Post-Doc: Tracking Of Plastic In Our Seas; Utrecht University

Job Title: 
Post-Doc: Tracking Of Plastic In Our Seas
Job Location: 
Utrecht, Netherlands
Full-time, 1-year with possibility of a 1.5 year extension
€ 2552 - € 4691
Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 14, 2017

Plastic in the ocean is a major problem, but our understanding of the distribution, pathways and fate of the plastic litter is very limited. The project ‘Tracking Of Plastics In Our Seas’, funded by the European Research Council, will create a novel comprehensive modelling framework that simulates plastic movement through the ocean, and uses that framework to significantly improve the understanding of the plastic pollution in our oceans.

The postdoc will develop a novel, highly efficient open-source code to track billions of individual virtual pieces of plastic through high-resolution ocean data. Building on the OceanParcels framework, the postdoc will write, test and analyse what is aimed to become the world’s most sophisticated Lagrangian ocean modelling code.

Working within a team, the postdoc will use this code on High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities to investigate how ocean currents move plastic around the ocean, by tracking billions of individual particles in high-resolution numerical models.


  • PhD in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Physics or similar field;
  • Very strong programming skills (preferably python and C);
  • Proven experience with the development of complex scientific models;
  • Proven experience with software development practices such as version control and unit-testing;
  • Ability to work as an independent researcher within a wider research team;
  • Ability to perform and publish high quality research, demonstrated for instance by a strong publication record in international peer-reviewed journals;
  • Excellent level of written and spoken English.


  • Proven affinity with physical oceanography.
  • Proven experience with High Performance Computing techniques and facilities
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