Ref PAR 2023/540
The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 37 000 students and 6 000 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.
The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.
PhD student: Oceanography
The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 37 000 students and 6 000 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future. The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.
The Department for Marine Sciences (http://marine.gu.se/english/) is Sweden’s most complete academic environment for marine research and education, and it is one of few such institutions in Europe. The Department for Marine Sciences brings together expertise in physical oceanography, marine chemistry, marine biology, marine geology, and marine heritage conservation. Research and education are conducted in our premises in Gothenburg, at the two marine research stations Kristineberg and Tjärnö, and on the research vessel Skagerrak.
How does turbulent mixing drive oxygen supply and consumption in oxygen minimum zones? Observations of turbulent fluxes of oxygen and nitrate from autonomous underwater gliders.
Subject area description
The decline in ocean oxygen content is one of the most alarming consequences of anthropogenic climate change. Oxygen minimum zones, which cover 8% of the world’s oceans and are already naturally deprived of oxygen, are particularly vulnerable to deoxygenation. The recent decrease in oxygen concentration has led to disproportionate expansion and intensification of OMZ, causing marine habitat compression; increased greenhouse oxide emissions; and reduced nutrient availability for surface productivity.
OMZ are naturally occurring layers in the ocean, generally from 100 to 1000m below the surface, along large upwelling sites where oxygen consumption exceeds oxygen supply, leading to low concentrations or absence of oxygen. Oxygen consumption is driven by respiration of organic matter and varies with its amount, type and respiration depth along with oxygen and nitrate concentrations. Oxygen is primarily supplied to OMZ via advective seawater transport and vertical ocean mixing; biological supply of oxygen (through photosynthesis) plays a negligible role due to the depth of OMZ.
OMZ have grown over the last 50 years and global climate models predict widespread deoxygenation of the oceans. However, not all regions are forecast to lose oxygen; in fact most OMZ are forecast to increase in oxygen concentration, contradicting recent observations. Why is this? Leading climate models severely underestimate deoxygenation in OMZ but accurately resolve decreases in solubility, indicating that the remaining uncertainty is due to unresolved circulation, mixing or respiration.
In this project, we will deploy autonomous underwater gliders in the Arabian Sea, equipped with state of the art sensors to measure currents, finescale turbulent mixing, oxygen and nitrate. As a group, we want to resolve this circulation, mixing and respiration at the fine scale to understand how OMZ will evolve in future.
This studentship will focus on working with turbulence microstructure data collected by the gliders in the Arabian Sea to look at vertical fluxes of oxygen down and/or upward nutrient fluxes which fuel production. The aim is to identify the contribution of small-scale ocean processes to the net oxygen balance in the OMZ. The first fieldwork season will be from Autumn 2023 to Spring 2024.
The successful candidate will contribute to our understanding of how different ocean features (topography, eddies, fronts, winter water) promote turbulent mixing of oxygen into the OMZ and nutrients to the surface. More specifically, the PhD student will:
- Participate in fieldwork campaigns for this project and others of the FLOW Lab. Contribute to piloting the autonomous vehicles.
- Assemble, quality control and process the successive microstructure datasets from the SeaExplorer glider campaigns.
- Analyse the glider data in the context of existing remote sensing and model data, to understand diapycnal fluxes of biogeochemical properties.
- Investigate how meso- to submesoscale ocean processes are responsible for the discrepancy between observed and modelled rates of oxygen supply and consumption in the Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone.
- Publish and present their work in internationally recognized journals and conferences.
- Participate in the activities of the FLOW Lab and contribute to mentoring BSc and MSc students.
- Contribute to teaching in the BSc program (10%, with compensated time).
The PhD student is expected to show independence, critical thinking and initiative during their studies. The PhD supervisory team will consist of Bastien Queste and a co-supervisor to be determined together. The PhD student will be part of the FLOW Lab (https://www.flow-lab.org/), and will also work closely with the Polar Gliders group (https://www.polargliders.com/).
The qualifications for education on a doctoral level are: either degree in advanced level, or at least 240 ECTS, of which 60 are on an advanced level, or in another way acquired similar knowledge.
Upon appointment the degree of ability to successfully complete the PhD program will first be evaluated. Only applicants who are admitted to the PhD program at the Dep. of Marine Sciences may be hired.
- Masters degree or similar in oceanography or related field (physics, data analysis).
- Experience with scientific programming skills (Python or similar) or a strong willingness to learn is essential.
- Proven ability to process and analyse large datasets is highly desirable.
- Experience of working with oceanographic sensor data is a plus.
- Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills in English.
Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for education on a doctoral level are given in SFS 1998:80. Only a person that is admitted to a doctoral level education can hold the position. The candidates will be judged for their ability to successfully complete the program. In addition to pursuing their own research studies, the holder of the position may be required to perform duties such as teaching, research, and administration according to special regulations.
Oral and written communication skill in English is a requirement.
The highest ranked candidates will be invited for an interview that may be conducted in English and in some cases via phone/internet.
- Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 48 months
- Extent: 100%
- Location: Department of Marine Sciences
- First day of employment: As agreed
For further information about the position
Please contact Bastien Queste: firstname.lastname@example.org
Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg: http://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/job-opportunities/union-representatives
How to apply
In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system, and submit the following documents:
- Personal letter explaining the applicants merits in relation to the position
- CV, with a complete list of university courses that the applicant has passed
- Electronic copies of earlier scientific contributions (e.g. master thesis)
- Description of other relevant merits.
- Certificates and other documents that you wish to refer to.
- Name of 1 reference persons (e.g. earlier supervisor).
It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.
The application is to be written in English.
Closing date: 2023-05-31
The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.
Salary is determined on an individual basis.
Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.
The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.
Salaries are set individually at the University.
In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.