Researcher in Physical Oceanography, on the dynamics of the Arctic Basin (M/F) in Brest at IFREMER - ENGLISH

Date Posted: 1/10/2023

Job Snapshot

Job Description

Job title : Researcher in Physical Oceanography, on the dynamics of the Arctic Basin (M/F)

Reference:  PV-2022-039

Department/Office :  Département Oceanographie et Dynamique des Ecosystemes

Unité de recherche - Laboratoire d’océanographie physique et spatiale

Duty station:  Brest, Bretagne, FR , France

Starting date on the job :

Deadline for applications : 21/02/2023



The Institute and the recruiting departement

A pioneer in ocean science, IFREMER’s cutting-edge research is grounded in sustainable development and open science. Our vision is to advance science, expertise and innovation to:

  • Protect and restore the ocean
  • Sustainably use marine resources to benefit society
  • Create and share ocean data, information & knowledge.

With more than 1,500 personnel spread along the French coastline in more than 20 sites, the Institute explores the 3 great oceans: the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A leader in ocean science, IFREMER is managing the French Oceanographic Fleet and its dedicated scientists create ground-breaking technology to push the boundaries of ocean exploration and knowledge, from the abyss to the atmosphere-ocean interface.

Well-established in the international scientific community, our scientists, engineers and technicians are committed to advance knowledge about our planet’s last unexplored frontiers. They provide the science we need for informed decision-making and public policy and they transfer this knowledge and technology to businesses to fulfill public and private needs. Core to our mission is also to strengthen public awareness about the importance of understanding the ocean and its resources, and empowering future generations of leaders through education and outreach national campaigns.

Founded in 1984, IFREMER is a French public organization and its budget approximates 240 million euros. It is operating under the joint authority of the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the french Ministry of the Sea, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.



General areas of responsibility

The Laboratory of Ocean Physics and Satellite remote sensing (LOPS) is a Joint Research Unit placed under the supervision of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer), the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the University of Brest (UBO). It is also a laboratory of the European University Institute of the Sea (IUEM). As a research unit, LOPS develops and participates in research programs in oceanography which contribute to the development of knowledge on ocean dynamics at different time and space scales and which study the relationships of the ocean with other compartments of the Earth system such as the atmosphere, sea ice and living organisms.

The polar regions, in particular the Arctic basin, are the regions of the globe where climate change is the most rapid and strong. If the melting of the sea ice is the most striking expression of these changes, it is also accompanied by major transformations of all the components of the Arctic system: atmospheric warming is twice as fast there as at the equator, precipitation and freshwater inflows by rivers increase very sharply, the decrease in ice cover reveals new ice-free areas where the stratification of the water column, sea states or even exchanges between the continental shelves and the deep ocean are very strongly modified. All these local and regional changes in ocean dynamics and sea ice at high latitudes are likely to have important consequences for global ocean circulation and climate. Despite the climatic and geopolitical issues at stake in this region, observations are still few in number, numerical simulations of the Arctic basin diverge very strongly, and the dynamics of the ocean and sea ice are still poorly understood.

Within the scientific team "Ocean and Climate" of the Joint Unit LOPS, placed under the authority of the head of the Ifremer laboratory "Off-shore Ocean and Interactions of Ocean Scales", you will carry out an original research project in physical oceanography, in order to better understand the physical processes important for the ocean dynamics of the polar regions and the interactions between the sea ice and the ocean.


General areas of responsibility

 Your research work will focus on understanding the Arctic system and its integration into the global system. They may focus on the dynamics of sea ice, on the interactions between the atmosphere, the pack ice and the ocean, on the role of small-scale processes, or even on the mechanisms involved in climate trends and seasonal to decadal variability of the thermal, haline contents and of the large-scale circulation in the Arctic Basin.


This work may use in situ or satellite data already acquired, or to be acquired via future instrumental developments specific to this region, or on idealized or realistic modelling tools (ocean and/or sea ice models, and/or or coupled). You will be able, for example, to rely on the high-resolution ocean-sea-ice models developed in the laboratory (in particular within the framework of the GDRI Drakkar, the ANR ImMEDIAT or the CMEMS ArcticMix and WIzARd projects), or on the observations in situ from future campaigns carried out as part of the ERC WAAXT project or high-resolution satellite measurements (Sentinel campaigns for example) of sea or ocean ice in marginal ice zones. You can get involved in the new “PPR Climarctic “ project that has started in the end of 2022 for a 6 years duration.



Principal activities

The main activities associated with your position are as follows:

  • conduct research on understanding the Arctic system and its integration into the global system (i.e. dynamics of sea ice, interactions between the atmosphere, sea ice and the ocean, on the role of small-scale processes, circulation large scale in the Arctic Basin, ...)
  • identify and implement the most appropriate approach to conduct this research. This approach may be based on idealized or realistic modelling tools (ocean and/or sea ice, and/or coupled models), on in situ or satellite measurements, or on a combination of the two approaches.
  • contribute to the development and implementation of these tools with the members (engineers, technicians, researchers) of the laboratory. This may involve developing model configurations, defining future observation campaigns or future instrumental developments specific to this region.
  • setting up research projects in response to calls for tenders (national, European and international).
  • ensure the supervision of students (master, thesis) and post-doctoral students
  • contribute to the influence of the laboratory through appropriate scientific production
  • possibly, feed existing databases
  • expand the collaborative network of national and international laboratories



Collaborative work environment

  • Internal collaborative relationship : The four research taems of the LOPS laboratory, the technical service for in situ observation
  • External collaborative relationship : The local, national and international laboratories with which the LOPS already collaborates, new collaborations to be implemented in connection with the scientific project, as well as the space agencies.



Required Knowledge, skills, and characteristics


PhD in physical oceanography, with post-doctoral experience, preferably abroad.



Required knowledge, skills and characteristics


Knowlledge, skills and abilities

  • Skills in scientific research in the field described by the job description
  • Knowledge of geophysical fluid dynamics
  • Advanced data analysis methods
  • Knowledge of in situ measurement techniques in oceanography
  • Knowledge of scientific computing
  • Good level of English, and strong writing skills in English
  • Recognized scientific expertise


Personal qualities

  • Spirit of research and intellectual curiosity to understand the processes
  • Interest in the scientific context and themes of current LOPS projects
  • Ability to dialogue with collaborators from other disciplines
  • Ability to work in a team, within the LOPS as well as within project consortia
  • Strong autonomy



Specific working conditions


  • Full-time job
  • Possible campaigns at sea





How to apply for this position

Deadline for applications: 21/02/2023

All applications are processed exclusively via our website. Interested candidates can apply by clicking the “Apply” button.