Research Associate, Carbon Biogeochemist

Hobart, Australia
24 May 2019
End of advertisement period
23 Jun 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


The Research Associate – Carbon Biogeochemist position will contribute to the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership (AAPP), a new research program funded through the Antarctic Science Collaboration Initiative of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. The AAPP brings together government and non-government entities to deliver and lead a significant part of the national Antarctic science program. The partnership is led by the University of Tasmania (UTAS), and includes the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the Tasmanian State Government and Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).

The AAPP will carry out research to understand the role of the Antarctic region in the global climate system and the implications for marine ecosystems, by enabling collaborative research aligned with the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan and Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan.

The Research Associate – Carbon Biogeochemist will be a member of Theme 2: The Nature and Impacts of Southern Ocean Change – and will use observations to quantify regional variations in Southern Ocean carbon uptake and ocean acidification. The position will also contribute to Theme 3 (The Future of Antarctic Sea Ice, Krill and Ecosystems).

The position has a significant team focus and will provide strong quantitative and analytical skills to the activities of the group. The position demands a productive and innovative researcher capable of initiating and driving independent research ideas as well as collaboratively supporting the work of others. The position is fixed term for a period of 3 years with a possible extension subject to funding and performance.



Dr Tom Trull (UTAS affiliate / CSIRO senior research scientist)

Co-supervisor: Assoc Prof Andrew Bowie (UTAS senior research scientist)


The incumbent must relate in an effective way with:

•   All academic, research and administrative staff of the partnership
and relevant staff of partner organisations and other national and
international collaborators.


  1. Undertake research to explore and quantify the marine biogeochemical cycling of carbon and ocean acidification in the Southern Ocean using a suite of existing observations, including from the Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS), underway shipboard observations, hydrographic sections, BGC-Argo profiling floats including:
    • assess and compare air-sea CO2 fluxes in the Subantarctic zone computed from BGC-Argo floats and other relevant datasets such as SOCCOM, underway shipboard observations, and the fixed SOTS platform;
    • evaluate seasonality in waters South of Tasmania and key processes driving variability at this scale;
    • evaluate decadal trends in the CO2-system in the Southern Ocean, with a focus on the region South of Tasmania, to explore the drivers of longer-term variability and the link to large-scale climate variability. Potentially identify regions where changes are occurring faster than others as known as “hotspots,” particularly at higher latitudes; and
    • complete and publish high impact original research papers in a timely fashion.
  2. Participate in field projects, including the Southern Ocean Time Series mooring deployment and recovery voyages, and process studies.
  3. Assist with the training of research students and technical staff:
    • participate as a member of supervisory teams for students; and
    • provide written protocols for technical staff as needed.
  4. Contribute to research project outcomes:
    • participate in communication activities with research users and other scientists; and
    • provide research updates, including technical summaries, to partners and enterprises.


Under the broad direction of the supervisor and within the context of the University’s policies and performance expectations, the appointee has a substantial degree of autonomy.


Essential Requirements

  1. A PhD in a relevant field of science or engineering; e.g., geochemistry, marine or environmental science, oceanography, biogeochemistry, etc.
  2. A strong record in, and continuing commitment to, biogeochemical research that has achieved national recognition and made innovative contributions to the field, demonstrated by a record of high-quality publications, presentations at conferences and preferably success in securing external competitive funding.
  3. Experience in performing sample collection, sampling processing and chemical analyses in remote environments (e.g., from oceanographic vessels and/or in polar regions).
  4. Evidence of ability to carry out independent research leading to publications in scientific literature.
  5. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a research team covering multiple disciplines and to achieve collective as well as individual outcomes.
  6. A high level of written and oral communication skills suited for science specialist and generalist user groups.
  7. Because the successful applicant may be expected to work at sea/Antarctica, applicants for this position will be required to be certified as fit for Antarctic Service by the Australian Antarctic Division’s Polar Medicine Branch or the Marine National Facility (and/or medical officers representing other research vessels) after tests conducted by or on behalf of a Commonwealth Medical Officer or other medical authority.

Desirable Attributes

8.    Interest in multi-disciplinary research (e.g. interactions between the cryosphere, oceans, atmosphere, biogeochemical processes or ecosystems).
9.    Familiarity with marine biogeochemical models and/or climate simulations.
10.    Familiarity with Lagrangian trajectory methods for identifying water parcel histories.
11.    Specialist expertise in any of the following: oceanographic sensors, carbon system analyses, biogeochemical particle analyses, stable isotopic techniques, mixed layer models, biogeochemical models, Lagrangian techniques.


  • All staff assist the University to create and maintain an environment where people are safe, healthy and well by using and improving the systems and equipment we have for work.
  • All staff actively manage risks associated with their work and report hazards, near-misses and incidents to their Supervisor to enable teams to positively learn and improve our systems and equipment.
  • Supervising staff support and equip their teams to work safely by providing information, training and supervision. They respond quickly to issues and create an environment where teams are encouraged to positively intervene and empowered to make improvements.

We subscribe to the fundamental values of honesty, integrity, responsibility, trust and trustworthiness, respect and self-respect, and fairness and justice. We bring these values to life by our individual and collective commitment to:

  • Creating and serving shared purpose
  • Nurturing a vital and sustainable community
  • Focusing on opportunity
  • Working from the strength diversity brings
  • Collaborating in ways that help us be the best we can

Our University Behaviour Policy sets out these values, standards and expectations for appropriate behaviour that apply to all employees and characterise the collegial and community nature of our University.