Marine Ecological Modeller

Job reference:
BAS 21/82
Contract type:
Full Time
Fixed Term Appointment (2.5 years)
Starting from £31,931 to £39,915 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
Ecosystems team
BAS Cambridge
Closing date:
27 June, 2021 3:37 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


We are seeking a marine ecological modeller to join the ‘CUPIDO: Calculating the strength of the plastic pump in counteracting the deep export of oceanic carbon’ research programme, which has been funded through a UK Research Innovation Future Leader Fellowship to Dr Clara Manno. CUPIDO aims to identify the biological mechanisms that facilitate the export of plastic from the surface to the deeper layers of the ocean and to quantify the impact of this export on the ability of the ocean to uptake carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


The post-holder will develop a depth-resolved model to investigate how biological-microplastic interactions affect the vertical flux of carbon through the year and hence the ability of the biological carbon pump to sequester carbon in the ocean depths. The model analyses will focus on the Mediterranean Sea and the Southern Ocean, two contrasting regions characterised by high and low plastic debris input respectively. The model will simulate the potential accumulation of microplastic in specific water layers, and identify changes in residence time of carbon through the water column as a function of the ratio of particulate plastics to particulate carbon. A specific focus will be to describe the change in the composition of zooplankton faecal pellets with depth through the water column due to the incorporation of microplastic into the pellets. In situ data collected by the CUPIDO team, together with additional existing datasets, will be available to parameterise the model.

The demands of the above objectives means that a suitable candidate will be highly experienced in marine plastic pollution and/or the ocean carbon cycle. A PhD in a relevant discipline and demonstrable experience of modelling and computer programming skills are essential. A familiarity with the wider issues of zooplankton dynamics is also desirable.

The post-holder will work within the British Antarctic Survey Ecosystems team, which includes scientists involved in studies of zooplankton dynamics and their role in biogeochemical processes, and the impact of environmental stressors on the operation of the ecosystem.


PhD in environmental marine ecology or relevant equivalent experience.


  • Contribute to the preparation and planning of CUPIDO research activities, including supporting fieldwork planning in terms of data collection
  • Synthesise key datasets for model parameterisation
  • Develop and implement a depth resolved carbon export model that includes the effect of microplastic ingestion by zooplankton
  • Prepare parameterisation datasets and model output for curation in appropriate data centres (e.g. Polar Data Centre, British Oceanographic Data Centre)
  • Lead and publish high quality, timely and relevant peer-reviewed research related to the CUPIDO objectives
  • Form and maintain national and international relationships and collaborations for scientific research with the Antarctic and Mediterranean research communities
  • Travel to national and international meetings to present research findings
  • Proactively pursue and contribute to future research grant opportunities
  • Engage with stakeholders and the general public to communicate the objectives of the CUPIDO project

Please quote reference: BAS 21/82
Publication date: 27/05/2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 27th June 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 13th July 2021

BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job and will provide necessary adaptations for the interview. We are open to a range of flexible working options, including job sharing, to support childcare and other caring responsibilities.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language. - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Strong IT skills. - Essential

Decision Making

  • Ability to work independently, but also to keep seniors informed. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Must be able to work as part of a team and represent the project to others - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Evidence of time-management skills - Essential
  • Experience of managing projects - Desirable [3]

Numerical ability

  • Strong numerical ability with a high degree of statistical literacy and mathematical modelling - Essential

Other Factors

  • Self-motivated, with confidence to present complex pieces of work in an understandable way to a range of audiences - Essential


  • PhD in environmental marine ecology or equivalent. - Essential
  • A good publication record, some post-doctoral experience. - Desirable [1]

Resource Management ability

  • Ability to manage a budget. - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Experience in ecosystem/biogeochemical modelling. Knowledge in carbon cycle and/or plastic pollution. - Essential

In order to apply, please complete and upload all the application forms listed below. If you experience any issues in uploading your Application Form, please email us your complete application, making reference to the job reference and title.

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.