Career Opportunities

Ph.D.-level Graduate Training Position in Biogeochemical Ocean Modeling

By Keith Cowing
August 2, 2009

Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With a population of 2,200 students (BSc and MSc) and 575 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty is organised in four Departments: Innovation and Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, and Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning.

Currently, we are looking to fill the following position within the Geochemistry group at the Department of Earth Sciences: PhD researcher in Biogeochemical Ocean Modeling

The PhD-researcher will be employed in a project on: Modeling Ocean Biogeochemistry in the mid-Cretaceous: reconstructing the nutrient-biosphere-climate link

Massive amounts of organic matter were buried in ocean sediments during mid-Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs). As yet, a quantitative understanding of the mechanisms and feedbacks responsible for the perturbation of the oxygen, carbon and nutrient cycles around OAEs is still lacking. In this project, general circulation modeling for the global ocean will be used to elucidate the triggers for global ocean anoxia during the Cenomanian/Turonian (C/T) boundary event (~94 Myrs BP). In particular, the role of changes in riverine inputs and upwelling intensity in determining nutrient availability and oxygen conditions in the Atlantic ocean will be addressed. Proxy and burial data from a companion project will be used to define model scenarios and to evaluate model results. The results of this study will greatly improve our ability to predict the consequences of current global warming on biogeochemical dynamics and the feedbacks on the biosphere and climate in the modern ocean.

Project partners include researchers at the Faculty of Biology and the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (IMAU) in Utrecht and the University of Bergen, Norway. Funding is provided by the Focus and Mass program of the Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University.


We are looking for a highly motivated individual with an MSc or equivalent degree in Geosciences, Oceanography, Environmental Sciences or a related field. Experience, or a strong interest in biogeochemistry and modeling is desirable. He/she should communicate easily in English, both verbally and in writing.

For more information:

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