PhD Position in Natural Science, specializing in Physical

Updated: 28 days ago
Deadline: 01 Jul 2021

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 53 500 students and 6 500 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.

University of Gothenburg
Faculty of Science
Department of Marine Sciences
Announcement for PhD student position

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.

PhD Position in Natural Science, specializing in Physical Oceanography

Type of employment:         Fixed-term employment, 4 years full time

Extent:                                100%

Location:                            Department of marine science (default text)

Degree:                               Natural Science, with specialization in Physical Oceanography

First day of employment:   According to agreement

Reference number            Set by the administrator

University of Gothenburg offer a PhD position at the Department of Marine Sciences.

The Department of Marine Sciences, the Faculty of Science, University of Gothenburg, was recently launched (July 1, 2015) with the purpose to achieve the vision of "A University of marine research, teaching and cooperation of the highest international class". The department has about 160 employees - researchers, teachers, students, technicians and administrators. The department carries out teaching and research in the various marine specializations, biology, oceanography, chemistry, and marine geology. Research is conducted both within specialized individual projects as well as within larger interdisciplinary programs. The Department is situated in Gothenburg and at the University's research stations at Tjärnö and Kristineberg. The current position is placed in Gothenburg.

Project: Shelf slope dynamics in the Sea of Oman – how submesoscale processes control food and water security.

This project aims to resolve the submesoscale processes which cause important and destabilizing harmful algal blooms (HAB) in the Gulf region. While the physical dynamics of the Sea of Oman are well resolved on meso- and basin-scales, the coupling between the basin circulation and shelf processes responsible for HAB generation is not well understood. The main drivers for local upwelling and the exchange of water and its properties across the shelf break are not fully resolved. In particular, the relative importance of the two dominant causes of upwelling (Ekman dynamics and eddy-topography interactions) and their interactions with the local Persian Gulf Water slope-current are not known. Cross-shelf coupling is strongly determined by processes on the sub-mesoscale with weak surface signatures preventing analysis through remote sensing. The high system complexity and the lack of adequate observations explain past difficulties in resolving cross-shelf transport and local upwelling responsible for HAB.

To address this challenge, we are deploying autonomous vehicles and a mooring array along and across the shelf edge to obtain a long-term high resolution physical and biochemical dataset capturing the process behind cross-shelf exchanges and HAB generation. We aim to identify how basin scale processes interact with both complex topography and the outflow from the Persian Gulf to modulate exchange and ageostrophic transport across the shelf edge. Specifically, we will assess how Ekman dynamics versus eddy-topography interactions control the intensity and extent of upwelling, the nature of upwelled water, and whether this water is transported on-shore leading to HABs. Resolving cross-scale coupling across the shelf edge is crucial to understanding implications for water and food security in this strategic region.

Job assignments

The successful candidate will contribute to our understanding of the underlying physical processes that control HAB generation in the region. More specifically, the PhD student will:

  • Assemble, quality control and process the successive SeaExplorer glider datasets, including the onboard ADCP data.
  • Analyse the glider data in the context of existing remote sensing and model data, and in combination with the deployed ADCP mooring to identify the multiscale physical processes triggering HABs.
  • Identify and investigate the principal drivers of upwelling and cross-shelf transport of water from the oxygen minimum zone.
  • Investigate how meso- to submesoscale ocean processes are responsible for the discrepancy between observed and modelled cross-shelf transport and HAB occurrence; and how these processes play a dominant role in vertical and horizontal transport of oxygen and carbon between the deeper oxygen minimum zone and the shallow coastal shelf region.

The PhD student’s main tasks are listed above. In addition, participation in fieldwork in Oman and remotely piloting the autonomous vehicles will be an important part of the project. The PhD student is expected to show independence, critical thinking and initiative during his/her studies.

The PhD supervisory team will consist of Drs. Bastien Queste and Sebastiaan Swart.

Third cycle education

Admission to third cycle education is aiming at a PhD in Natural Science, specializing in Physical Oceanography The education runs for four years of fulltime studies, containing three years of thesis work and one year of academic education (i.e. course work and literature studies). A selection of courses at the Department/Faculty is available, but national/international courses can also be selected.  You will be employed at University of Gothenburg, and salary follows the regulations at University of Gothenburg.

In addition to pursuing its his/her own research, PhD students are offered to teach, and contribute in the various boards of the department which extends the contract to the same extent-.


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.


Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for education on a doctoral level are given in SFS 1998:80. The main assessment is a judgement for the applicant to successfully complete the PhD education.


  • Master degree or similar in physical oceanography or related field (physics, data analysis)
  • Experience with scientific programming skills (Python or similar) is essential
  • Ability to process and analyse large datasets is highly desirable
  • Experience in glider data is highly desirable
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills in English

For further information please contact:

Bastien Queste:                         

Henrik Pavia, Prefekt
+46(0) 31-786 9685

Labour unions                                                    

Klas Eriksson
+46(0)31-786 19 89

Anna Nilsson
+46(0)31-786 43 00

SEKO: Salima Kamchane
+46(0)31-786 11 73

Closing date                                                                   


Appointment Procedure

Please apply on-line                                                     

The following should be included

  • A short cover letter with the applicant’s motivation for the position that describes how the applicant meets the selection criteria and how the application is well suited for the proposed work (max. one A4 page).
  • An attested list of qualifications (CV) that included possible publications
  • Examination certificates and a transcript of courses with grades
  • A copy of the master thesis (or equivalent)
  • Employments certificates and other documents deemed important by the applicant
  • Contact information for at least two references that are familiar with the applicant’s qualifications
  • Reference number should be clearly stated when sending complementary documents

The highest ranked applicants will be contacted for interview.

Complementary documents, such as publications/books should be sent, with clearly stated reference number, to the following address:

University of Gothenburg
Department of Marine Sciences
Att: Viktor Andersson
Box 461
SE-405 30 Gothenburg

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

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.

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.

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