PhD scholarship in Marine Ecosystem Modelling

fredag 10 jul 20

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Frist 25. september 2020
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DTU Aqua seeks a candidate for a three-year PhD scholarship in the area of marine ecosystem modelling to explore dispersion and connectivity patterns in the biological communities in the Atlantic Ocean. The PhD position is available in the Section for Ocean and Arctic at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) in Lyngby, Denmark. The starting date is 1st December 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The scholarship is linked to the EU H2020 project MISSION ATLANTIC: Towards the Sustainable Development of the Atlantic Ocean. MISSION ATLANTIC considers a fully holistic and integrative approach to assess the state of the whole Atlantic including past, present and future ecosystem state in response to multiple stressors. The research will focus on mapping present and establish the future 3D distributions of Atlantic biomes and their pressures with respect to physical, biological, chemical and seafloor attributes to support the sustainable use of marine resources. The contribution of this PhD project is to investigate variability, trends and patterns in the Atlantic-scale biological connectivity across biogeographical regions, and driven by ocean currents and selected life history traits. It will complement Lagrangian approaches driven by global ocean models to simulate active and passive dispersion, replicating connectivity patterns from known areas of higher trophic level significance (e.g. spawning areas). Model results are to be compared with available data including newly developed genomic indicators.

Responsibilities and tasks
The overall aim of the PhD project is to determine and assess patterns of biological connectivity across biogeographical regions in the Atlantic Ocean. The project includes the development of numerical models, management and analyses of big data, assessment of seasonal to decadal variability in environmental conditions and ocean transport.

The specific tasks include:

  • Coupling high-resolution GCM outputs to a generic framework for individual based modeling
  • Using, and contributing to the development, of existing numerical models
  • Simulate past, present and future biological connectivity across a range of life history traits
  • Compare model simulations with available data and disseminate results
  • Contributing to the development of MISSION ATLANTIC modelling approaches and to the research communication
  • Collaborating with other PhD students and across the large international network in MISSION ATLANTIC 

Candidates should 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.

We are looking for a candidate who has:

  • Degree and/or experience in marine science and engineering, applied mathematics, mathematical ecology or a related field with a background in numerical analysis and modelling
  • Experience in working with numerical models and coding
  • Experience in physical – biological coupling in marine ecosystems
  • Flexibility concerning research stays abroad
  • 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

The application must contain a motivation for why you want to undertake your research at DTU Aqua, your interest in this topic and a two-page description of your own project ideas including a state of the art, and how the research will link to fulfil the project aims.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate willbe enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

Assessment of applicants with the qualifications listed above will be made by Senior Researcher  Patrizio Mariani, Senior Researcher  Asbjørn Christensen and Head of  Section for Oceans and Artic Karen Edelvang, DTU Aqua.

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

Salary and appointment terms
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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Patrizio Mariani,

For general information on the PhD application please contact Rikke Hansen, tel: +45 35 88 30 01

Please do not send applications by email but apply online as described below.

You can read more about the institute at

Please submit your online application no later than 25 September 2020 (23:59 local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. 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)
  • A description of proposed research (max. 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • Recommendation letters from senior professionals are welcomed

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Description of Oceans and Arctic at DTU Aqua, Technical University of Denmark
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.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.