Postdoc position “Flocculation potential of marine sediments and monitoring of flocculating sediment plumes in the field”

The Department of Ocean Systems (OCS) is looking for a highly motivated postdoc candidate with a background in ocean sciences or geosciences to further the knowledge of flocculation processes occurring in natural and man-made suspensions of marine sediment (principal investigator dr. Henko de Stigter).

2020-11-02 16:33:08


VACANCY ID:         2020 - 59

CLOSING DATE:    December 7th 2020



Researchers in the Department of Ocean System Research (OCS) study open-ocean processes and aquatic ecosystems from a variety of disciplines including physical and chemical oceanography, marine geology, paleoceanography, and deep-sea ecology. We investigate the past and present ocean to assess its future role in the Earth system. We collect data during oceanographic research cruises and conduct experiments both at sea and in the laboratory at our home base on Texel. The department carries out work in diverse environments all around the globe, from the Antarctic to the Arctic, and from the Caribbean to the North Sea.



Where fine-grained marine sediments are being brought in suspension and become subject to transport by currents, flocculation processes play an important role in speeding up settling and redeposition of the sediment. Understanding of factors controlling the flocculation process, and ability to predict how flocculation will affect the settling of suspended sediments, is of key importance in assessing the dispersion and impact of man-made sediment plumes generated by offshore dredging and deep-sea mining operations. In PLUMEFLOC, a collaborative project of Technical University Delft and NIOZ in which also partners from the offshore industry participate, flocculation processes are investigated at the micro-scale of physical interactions between sedimentary particles, at intermediate scale in lab experiments with flocculating sediment suspensions, and at macro-scale involving monitoring at sea of flocculating natural and man-made sediment plumes. Within this project, you will 1) establish relationships between parameters describing texture and composition of natural sediments, such as particle size, mineralogy, content of total organic matter and of specific organic compounds, and the potential of these sediments to form flocculating suspensions, making use of analytical facilities available at NIOZ and 2) assist in experiments carried out at sea, directed at improving instrumental capabilities for in-situ monitoring of  suspended sediment plumes, including flocculation processes occurring in these plumes. In both 1) and 2) there will be a strong interaction with the research group of TU Delft.



We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with doctoral degree in Earth sciences or Oceanography, or a related field. Practical experience with both analytical lab work and with seagoing work involving the use of oceanographic sensors is desirable, and the willingness and aptitude to learn and develop these skills are essential. Familiarity with analysis of time-series data from oceanographic sensors like ADCP, OBS and LISST is highly appreciated. To collect data and sample material, participation in a number of oceanographic research expedition(s) of 2-3 weeks’ duration is expected to be an important component of this project.

Furthermore, you should be capable of planning and organizing your work and you should be interested in taking a leading role in directing the course of your own research within the overall framework of the project. Proficiency in spoken and written English is essential, as you will present your results at international conferences, and write manuscripts to submit to peer-reviewed scientific journals. Your position will be hosted by the Department of Ocean Systems (OCS) at the Royal NIOZ on the island of Texel, The Netherlands.



Employment of this position at Royal NIOZ is by NWO (The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). We offer a position for a period of 1 year (fulltime). At the end of this first year, the employment will be extended for a fixed-term of a maximum of 2 years (fulltime), if the first-year evaluation held with the employee is positive. The salary is compliant to the CAO-OI (Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Research Institutes). A pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus, and flexible work arrangements are part of the employment conditions. 



For additional information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Henko de Stigter (principal investigator) or prof. dr. Gert-Jan Reichart (department head).

For additional information about the procedure, please contact Alexandra Noppeney (senior HR advisor).

Learn more about the Department of Ocean Systems here.

Interviews will be held online (Microsoft Teams).


Share on:
Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Share with a friend:
Mail a friend