Research Associate/Research Fellow in Plate Tectonics and Geodynamics

  • Opportunity to participate in an exciting industry collaboration project
  • Based at School of Geosciences, Camperdown Campus
  • Full time, fixed term for 18 months offering a base salary of $93K - $128K p.a., plus leave loading and generous employer's contribution to superannuation

About the opportunity

We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic researcher at either a Level A or Level B to join the research team for the STELLAR project group (Spatio TEmporaL expLorAtion for Resources). STELLAR is a collaboration between BHP and the EarthByte Group at the University of Sydney aimed at implementing big and complex spatio-temporal data analysis and modelling to support BHP's global resource exploration. It will advance the integration and analysis of physical, chemical and dynamic properties of the Earth through geological time.

This position will combine plate tectonic reconstructions and mantle geodynamics in collaboration with the other streams of this project (paleogeography, surface processes, and spatio-temporal data mining). The applicant will need advanced GIS skills (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS, Generic Mapping Tools, etc.) to synthesise a range of geological constraints, and incorporate it into existing and new databases. This position will require advanced use of GPlates in creating, modifying and analysing relative and absolute plate motions, evolving plate topologies, and deformable plate reconstructions. By drawing upon prior experience in geodynamic modelling, the successful applicant will deploy mantle flow simulations (e.g., using CitcomS, etc.) and derive time-evolving parameters such as temperature fields and dynamic topography. The applicant requires advanced Python scripting experience to create, modify, and deploy pyGPlates and other Pythonised well-documented, easy to use, and interoperable workflows.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for Research Associate/Research Fellow who has:

  • a PhD in Geosciences or a closely related field - PhD near completion will also be considered
  • expertise in computational geoscience and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • expertise in resource exploration
  • programming experience, particularly using Python
  • experience working collaboratively as part of a team
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills

To apply for this position, please address the following questions in a cover letter that you attach to your application:

  • What attracts you to this position? Which research skills and experience can you bring into the project?
  • Outline your background in using a range of tools to reconstruct Earth's past tectonic and geodynamic state, and how you applied this to de-risk resource exploration.
  • Outline your experience in working as part of a team, including industry partners (if applicable).

If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Astar or Linden Joseph at


Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

Visa sponsorship is only available for this position for candidates who are currently located within Australia.

Closing date: 11:59 pm (Sydney time) 2 July 2021

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit and search by the job requisition number 0080823 to apply.

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

© The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

posted: 03 June 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.