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Postdoctoral Research Associate or Fellow

University of Exeter - Environment, Science and Economy

Location: Exeter
Salary: The starting salary for an Associate will be from £32,982 on Grade E, and for a Fellow it will be from £41,732 on Grade F (pro rata for part-time) depending on qualifications and experience.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 1st March 2024
Closes: 12th March 2024
Job Ref: P91088

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy 

The above STFC-funded full-time post is available, on a fixed term basis, from 1st April 2024 for up to three years. Starting dates later in 2024 are possible. We welcome applications from candidates interested in working part-time hours or job-sharing arrangements. 

The post

The Faculty wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Associate or Postdoctoral Research Fellow to conduct research into the formation and evolution of Jupiter’s polar vortex crystals, working alongside Dr Stephen Thomson, Dr William Seviour and Dr Jemma Shipton 

The successful applicant will advance our understanding of the crystalline arrangements of polar cyclones at both of Jupiter’s poles using a hierarchy of atmospheric models. The idea of the project is to investigate the mechanisms that may be responsible for both the formation of the polar vortex crystals and their maintenance against dissipation. The project will make use of a hierarchy of numerical models, beginning with quasi-geostrophic dynamics on a polar gamma plane through the moist shallow-water equations, and finally up to a state-of-the-art Jupiter General Circulation Model. The moist shallow water equation code will be based on the ‘Gusto’ finite-element modelling framework (developed by co-I Shipton), which has the ability to do adaptive mesh refinement, allowing for high resolution simulations of the vortex crystals. The GCM is based on the Jupiter configuration of the ‘Isca’ modelling framework (developed by the PI). The simulations using this model hierarchy will investigate key driving processes such as moist convection, beta-drift of polar cyclones, the role of vortex ‘shielding’, mixing of Potential Vorticity, the role of jets beneath Jupiter’s weather layer, and the interaction of forcing with dissipative processes such as radiative damping. The results will be compared with observations from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, involving collaboration with international partners. The project will also include an investigation of why the polar vortex crystals on Jupiter appear to be unique within the solar system. 

About you

The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events. 

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or nearing completion for PDRA) or equivalent qualification/experience in the field of atmospheric or climate dynamics, whether this be on Earth, solar system planets or exoplanets. The successful applicant will be a recognised authority in atmospheric fluid dynamics and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants will be able to contribute to large collaborative codebases, manage numerical simulations using high performance computing architectures, and interpret and process large amounts of model data. General knowledge of atmospheric fluid dynamics is essential, but Jupiter-specific knowledge is not required – we welcome applications from experts in Earth’s atmospheric dynamics, the atmospheric dynamics of solar system planets or exoplanets. 

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role by clicking on the attachment. 

To find out more about what we offer our staff, please visit: Benefits | Prospective Staff | University of Exeter 

For further information please contact Dr Stephen Thomson, e-mail s.i.thomson@exeter.ac.uk.  

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