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Fachbereich Mathematik und Informatik - Institut für Mathematik

1 PhD Fellow Position Full-time Job Limited to 3 years außertarifliches Festgehalt: 3771,90 EUR (brutto) Reference code: PhD Fellowship Earth System Analysis

Bewerbungsende: 28.02.2021

1 PhD Fellow Positions (3-year) available in the field of Earth System Analysis at the FU Berlin and UCLouvain as part of the CriticalEarth project – a Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Innovative Training Network (ITN).

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Free University of Berlin offers one PhD Fellowship in Earth System Analysis referred to as early-stage researchers (ESR), starting between 01.03.2021 and 30.09.2021. The position is posted as part of the CriticalEarth project - “Multiscale Critical Transitions in the Earth System” - funded through the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme under Grant number 956170. Upon successful completion of the PhD programme, a double degree from both the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Free University of Berlin and the Sector of Sciences and Technologies of the Universite catholique de Louvain will be awarded.

We would like to encourage applications from candidates worldwide wishing to pursue a PhD degree in the field of Earth System Analysis with an interest in the following research areas: Applied Mathematics, Climate Physics, Paleoclimatology, Climate-Ecosystem interactions, Data-driven Climate Modelling, and Abrupt Climate and Ecosystem Transitions.

Scientific environment
You will be part of interconnected research groups investigating abrupt transitions in Earth system dynamics on different time scales, at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Berlin’s Free University, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the Earth and Life Institute of the UCLouvain, where secondments for one year will provide you with detailed knowledge of theoretical paleoclimatology and Bayesian inference. You will join an international network of 15 PhD Fellows (ESRs), trained to research new methods for assessing the mechanisms underlying critical transitions in the Earth system.
The position will offer you an excellent background, working within a strong, cross-disciplinary network among leading Universities and research institutions across Europe and with contacts to industry, governmental- and non-governmental institutions.

Project Description
Principal supervisor: Dr. Niklas Boers, group leader at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of Berlin’s Free University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
Second supervisor: Prof. Michel Crucifix, head of the School of Physics and group leader of the group of theoretical climatology at the UCLouvain, Belgium.

The project will focus on a data-driven investigation of abrupt transitions of potentially unstable components of the Earth system, such as the Greenland ice sheet, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, and the Amazon rainforest, their interactions and possible transition cascades, as well as their ecological impacts. The empirical data basis will come from paleoclimate reconstructions evidencing past abrupt transitions, as well as more recent time series of the variability of the Earth system components in question. Methodologically, the emphasis will be on a combination of techniques from nonlinear time series analysis, causality detection, Bayesian inference, machine learning, and stochastic dynamical systems. The focus of your work will be on investigating how these techniques can be used to understand and predict abrupt transitions in the aforementioned Earth system components and to assess their ecological impacts, including assessments of consequences of past abrupt climate transitions on ancient civilizations.

Job description:
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key task as a PhD student will be:
• To work independently, develop and carry through your research project
• Attend PhD courses to learn additional skills
• Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis with support from your supervisors.
• Teach and disseminate your research, participate in network-related and international conferences and workshops
• To stay at a partner research institution for 12 months to develop new skills
• Contribute to the everyday activities at the department

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in applied mathematics, physics, or similar.

Good English skills and programming skills in python or a similar language are expected. Previous knowledge of (paleo-)climate dynamics is of advantage.

Because the aim of EU ITN projects is to attract candidates from worldwide locations, applicants must not have resided and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary (i.e., Germany) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date — unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention . If you are applying from a location that requires a visa or permit, then we will be able to provide support and advice throughout the process of relocation for you and your family. Feel free to ask us questions in advance if you need more information and reassurance.

The applicant must be an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) i.e. at the time of recruitment she/he must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of her/his research careers and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

Application documents
• Cover Letter detailing your enthusiasm and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
• CV with relevant work experience (if any)
• Transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
• Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
• Names of two potential referees

Stellenauschreibung vom: 17.01.2021