Two PhD positions in Marine Geophysics

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada) invites applications for two 4-year PhD positions in Marine Geophysics. The positions are funded through the Ocean Graduate Excellence Network (OGEN) of the Ocean Frontier Institute and are part of a large international and multidisciplinary research consortium (SOURCE: Offshore Groundwater Resources in a Changing Marine Environment: Continental Shelf Surrounding Prince Edward Island) lead by Dalhousie University and GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. More information about the SOURCE Project and OGEN can be found at and at, respectively.

The successful applicants will be awarded a competitive PhD funding package which covers tuition fees and includes stipend for living expenses, support for travel to conferences and field work at sea, and unique training opportunities through OGEN.

Research project

Groundwater represents the world's largest freshwater resource and provides drinking water for two billion people globally and over 10 million Canadians. Prince Edward Island (PEI) is 100% dependent on groundwater for both irrigation and drinking, but this resource has faced compounding stresses in recent years due to the extensive agricultural industry and the impacts of climate change. Freshwater offshore aquifers located beneath the seafloor may represent a new and critical water resource for PEI. SOURCE team will focus on the continental shelf surrounding PEI in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to discover, map, and characterize fresh offshore aquifers and to reconstruct the geological setting of the margin by using state-of-the-art geophysical, oceanographic, and geochemical equipment.

The goal of the two PhD projects will be to use a combination of high-resolution 2D and 3D P-Cable seismic and controlled-source electromagnetic data to image the upper 500 meters of the stratigraphic succession and to investigate the contained pore water salinity and its distribution.


The two PhD students will gain a thorough understanding of marine geophysical investigation techniques and will be trained in acquisition, processing, and interpretation of 2D and 3D reflection seismic (PhD 1) and controlled source marine electromagnetic data (PhD 2). The students will also gain knowledge of the regional geology and geological processes in the study area, and will collaborate on the simultaneous inversion of acoustic and electromagnetic data into a common earth model to define quantitative geological parameters, such as pore fluid salinity.

Both students will be involved in the data acquisition campaigns and will be encouraged to travel between the different institutions to directly work with all the project participants. They will also present key findings at international research conferences.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must have a MSc degree in Geophysics, Geology, or a related field. Priority will be given to candidates with a high cumulative GPA and expertise in acquisition, processing, and interpretation of seismic reflection data (PhD 1) and controlled source electromagnetic data (PhD 2). Computer programming skills are preferred.

International candidates must have satisfactory results from a standard language test, such as TOEFL (minimum score of 92 for the internet-based test); MELAB (90 minimum score) or IELTS (7.0 minimum score).

The supervisory team is composed by Vittorio Maselli and Mladen Nedimovic (Dalhousie University), Christian Berndt, Marion Jegen, and Amir Haroon (GEOMAR).

Applications can be sent to with a copy of curriculum vitae, academic transcripts, and cover letter.

Deadline for the application is 1 January 2021, and the selected candidates are expected to begin their PhDs on 1 May 2021 or 1 September 2021.

Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada's leading research?intensive University and a driver of the region's intellectual, social, and economic development. Located in the heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie is a truly national and international university, with more than half of our 18,800 students coming from outside of the province. Our 6,000 faculty and staff foster a vibrant, purpose?driven community, that's celebrated 200 years of academic excellence in 2018.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences has a long history of demonstrated excellence in research and teaching, with a current emphasis on marine geology/geophysics, tectonics, high temperature and experimental geochemistry/petrology and earth surface processes. It hosts various analytical and experimental facilities including the newly?established National Seismic Imaging Facility and the recently upgraded and expanded Marine Geology and Sedimentology Laboratory (MarGinS Lab).

posted: 10 November 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.