Postdoctoral Researcher in Dynamics of Decadal Sea Level Rise

University of Gothenburg Department of Earth Sciences

Postdoctoral Researcher in Dynamics of Decadal Sea Level Rise, Using Machine Learning

Ref PAR 2021/158


Göteborgs universitet möter samhällets utmaningar med mångsidig kunskap. 53 300 studenter och 6 500 medarbetare gör universitetet till en stor och inspirerande arbetsplats. Stark forskning och attraktiva utbildningar lockar forskare och studenter från hela världen. Med ny kunskap och nya perspektiv bidrar Göteborgs universitet till en bättre framtid.

The Department of Earth Sciences has 70 employees. We have Bachelor and Master’s programmes in Earth Sciences and in Geography as well as third-cycle education. Our strongest research areas lie within climatology, ecosystem sciences, geology and applied geoscience. The research strategy for the department emphasises further development of Earth System Science.

For more information, see:

Would damming the North Sea really protect northern Europe from sea level rise?

Climate change is a reality that can no longer be denied. Coastal cities around the world have to prepare for sea level rise and catastrophic flooding during storms. Yet as sea level projections focus on “by 2100”, urban planners fail to grasp the urgency of the situation – for example in Gothenburg, the decision to build a flood barrier was postponed till 2070! Moreover, local projections are not given much confidence, most likely because they are based on statistics rather than a real understanding of the complex dynamics behind sea level variability.

In this project called ‘NEEDS’, funded by FORMAS, we aim to provide much needed sea level and flood projections for the coming 30 years, using machine-learning based methods to help determine what the main drivers of sea level rise are over the wider North Sea. In particular, we want to verify whether the proposed Northern Europe Enclosure Dam would be relevant for Scandinavia, or whether local effects such as precipitation or river flow dominate the sea level variability.

Job assignments

You will be responsible for applying machine learning algorithms for data analysis. You, or a master student under your supervision, will:

1) identify spatial coherence in the Nordic  –  North – Baltic seas, to determine which wide regions covary, from daily to decadal timescales;

2) on these defined regions, determine the dynamical relationships between short-term sea level rise and local and remote processes;

3) contribute to producing flood projections using the dynamical models that you created in 2).

For 2), we envisioned a centaur approach where you would generate many neural networks, with and without each potential driver (everything from sea ice export through Fram Strait to hourly wind), to eliminate the drivers that do NOT contribute to sea level variability. We are however open to using a different method, based on your experience. 

You are expected to publish your findings in English-speaking high quality papers and attend relevant national and international conferences. Your work will be done in collaboration with the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the British Antarctic Survey, which you are expected to visit at least once. Funding has already been secured for these activities.

Efforts towards supervising your own BSc or Master’s students, developing your pedagogic qualifications, outreach, and writing your own proposals, will be encouraged and supported. Note that you do not need to speak Swedish, but will be supported if you want to learn the language


You can apply if:

  • You have been awarded a PhD less than three years ago (no earlier than March 2018);
  • Your PhD was in a relevant subject in applied engineering and/or physical sciences (climatology, physical oceanography and/or meteorology), through which you obtained skills in climate data analysis and machine learning or deep learning;
  • You have experience processing and analysing large spatial data sets and are proficient in a programming or scripting language such as Matlab, Python or R;
  • You authored peer-reviewed publications or technical reports where machine learning or deep learning methods where applied to climate data.

Previous experience with satellite altimetry data and/or high resolution atmospheric reanalysis is a merit.


The position is a temporary employment for two years with the extent of 100 % at the Department of Earth Sciences. First day of employment will be as agreed, however we would like to see this happen by 1st June 2021.

For further information regarding the position

Har du frågor om anställningen är du välkommen att kontakta

Project leader Dr Céline Heuzé,

Project co-investigator Dr Heather Reese,


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system.

The application must contain:

  • a personal letter with an explanation of why you are applying,
  • a CV (max 2 pages) with a publication list (no page limit), and the name and contact details of two reference persons, where one should be your PhD supervisor.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Do not email your application to Céline Heuzé or Heather Reese. Only the applications submitted via the only recruitment system will be considered.

Closing date: 2021-03-14

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Salary is determined on an individual basis.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

Till bemannings- och rekryteringsföretag och till dig som är försäljare: Göteborgs universitet anlitar upphandlad annonsbyrå i samband med rekrytering av personal. Vi undanber oss vänligen men bestämt direktkontakt med bemannings- och rekryteringsföretag samt försäljare av jobbannonser.