Postdoctoral Researcher – ETH Zurich

The Environmental Physics Group is a vibrant interdisciplinary team of researchers studying climate and oceans from regional to global scales.

Project background

A region of particular interest is the Southern Ocean, given its pivotal role in taking up heat and carbon from the atmosphere, thus being the most important oceanic region mitigating current climate change. In this context, we are searching for a postdoctoral researcher in ocean modeling within the framework of the SO-CHIC project funded by the European Commission (

The objective of this postdoctoral project is to quantify the uptake of heat and carbon in the Southern Ocean and the subsequent transport and storage of these two quantities in the ocean’s interior. To this end, we will use a combination of observations and numerical models, benefitting from the close collaborations with the other members of the SO-CHIC consortium and the rich set of new observations that will be gathered as part of the project. A particular focus of the project will be the determination of the role of sea-ice and polynyas in modulating this uptake in recent decades. The core modeling tool is the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS) configured for the entire Southern Ocean at full eddy resolving resolution.

Job description

The successful applicant will extend ROMS to better represent sea-ice, and then work with this extended model and observations to establish the seasonal to annual budgets for heat and carbon in the Southern Ocean and the similarities and differences between the two quantities. Of particular interest is the determination of the sensitivity of the uptake to changes in the state of the Southern Hemisphere climate system, especially to changes in the wind forcing and the surface buoyancy fluxes (including changes in sea-ice regime and glacial freshwater input). The postdoc will thereby interact closely with colleagues at the other partner institutions involved in SO-CHIC, especially LOCEAN-IPSL in Paris and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven.

The postdoctoral researcher will work in the Environmental Physics group of Prof. Nicolas Gruber and will collaborate closely with Dr. Matthias Münnich (senior scientist). The starting date of this position is late 2019 to early 2020. The position is guaranteed for two years with the possibility for a third-year extension.

Your profile

The ideal applicant has a Ph.D. degree in atmospheric, oceanic and/or climate sciences, environmental physics, or a closely related discipline with substantial expertise in modeling or advanced methods in data analyses. You have very good oral and written English skills, you are a good communicator, you like to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment, and you have demonstrated the ability to lead projects and write publications.

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