Postdoc position in advanced data mining and analysis of marine plastic pollution

The amount of plastic in our ocean is growing rapidly, with estimates of more than 5 million metric tonnes of plastic reaching the ocean each year. This plastic infiltrates the ocean food web and thus poses a major threat to marine life. However, the understanding of the distribution, pathways and fate of plastic once in the ocean is very limited.

In the project ‘Tracking Of Plastics In Our Seas’ (TOPIOS), funded by the European Research Council, we will create a novel comprehensive modelling framework that simulates plastic movement through the ocean, and use that framework to significantly improve the understanding of the plastic pollution in our oceans.

You will work within the TOPIOS project, focusing specifically on data analysis of the distribution of plastic in the ocean. You will combine published data from the literature and public datasets with output from ocean circulation models, to help create a map of the three-dimensional distribution of plastic in our oceans. During the project, you will be involved in:

  • automated processing of the literature to collate a database of observations of plastic in the ocean;
  • analysis of the database using advanced statistics;
  • together with others in the team, combining the observational data with numerical simulations;
  • writing and presenting the results to scientific peers, the general public and the media.

At the end of the Postdoc project, you will have:

  • a deep understanding of the scale of the problem of global plastic pollution;
  • embedded yourself in the global community of scientists investigating marine plastic pollution;
  • further developed your skills to communicate your scientific results to a wide audience.

Qualifications Our ideal candidate has a driven and collaborative spirit and:

  • a PhD in Physics, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics or a similar field;
  • experience with data mining and/or natural language processing;
  • the ability to cooperate within a wider and interdisciplinary research team;
  • an excellent level of written and spoken English.

Preferably you also have a proven affinity with physical oceanography and strong skills in python programming.

Closing date June 13, 2020