Post-doctoral Fellowships – CSIR

3 Post-doctoral Fellowships in Ocean Modelling


NSTITUTION:The CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) is a leading scientific and technology research organisation, implementing projects throughout Africa and making a difference in people’s lives.

INTRODUCTION:The CSIR’s Southern Ocean Carbon – Climate Observatory programme is seeking 3 (three) Post-doctoral Researchers as part of a collaboration between its Ocean Systems and Climate group and the Marine Research Institute (Ma-Re) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). These appointments are linked to 3 EU H2020 projects in which CSIR-SOCCO is a partner. The opportunities are based in the Rosebank, Cape Town office of the CSIR, formalized through a research associate fellowship at Ma-Re, UCT. The appointments are temporary for a period of two years (with the possibility of an extension for a third year). The post-doctorate research will align with the science plans of the Southern Ocean Carbon – Climate Observatory (SOCCO); a multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary South African initiative whose aims are to understand the link between climate and the carbon cycle in the Southern Ocean ( 

POST DOC 1:Southern Ocean CO2 and Heat Uptake: The future role of the Southern Ocean in influencing the rates of global warming depends critically on the sensitivity of its uptake and storage of heat and anthropogenic CO2. This sensitivity is thought to be largely dependent on the response in the physics of the mixed layer and sea ice system to climate change. This post-doctoral fellowship aims to use air-sea CO2 re-constructions, high resolution models as well as Earth System Models (ESMs) to examine the climate sensitivity of the mechanisms that explain CO2 and heat ocean – atmosphere fluxes in the Southern Ocean. 

POST DOC 2:Southern Ocean Emerging Feedbacks in Carbon Cycle: The sensitivity of coupled ocean – atmosphere physical and ocean biogeochemical mechanisms to climate forcing can lead to regional non-linear responses that lead to changing feedbacks, thresholds of abrupt change and tipping points. This post doctoral fellowship aims to use the South African ESM in combination with other CMIP6 models to examine how non-linearities in the carbon cycle can be linked to specific physical and biogeochemical mechanisms, their scales and dynamics in the Southern Ocean. 

POST DOC 3:Post Doc 3: Southern Ocean Biogeochemical Model Development: The sensitivity of the ocean biological carbon pump to climate forcing is critical to project changing carbon feedbacks in the second half of the 21st century, particularly in the Southern Ocean. SOCCO is looking for a biogeochemical modeller for model development through improved parameterisations of physiological processes for phytoplankton in coupled biogeochemical-physical models. Experience is required in parameterisations for functional responses to multiple drivers. In addition the post-doc is expected to work with observational data collected under varying conditions that will be used to derive and implement new relationships into numerical models. Some experience in observational oceanography / biogeochemistry would be beneficial.

EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES:The infrastructure available to support this work includes: high precision lab and ship CO2 observations; high precision ship-based underway pCO2 observations; high precision wave glider based pCO2 and pH observations; high resolution buoyancy glider physics and bio-optics; high resolution ocean modelling capabilities on the Centre for High Performance Computing and the South African Earth System Model.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:• To initiate further independent research within the strategic objectives of the current programme. • Assist with PhD/MSc supervision of students in support of the SOCCO/UCT-Ma-Re human capital development mission. • Lead, assist and supervise field data collection and model development • Contribute to the writing of numerous reviewed journal publications, of which the successful candidate would be expected to be the lead author of at least two.

EXPERTISE:• A PhD in Ocean CO2 or biogeochemical modelling and or observations but with some modelling experience • Experience in acquiring and processing large global data sets as well as running and analysing model outputs. • Proficiency in Python coding

MONEY AND DURATION:The Post doc is for R350 000 per year (tax free) for 2 years (with the possibility of an extension for a third year).

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:Should you meet the above requirements, please send your cv and the contact details of 2 referees to Dr Pedro Monteiro:


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