Postdoctoral Fellow in numerical ice-sheet modelling

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 26 Feb 2023

Ref. No. SU FV-0394-23

at the Department of Geological Sciences . Closing date: 26 February 2023.

Stockholm University is a leading European university in one of the world’s most dynamic capitals. The University has more than 29 000 students, 1 400 doctoral students and 5 700 staff members active within the natural sciences and humanities.

The Department of Geological Sciences is a department within the Faculty of Science with courses at master's, bachelor's and orientation levels. The department supports a broad range of basic research within marine geology, geochemistry and classical geology.

Project description
Assessing the role of ice-dammed lakes in driving ice sheet demise. The impounding of proglacial lakes between a retreating ice front and surrounding ice-free land fundamentally changes the modes and rates of mass loss from an ice sheet. New reconstructions, being carried out by the project team at Stockholm University, show that large tracts of the late-stage Fennoscandian Ice Sheet terminated in ice-dammed lakes, varying from small alpine lakes, to 100-km scale lake complexes, to the 1000-km calving front of the Baltic Ice Lake. Today, the Greenland Ice Sheet sheds large volumes of surface water into ice-marginal lakes, and future Greenland projections suggest a similar scenario to that of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet will develop.

Yet, while studies of ice sheet – open ocean interaction have advanced considerably in recent years, physical model treatment of ice sheet margins terminating in ice-dammed lakes remains limited, and the mechanisms, magnitudes and rates of ice sheet change due to proglacial lake damming are poorly explored.

This two-year post-doctoral project aims to investigate the physical consequences of proglacial lake damming for grounding line mass balance and ice-marginal flow dynamics. 

We propose that the project will use ISSM (the Ice sheet and Sea level System Model), as it is currently used by other researchers at the Department, but we are open for use of alternative models. This project will implement the model for the ice-lake case in Fennoscandia, with specific emphasis on the relative importance of mass loss mechanisms, whether dynamic responses arise and/or are required to explain rates of retreat, the scale-dependence of such feedbacks, and the consequences of rapid lake drainage: ultimately, what is the effect of lake impounding compared to a land-terminating case?

The study forms an integral part of projects funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) and by the Knut & Alice Wallenberg foundation that are investigating deglaciation of lake-terminating ice margins around Fennoscandia, both the mountainous margins and the Baltic basin. The appointed post-doc will join a group (led by Sarah Greenwood) presently working on data-driven geological reconstructions of patterns and rates of ice sheet change in Fennoscandia, and will work alongside a parallel group in the Department conducting numerical modelling investigations of the North Greenland ice sheet sector (led by Martin Jakobsson & Nina Kirchner). Plenty of opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration in-house should be anticipated, as well as potential collaboration with project partners in Bergen, Norway.

Main responsibilities
The main tasks for the candidate will be to set up the chosen model for Fennoscandian Ice Sheet settings, and carry out experiments to investigate the impact and magnitude of forcing processes. The candidate will be expected to collaborate with those working on geological reconstructions to optimise the experiments for different ‘real world’ cases. Results from the project work shall be disseminated through peer-reviewed research articles to be published in international scientific journals.

Qualification requirements
Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria and selection
The doctoral degree must have been completed at the latest before the employment decision is made, but no more than three years before the application closing date. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances. Special reasons refer to sick leave, parental leave, elected positions in trade unions, service in the total defense, or other similar circumstances as well as clinical attachment or service/assignments relevant to the subject area.

The candidate should have a strong background in geophysics, physics or applied mathematics with an interest to develop expertise in the modelling of cryosphere­–ocean­–climate interactions. Documented previous experience of numerical ice sheet modelling, glacier modelling, ocean modelling or Earth System modelling is essential. Likewise, it is advantageous to have documented experience in using High Performance Computing infrastructure, and in pre- and postprocessing input to and output from numerical simulations. We seek candidates with innovative approaches to ice sheet modelling and data comparison/ integration who will drive advances in understanding of ice/lake processes and feedbacks.

We are looking for a creative and highly motivated person, who can work both independently and in collaboration with others, and work effectively to deadlines. Selection among eligible candidates is based on their expected capacity to complete the project tasks. The appointment process will consider the applicant's documented knowledge and skills within the subject of their proposed specialisation, quality of oral and written communication in English, capacity for analytical thinking, creativity, ability to take initiative, as well as publication record (articles in peer-reviewed international journals of good quality, lead authorships), experience in organising or leading work tasks, research activity (networks, applications for financing), and communication skills (conference presentations, outreach). The evaluation is based on previous education and experience, quality of previous published research, ambition expressed in the motivation letter, description of the proposed project direction, professional recommendations and, potentially, interviews.

Terms of employment
The position involves full-time employment for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years, with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date Spring 2023 or as per agreement.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact Dr Sarah Greenwood, .

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, , Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, , and (SEKO).

Apply for the position through Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. We recommend that you submit your application, including the necessary documents, in English.

Please attach the following information to your application:

  • Contact and personal information
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact information for at least two references

In addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV, including degrees and other completed courses, and work experience of relevance
  • Publication list (peer-reviewed)
  • Research proposal (maximum 2 pages) describing how you intend to address the project's research goals as specified in the project description, including:
    • Why and how you want to run the project
    • What makes you suitable for the work plan that you describe
  • Copy of PhD certificate. If your PhD is not yet completed, please give the anticipated date of completion.
  • Up to 2 letters of reference
  • Up to 5 selected publications

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position .

You are welcome to apply!

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