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PhD scholarship in Fish population dynamics, Physical oceanography – DTU, Denmark, 2022

Denmark, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

A 3-year PhD fellowship in fisheries oceanography is offered by the National Institute for Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) at the Technical University of Denmark in the section for Oceans and Arctic.

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General Info

Position: PhD scholarship
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: ,
Joining Date: June 01, 2022
Contract Period: 3 Years
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Section for Oceans and Arctic
National Institute for Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua)
Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Lyngby, Denmark

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Qualification Details

You should have several or all of the following skills:

  • Background knowledge and experience in some or all of the following: recruitment processes, fish population dynamics, the physical oceanography and climate of the north Atlantic (especially the Greenland-Scotland ridge region)
  • Experience and proficiency in handling and analysing large data sets, including from physical oceanographic models, and preferably using Matlab and R
  • Flexibility concerning research stays abroad, especially in the Faroe Islands
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and orally
  • Ability to conduct research independently and problem solving skills
  • Strong interest in participating in an inter-disciplinary and international research environment
  • Willingness to contribute to a positive and inspirational work atmosphere

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Responsibilities/Job Description

You will be responsible for compiling, analysing, interpreting and presenting oceanographic, atmospheric and fisheries data. The project involves time series analyses, handling of spatio-temporal datasets and utilization of output from general circulation models, using e. g. particle-trackingl approaches. The project integrates physical oceanography and fisheries ecology/oceanography and will expand our understanding of how climate variability affects blue whiting population dynamics and fisheries.

As the ideal candidate, you will either be a quantitative marine ecologist/fisheries scientist with ability and interest in learning and applying physical oceanographic process knowledge in fish population models, or a physical oceanographer with an interest in applying and integrating knowledge of atmosphere-ocean dynamics in the north Atlantic with fish population dynamics.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
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Documents Required

To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma including official description of grading scale

About the Project

The overall aim of the project will be to improve our understanding of physical processes affecting recruitment and distribution of this species.  Focus will be on establishing links between ocean-climate processes (e. g., roles of air-sea interaction, subpolar gyre dynamics, regional circulation, hydrographic and bathymetry) and the early life history of the species, as well as identifying ways to use this new knowledge for improving stock assessments and fishery-related forecasts for this species.

Blue whiting plays a major role in the northeast Atlantic food web, because it is an important prey for many higher trophic level species, including charismatic animals such as whales, dolphins and seabirds. Blue whiting is also an important predator of zooplankton and competes with other zoo-planktivores (e. g., herring) for food, both in the open ocean and along the margin of shelf ecosystems. Knowledge of factors affecting blue whiting abundance and distribution are essential for ensuring sustainable foodwebs, ecosystems and both pelagic and demersal fisheries in the region.  Your results will contribute to new ecosystem-based approaches to management of this species and to UN Sustainability Development Goals related to Life Below Water (UN SDG 14).

The project is a research cooperation between DTU Aqua and the Faroe Marine Research Institute (FAMRI), and it is part of a larger programme of ocean-climate research in the Faroe-Greenland area supported by the Research Council of the Faroe Islands There will be excellent opportunities for networking, synergies and collaboration with other projects running in the program, including with other early-career scientists (e. g., Ph.d. students).  This Ph.d. project will be supervised by experts from both DTU Aqua and FAMRI. You will be expected to be based for an extended period of time at FAMRI to facilitate scientific collaboration and extend your professional network.

About the Department

The research spectrum of the Section for Oceans and Arctic covers oceanography, population ecology, observation technology and the Arctic. The research into oceanography integrates biological, physical and chemical parameters’ interactions in the ocean, ranging from individual plankton to regional seas. We focus on understanding the key processes that govern the structure and function of pelagic food webs, as well as climate and ecosystem interactions with a strong focus on quantitative methods.

The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the dynamics of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. DTU Aqua has ca. 260 employees, of whom a third are scientific staff. The other employees are assistant biologists, laboratory technicians, IT employees, administrative staff, ship’s crew, student assistants etc. The institute is organized into eight scientific sections that carry out the research, educational and advisory activities. In addition, the institute has a number of scientific and administrative support functions, including the research vessel DANA. DTU Aqua has employees in Kgs. Lyngby, Silkeborg, Nykøbing Mors and Hirtshals as well as on Dana.

About the Employer: Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Note or Other details

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. This involves extended stay at FAMRI in the Faroes Islands, which are situated in the confluence of major currents systems, and on the feed-spawning migration route of blue whiting.

We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

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Contact details

Further information may be obtained from Prof Brian MacKenzie ( or senior research scientist Jan Arge Jacobsen (

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