PhD position (m/f/d) in the area of ocean surface layer energetics

Reference code: 50042619_2 – 2020/KO 8
Commencement date: as soon as possible
The place of employment is Geesthacht.

One scientific focus of the Institute of Coastal Research is the investigation of ocean turbulence and mixing, and its impact on climate. The Institute uses and develops cutting edge observational methods, such as autonomous vehicles, as well as climate, regional, and turbulence-scale computer modelling. The position will be a part of the Small-scale Physics and Turbulence group.

We invite applications for a potential PhD position (m/f/d) in the area of ocean surface layer energetics to complete the project tasks. The position is initially limited to three years with a preferred starting date as soon as possible.

The project is subject to the approval of funding by the German Research Foundation, and is part of the second phase of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) "Energy transfers in atmosphere and ocean" conducted together with partners from the Universities of Hamburg and Bremen, as well as others. The candidate will use autonomous ocean glider vehicles to measure ocean turbulent energy transfers in the surface layer of the ocean, and communication between the surface layer and the deeper ocean. The goal of the research project is to develop process understanding and parameterisations that lead to improved, energetically consistent, climate models. Close collaboration with the other research areas of the CRC is expected, and more information can be found at

Your tasks

  • scientific evaluation and analysis of physical oceanographic data from a variety of instrumentation
  • participation in cruise campaigns including the preparation and operation of autonomous vehicles
  • the development of mathematical models to parameterise relevant ocean processes
  • scientific publications and presentations at national and international conferences and workshops

Your profile

  • Masters degree in oceanography, fluid mechanics, geosciences, mathematics or related disciplines
  • solid background in oceanography, engineering, or physics, or environmental science
  • excellent programming skills (e.g., experience with any of Python, MATLAB, C, Fortran, or R)
  • willingness to participate in research cruises
  • excellent knowledge of English (written and oral)
  • good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • high degree of creativity and flexibility

Desirable qualifications:

  • knowledge of geophysical or environmental fluid mechanics
  • knowledge of autonomous vehicle operations and data analysis
  • experience with oceanographic measurements
  • experience with handling large datasets

We offer

  • multinational work environment with over 1,000 colleagues from more than 50 nations
  • extensive options of vocational training (i. a. expert seminars, language courses or leadership seminars)
  • flexible working hours and various models to ensure the compatibility of family and career
  • excellent infrastructure, including a scientific in-house library as well as modern work spaces
  • remuneration according to the standards of the collective wage agreement TV-AVH including further social benefits

The promotion of equal rights is a matter of course for us. Severely disabled persons and those equaling severely disabled persons who are equally suitable for the position will be considered preferentially within the framework of legal requirements.