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Post-doctoral research associate in palaeoclimate modelling using water isotopes (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Department of Earth Sciences

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £32,236 to £39,609
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 25th March 2019
Closes: 27th April 2019
Job Ref: LB18587

The Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, is seeking a Post-doctoral research associate (PDRA) in paleoclimate modelling to support the interpretation of a new ice core. The new core will be used to assess the state of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at the last interglacial. The PDRA position is part of the WACSWAIN project, funded by the European Research Council. 

The PDRA position is for 2 years. We are seeking someone to start in summer 2019. The successful applicant will join the WACSWAIN team (, led by Prof. Eric Wolff at University of Cambridge, and will be supported by the paleoclimate modelling group, led by Dr Louise Sime at the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge. 

In 2018/19 the WACSWAIN team retrieved a new 651 m core to bedrock at Skytrain Ice Rise, bordering the Ronne Ice Shelf and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).  The PDRA will use the differences in the oxygen isotope record from Skytrain Ice Rise and from existing ice cores in other parts of Antarctica to assess the status of the WAIS in the last interglacial. This will involve using water-isotope-enabled GCMs to study the differences in isotopic response based on different scenarios of ice sheet history. A range of ice sheet histories from modelling experiments are available from the literature and database archives as input. Additionally the PDRA will assess possible changes in bed (and therefore ice) elevation at Skytrain Ice Rise, working in collaboration on GIA modelling led Dr Pippa Whitehouse at Durham University. The PDRA will both evaluate existing isotope-enabled GCM simulations and as necessary run further simulations with new WAIS change scenarios. The isotope enabled modelling will be supported by the British Antarctic Survey paleoclimate modelling group. 

Applications are invited from candidates with relevant expertise and knowledge in climate modelling using GCMs. Experience specifically with palaeoclimate modelling, and/or water isotope modelling, and/or with the HadCM3 model would be advantageous. Candidates must be confident in handling climate model output, and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of palaeoclimate and ice core science.  

The candidate will have (or be about to obtain) a PhD in a relevant area and in addition to the skills discussed above will have good communication skills, the ability to work in a team, good IT and data handling skills, and preferably a track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals. 

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance. 

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit :

Enquiries concerning this position should be directed to Prof. Eric Wolff ( 

Please quote reference LB18587 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy. 

The University and the Department are committed to equality and diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. The University holds an institutional Athena-SWAN silver award and the Department is a bronze award holder. Details of some of the family-friendly policies operated by the University are at:

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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