Postdoctoral Research Associate – UNSW

The Coastal and Regional Oceanography group is a dynamic team of researchers, including postdocs, technical staff and PhD students conducting research focussed on the dynamics of the East Australian Current System and the continental shelf circulation along the coast of SE Australia. The team are based in the School of Mathematics and Statistics which has been ranked number one in Australia for each of the past six years and has many strengths notably in Oceanography, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Data Science, and Statistical Analysis and Methods.

The primary research goal of the group is to make a major contribution to understanding and predicting our coastal oceans. The group uses modern in-situ observations (e.g HF radars, moorings, and gliders) and satellite remote sensing in combination with advanced numerical modelling to explain fundamental coastal ocean dynamics, and to gain an integrated, quantitative understanding of their impacts on coastal ocean bio-geo-chemical processes. The group are a lead organisation in Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (, responsible for the ocean-observing programme along southeastern Australia. The group has expertise in the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) and 4DVar data assimilation, with strong links to international collaborators. The group collaborate locally with state agencies on applied aspects of bio-physical oceanography.

The role of the Postdoctoral Fellow: Physical Oceanographer involves research into the dynamics and prediction of the East Australian Current. In an effort to derive maximum benefit from the present and proposed ocean observing system the objective of the role is to conduct Observing System Simulation Experiments using the regional ocean modelling system (ROMS) to guide future ocean observing initiatives. Using synthetic ocean observations and assimilating them into a predictive model, we will investigate the improvement in the model estimates, allowing us to improve both our ocean observing strategy and model predictions.  

About the role

  • $96K – $103K plus 9.5% Superannuation and annual leave loading
  • Fixed Term – 18 months.
  • Full time (35 hours)

The role reports to Professor Moninya Roughan.

Specific responsibilities for this role include:

  • Configure, run, monitor and validate ROMS models of the East Australian Current System.
  • Lead research in the use of data assimilation to investigating observing system design in the coastal ocean independently and as part of a team.
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of an operational hydrodynamic modelling system.
  • Provide model development, data analysis, and research as required to support various projects.
  • Lead and contribute to the writing of scientific papers and reports for international journals and progress reporting to other researchers and industry partners.
  • Assist with the coordination of research activities and actively contribute to research outputs to meet project milestones.
  • Contribute to the preparation of research proposal submissions to funding bodies and actively seek collaboration with industry partners as appropriate.
  • Participate in and/or present at conferences and/or workshops relevant to the project as required.
  • Assist with the supervision of research students in the research area where required.
  • Cooperate with all health and safety policies and procedures of the university and take all reasonable care to ensure that your actions or omissions do not impact on the health and safety of yourself or others.  

About the successful applicant

  • A PhD and documented research experience in physical oceanography.
  • Highly competent using the ROMS hydrodynamic model (preferably in a regional application).
  • Experience in Data Assimilation techniques (preferably variational methods, e.g. 3D-Var/4D-Var) although experience in ensemble methods is also desirable.
  • Strong track record in regional dynamical oceanography; and the ability to analyse and critically assess oceanographic models and observational data.
  • Proficiency working with and organising large geophysical datasets including model output
  • Experience analysing datasets available from ocean observing systems (e.g Argo, satellite, HF Radar, glider and oceanographic mooring data).
  • Excellent programming ability, including proficiency in Fortran, Matlab or Python, NCL and NetCDF and experience working in a Linux environment.
  • Strong scientific writing skills in English, as evidenced by publications in internationally recognised, high ranking, peer-reviewed journals. Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research with limited supervision.
  • Demonstrated track record of publications and conference presentations relative to opportunity.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team, collaborate across disciplines and build effective relationships.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to communicate and interact with a diverse range of stakeholders and students.
  • Attention to detail and an ability to prioritise tasks and manage projects in a timely fashion.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training.


  • Experience working in a High Performance Compute environment, preferably the Australian National Computational Infrastructure, and experience with remote access.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and due to current travel restrictions, preference may be given to applicants who have Australian work rights and are located in Australia.

You should systematically address the selection criteria listed within the position description in your application. For informal queries, please see the below contact details. 

Otherwise, please apply online – applications will not be accepted if sent directly to the contact listed.

Prof Moninya Roughan

Applications close: August 24th, 2020

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