Researcher on fine scale dynamics in the deep ocean – IFREMER

Job title : Researcher on fine scale dynamics in the deep ocean

Reference:  PV-2020-038

Department/Office :  Département Oceanographie et Dynamique des Ecosystemes

Unité de recherche – Laboratoire d’océanographie physique et spatiale

Équipe de recherche «Océan hauturier et Interactions d’échelles océaniques »

Duty station:  Brest, Bretagne, FR , France

Deadline for applications : 12/07/2020

The Institute and the recruiting departement 

A pioneer in ocean science, IFREMER’s cutting-edge research is grounded in sustainable development and open science. Our vision is to advance science, expertise and innovation to:

  • Protect and restore the ocean
  • Sustainably use marine resources to benefit society
  • Create and share ocean data, information & knowledge.

With more than 1,500 personnel spread along the French coastline in more than 20 sites, the Institute explores the 3 great oceans: the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A leader in ocean science, IFREMER is managing the French Oceanographic Fleet and its dedicated scientists create ground-breaking technology to push the boundaries of ocean exploration and knowledge, from the abyss to the atmosphere-ocean interface.

Well-established in the international scientific community, our scientists, engineers and technicians are committed to advance knowledge about our planet’s last unexplored frontiers. They provide the science we need for informed decision-making and public policy and they transfer this knowledge and technology to businesses to fulfill public and private needs. Core to our mission is also to strengthen public awareness about the importance of understanding the ocean and its resources, and empowering future generations of leaders through education and outreach national campaigns.

Founded in 1984, IFREMER is a French public organization and its budget approximates 240 million euros. It is operating under the joint authority of the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

General areas of responsibility 

The Laboratory of Ocean Physics and Satellite remote sensing (LOPS) is a Joint Research Unit placed under the supervision of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer), the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the University of Brest (UBO). It is also a laboratory of the European University Institute of the Sea (IUEM). As a research unit, LOPS develops and participates in research programs in oceanography which contribute to the development of knowledge on ocean dynamics at different time and space scales and which study the relationships of the ocean with other compartments of the Earth system such as the atmosphere, sea ice and living organisms.

Within the scientific team “Ocean Scale Interactions” of UMR LOPS, under the authority of the head of the Ifremer laboratory “Deep Ocean and Ocean Scale Interactions”, the recruited person will lead an original research project on fine scale dynamics in the deep ocean.

General areas of responsibility

Compared to surface processes, the small-scale processes deep into the ocean are still little explored. It is nevertheless in the bottom layer that a significant part of the energy of the global ocean dissipates and that turbulent processes generate the mixture which will determine the physical and biogeochemical properties of the ocean water masses on a large scale.

These bottom boundary layers are an area of development of small-scale structures that are energetic and leading to significant mixing. But due to the difficulty of observing them so far, these small-scale processes in the deep ocean are still largely unknown.

Understanding the dynamics of the deep ocean is also an essential issue in order to better understand the problems linked to hydrothermal plumes and deep ecosystems and to assess the environmental impacts linked to the exploitation of mineral resources.

These bottom layer fine-scale processes are not taken into account in large-scale models. This partly explains the first-order uncertainties regarding the quantification of biogeochemical flows, and in particular of micro and macro-nutrients at the topography-water column interface. A better understanding of the processes of deep fine scales may allow, ultimately, the establishment of parametrization of physical and biogeochemical flows at the topography-water column interface which will benefit to large scale models, notably climatic, and to geosciences.

The LOPS “Ocean Scale Interactions” team has developed a great expertise in the turbulent dynamics of the oceans, based both on the theoretical analysis of the geophysical fluid dynamics, and on the development and use of suitable numerical models of those processes.

The recruited person, physical oceanographer, will specialize in bottom layer processes and current – topography interactions. The scientific objectives are to better understand the dynamics of fine scales in the deep layers of the ocean as well as the impact of these dynamics on ocean circulation on a larger scale and on physics-biology-lithosphere interactions.

Principal activities

The recruited person must carry out an original research project on the subject set out above. He / she can base his/her approach on a combination of theoretical models, in-situ data analysis with high spatial and temporal resolution, and numerical simulation.

He / she can be brought to contribute to data collection via the realization of dedicated campaigns and to propose technological developments preparing the future of in-situ measurements on fine scale in the interior and deep ocean.

To carry out his scientific project, he / she will pilot proposals, supervise doctoral and post-doctoral students, promote his research through scientific publications, presentations at international conferences, and communication to the general public.

Collaborative work environment

  • Internal collaborative relationship

The 4 research teams and the Technical Service of In Situ Observation (TOIS) of the UMR LOPS. Within Ifremer, the geosciences and deep ocean ecology laboratories.

  • External collaborative relationship

The other local research units of the Brest site (mainly within IUEM), national and international research units in the scientific field, with most of which the LOPS already collaborates.

Required Knowledge, skills, and characteristics

  • PhD in physical oceanography and post-doctoral experience, one of which preferably abroad.

Required knowledge, skills and characteristics

  • Knowlledge, skills and abilities
  • Scientific research skills in the field described here
  • Knowledge on geophysical fluid dynamics
  • Data analysis techniques and / or numerical simulations for the study of fine scales processes
  • Good level of English
  • Human qualities
  • Research spirit and intellectual curiosity to understand ocean dynamics
  • General interest on marine sciences
  • Ability to interact with collaborators from other disciplines
  • Strong autonomy
  • Recognized expertise
  • Strong writing skills (in English)

Specific working conditions

  • Full-time job, opportunities for work at sea.

How to apply for this position

Deadline for applications: 12/07/2020

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