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Research Associate in Ocean Biogeochemical Modelling

Heriot-Watt University

Location: Edinburgh
Salary: £36,023 to £44,263 per annum (Grade 7)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 1st February 2024
Closes: 29th February 2024
Job Ref: 3557

Contract: Full time (35 hours per week), fixed term (26 months)

The successful candidate will be part of the Ocean Carbon-And-Nutrient-Dynamics (Ocean-CANDY) research group at the Lyell Centre, working on the Horizon Europe and UKRI (Innovate UK) funded project ‘Ocean-ICU’ (Ocean-Improving Carbon Understanding; https://ocean-icu.eu). The Ocean-ICU project aims to produce new data, information and understanding of the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle. This position is in support of two Ocean-ICU work packages: WP2, Current state of the ocean carbon cycle; and WP3, Impact of climate stressors on the Biological Carbon Pump. The work planned is a collaboration between LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environment, Paris) and the University of Exeter (Exeter Marine and Atmospheric Science group), and will involve a number of extended visits to these institutions. 

Key Duties & Responsibilities 

The successful appointee will be expected to undertake the following:

  • Parameterize diverse calcifiers and dissolution rates in the PISCES biogeochemical model;
  • Design sensitivity experiments and conduct simulations using NEMO-PISCES, with a focus on comparison of alkalinity reconstructions with ocean observations;
  • Undertake a number of funded research visits to the partner organizations; 
  • Co-supervise team members (doctorial students, undergraduate project students);
  • Write and publish articles in peer-reviewed journals that highlight findings from the research, and present research findings at conferences and workshops.

The candidate will explore how biogeochemical model parameterizations of pelagic calcium carbonate producing organisms in terms of biodiversity and dissolution of their carbonate tests influences ocean alkalinity. The candidate will parameterize different types of pelagic calcifiers and diversity of their dissolution rates in the NEMO-PISCES (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean, Pelagic Interaction Scheme for Carbon and Ecosystem Studies) in order to test how modeled alkalinity reconstructions can better match alkalinity observations (e.g., from the Global Ocean Data Analysis Project).

Education, Qualifications and Experience (i.e. Person Specification)

Essential

  • PhD degree (or near completion, or equivalent) in a relevant field (such as mathematics, physics, earth sciences, oceanography, marine biogeochemistry or similar);
  • Experience using a biogeochemical model such as PISCES;
  • Familiarity with coding and running computer models, good programming skills in Python or equivalent and writing scripts; 
  • Experience in the application of advanced statistical methods/tools to analyze and visualize model data; 
  • Track record of peer-reviewed published work and conference presentations as appropriate for career stage;
  • Ability and desire to work in a closely interacting team, but also independently as required by the specific tasks involved in delivering the work; 
  • Good communication and scientific writing skills; proficiency in English. 

Desirable

  • Experience using ocean biogeochemistry models to examine carbon cycle processes;
  • Advanced knowledge of the ocean carbonate chemistry and the carbon cycle;
  • A relevant level of knowledge of marine ecology, marine biology or biological oceanography; 

Applications can be submitted until midnight on the 29th February 2024.

When applying, please include a CV and cover letter addressing these selection criteria.

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