Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


Job Board

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Position in Physical and Biogeochemical Oceanography, Climate and Numerical Modelling
Alberta, Canada
University of Alberta
  • Postdoctoral Researcher

Tallurutiup Imanga and Sarvarjuaq/Pikialasorsuaq, located in the northeastern region of Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic, comprise one of the most biologically productive marine areas in the Arctic Ocean and are vital to Arctic marine conservation plans due to their ecological and cultural significance. These regions are the sites of the largest polynyas in the world, as well as seasonally-recurring floe edges that support strong ocean upwelling, intense and critically-timed primary production, and crucial harvesting grounds for local Inuit communities. Fundamental to ecosystem functioning in these regions are variations in the physical and biogeochemical marine environment driven by seasonal cycles in solar radiation, sea-ice cover, glacial meltwater inputs, and atmospheric forcing. Climate change is altering the nature of many of these cycles, which in turn is having a broad range of effects on the marine environment and its associated marine ecosystem. 

We seek a highly motivated postdoc to be part of a recently funded project to explore the impacts of climate change in this critical northern region. This position is focussed on numerical modelling, with the goal to forecast and understand future changes in sea-ice conditions, offshore to nearshore waves, ocean circulation and ecosystem functioning in the region. Extensive observational datasets from nearby regions will also be available to ground-truth and evaluate model results. 

Specifics aims of the position will be to conduct high resolution numerical coupled sea ice-ocean-biogeochemical ocean modelling of the region using the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) model to simulate past, present, and future ocean conditions in the region. Initial tasks will be computational in nature, including coupling a wave model (e.g. Wave Watch III) into the local University of Alberta NEMO configuration, evaluating the model using historical data (hydrographic, biogeochemical, sea-ice), as well as data collected during the project. Depending on the results of the evaluation, the candidate may explore the role of vertical mixing, wave effects, sea-ice representation and surface drift, along with updated river and ice sheet runoff and iceberg calving to improve the base model simulation results. Then, the candidate will produce regionally downscaled atmospheric forcing sets based on IPCC climate scenarios, to drive regional ocean/sea-ice/biogeochemical model simulations out to 2100 to examine evolution of the conservation area in terms of sea ice conditions, ocean circulation and primary productivity. 

The candidate will be jointly supervised by Dr. Paul Myers and Dr. Maya Bhatia (Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta). The candidate will join a broad and diverse group of researchers interested in the fate of the Canadian north under climate change. The start date is flexible, although April 1, 2023 would be ideal. A remote start (from a Canadian city other than Edmonton) may be considered initially, but the candidate will need to be physically based in Edmonton for the bulk of the position. The position is initially for one year, with a second year likely based on satisfactory performance. Candidates should hold a PhD in Oceanography, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, or a related field. Applications should include a cover letter indicating your motivation and relevant research experience, thoughts on the research project, a detailed curriculum vitae, academic transcripts and the contact information for at least two referees. Applications should be emailed to Dr. Paul Myers (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Dr. Maya Bhatia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The review of applications will commence on 15 March 2023 and continue until the position is filled. Salary will be in the range of $55-60K plus benefits, depending on experience. 


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