 2018 to February 2019.

The SRA will be responsible for the oceanographic part of the ELO field programme, under the supervision of the project Investigators.  This will involve the deployment, piloting and recovery of two ocean gliders in the eastern Indian Ocean, and analysis of the subsequent data to examine the role of ocean-atmosphere processes in CCKWs. They will lead publications to publish the results in international peer reviewed journals.

The research will be based within the Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS) at UEA.

Essential requirements for the post include a PhD in physical oceanography or meteorology or climate science, and a publication record showing evidence of international quality. You should have excellent oral and written communication skills, with experience of presenting results at conferences. You should be able to meet the essential criteria set out in the Person Specification.

This full time post is available from 15 June 2018 for a fixed term period of up to 19 Months.

Closing date: 19 March 2018.

The University is a Bronze Athena Swan Award holder, currently working towards Silver

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