2 funded PhD student positions, ice and climate modelling, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

2 funded PhD student positions in ice and climate modelling are being offered in the glacial dynamics group at Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's campus, Canada, starting September 2018.

Position 1: Fully funded PhD studentship in coupled climate and ice sheet modelling

A preliminary Bayesian calibration of a global coupled ice and climate model for the last glacial cycle. From LGM onward, glacial geology and RSL data provide a strong set of constraints which are a challenge to fit. Conversely, prior to LGM, there are few constraints on ice sheet evolution aside from global (accurately far-field) sea level proxies. However there are many more constraints on regional climate from ice core records, palynology, and marine core records.

This calibration will therefore focus on pre-LGM global ice sheet and climate evolution relying more on paleoclimate constraints. If necessary, additional components/parametrizations (such the cooling effect of significantly increased atmospheric dust loading during glacial conditions) will be added to increase the climate system response to orbital forcing in order to ensure that the model can replicate glacial cycle evolution of sea level and regional temperature as inferred from proxy records. This project will also examine the stability of the last glacial cycle to evaluate which features of the cycle were robust and which are sensitive to noise in the system (eg from large volcanic events).

Depending on student interest and progress, the project may also include refinement of a Climate Generator: A Bayesian stochastic emulator of expensive General circulation climate models for glacial cycle modelling context.

Applications are invited from candidates with an interest in climate system modelling and Earth systems science. Applicants must have their BSc and/or Masters degree in physics, geophysics, applied mathematics, or closely related fields. Applicants must also be interested in working in a collaborative environment in computationally intensive projects. To apply, see details at the end of this notice.

Position 2: Fully funded PhD studentship ice sheet modelling

Ice streaming dynamics/controls over last glacial cycle and Heinrich events. In collaboration with Claude Hillaire-Marcel (UQAM, Montreal) and Chris Stokes (Durham University), this project will investigate the dynamical controls on the pattern of ice streaming over the last glacial cycle for the North American ice complex including those associated with Heinrich events.

The project will entail comparison of BICICLES and 3D Glacial Systems Model (GSM) runs to examine the impact of adaptive mesh refinement and higher order ice physics on modelled ice sheet evolution and ice streaming. If possible, building on the work of LeMorzadec and Tarasov (2015), these comparisons will be used to develop parametric corrections to the GSM to partially compensate for its lower order ice physics and more limited ice sheet model resolution. The role of sub-glacial hydrology (including stochastic components) in ice streaming will also be quantified.

Applications are invited from candidates with an interest in modelling ice sheets and Earth Systems science. Applicants must have their BSc and/or Masters degree in physics, geophysics, applied mathematics, or closely related fields. Applicants must also be interested in working in a collaborative environment in computationally intensive projects.

To apply for either position

Required skills:

- Some experience in coding in F90 (or F95) or C, and analysis packages such as OCTAVE/MATLAB, R, CDO, ...

- Knowledge of general physics and some exposure to fluid dynamics or continuum mechanics (even better with understanding of geophysical fluid dynamics and/or atmospheric or ocean physics or glaciology)

- Fluency in relevant maths (linear/matrix algebra, partial differential equations, and vector calculus)

- Familiarity with Linux

The group has a dedicated 920 core cluster and access to further computational resources through Compute Canada.

Associated benefit: the spectacular natural environment of Newfoundland, Canada.

Start date: 1 Sept 2018

Details of graduate studies in Physics and Physical Oceanography at Memorial University can be found at http://www.mun.ca/physics/graduate_students/

Interested students should contact Lev Tarasov, Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John's, NL A1B 3X7 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. http://www.physics.mun.ca/~lev/

and include the following:

1. A cover letter including your name, academic status and contact details, as well as the names and contact details of two faculty advisers from whom confidential letters may be sought.
2. A statement of interest including long-term academic plans, research interests,...
3. A short resume/CV, including a list of courses taken, and grades.
4. A self evaluation of strong and weak research skills, skills you particularly want to develop, and likes and dislikes associated with research and modelling.