Post-doctoral Research Associate in Antarctic Geophysics
University of Cambridge, Department of Geography
United Kingdom

  • Post-doctoral Research Associate in ANTARCTIC GEOPHYSICS (Fixed Term)

    International Antarctic research programme seeks motivated team member with experience in radio-echo sounding of glaciers

    In this post, you will join the joint NERC and NSF funded grant TIME: Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution, which is one of eight major science projects in the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC). The post-holder will be responsible for setting up and running a geophysical survey with autonomous phase-sensitive radio-echo sounding (ApRES) systems installed along the eastern shear margin of Thwaites Glacier. The successful applicant will join the Scott Polar Research Institute, founded in 1920 and recognized as a centre of excellence for studies in the Antarctic as well as the Arctic. The Institute is part of the University of Cambridge.

    Project TIME

    Project TIME is a major international partnership grant awarded to Poul Christoffersen (UK Lead PI, Cambridge), Slawek Tulaczyk (US Lead PI, University of California, Santa Cruz) and Co-PI's at Stanford University, University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, University of Leeds and MIT. The project is using state-of-the-art geophysical techniques to observe ice flow and properties in the shear margins that define the boundaries of Thwaites Glacier drainage basin. The Project will investigate the eastern shear margin, which the researchers hypothesise could migrate and thereby exert powerful control on the future evolution of ice flow.

    TIME will closely examine two sites on the Thwaites Glacier, using networks of GPS, broad-band seismometers, multiple ApRES and a 3D seismic survey. One site will test if hydrology influences the behaviour and movement of the shear margin. The other will examine if the bed conditions influence the behaviour of these rapidly deforming regions.

    If the Thwaites Glacier Eastern Shear Margin migrates outwards it could join the Pine Island Glacier, connecting the two glaciers which are already making large contributions to sea-level rise. The observations from TIME will be fed into computer models to improve predictions of future sea level contribution from the region.

    Role of vacant post in TIME

    You will work with Dr Christoffersen and be responsible for setting up and running surveys with ApRES. You will also be a member of the TIME Antarctic field group working on Thwaites Glacier in deep-field deployments in the austral summers of 2019/20 and 2020/21. Working alongside other scientists in a team, you will deploy four ApRES systems, set up with up to 16 antennas in "multiple input, multiple output" (MIMO), allowing interferometric data processing in 2D, and possibly 3D. You will be responsible for analysing and interpreting ApRES data, working with Dr Dustin Schroeder and members of his radio-glaciology group at Stanford University. The employment may include visits at collaborating TIME institutions in the UK and USA. As a member of TIME you will be working independently and also efficiently in a team tackling inter-disciplinary goals through analyses of wide-ranging scientific data. You will be motivated and willing to push the state-of-the-science in your field. The employment will include career opportunities facilitated by the wider ITGC, including initiatives by the programme's Scientific Coordination Office, which run designated retreats for early career scientists. You will participate in TIME project meetings, annual ITGC meetings, and you will present your research at international conferences.

    Further information

    Informal inquiries should be directed to Dr Poul Christoffersen by email,

    Fixed term: In the first instance, the funding supporting the post ends 24 months from appointment date.

    Interviews are expected to take place w/e 30th June 2019

    Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.


    Please quote reference LC19174 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

    The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

    The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

    Further information

    Apply online


    Department of Geography








    28 May 2019


    25 June 2019


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