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Research Associate in Glacier Geophysics (Fixed Term)

The Weddell Sea 2019 Expedition requires a glacier geophysicist with knowledge of Antarctic ice shelves to compile a digital database of glaciological observations on the ice shelves of the Weddell Sea and especially of the Larsen area.

In this post, you will join the Weddell Sea Expedition 2019 project. The post-holder will be responsible for compiling glaciological and related data on the ice shelves fringing the Weddell Sea, making such data available on a 6-week geophysical cruise to the area in January/February 2019, and then playing a role in the analysis of glaciological data acquired during the expedition.

The overall aim of this expedition is to investigate the glaciology, marine-geology and geophysics, marine biology and oceanography of the water-filled cavities beneath floating ice shelves in the Weddell Sea ¿ a significant scientific and logistical challenge since such environments are among the most hostile and least accessible on Earth. The Weddell Sea sector of Antarctica is surrounded by a number of major ice-sheet-ice shelf systems. Several of these ice shelves are changing rapidly, making investigations here very timely. The Larsen A and B ice shelves collapsed in a matter of days in 1995 and 2002, respectively, and one of the biggest iceberg calving events ever recorded took place from Larsen C Ice Shelf in July 2017; the iceberg had an area of 5,800 km2 or about 4 times the size of Greater London. The Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf, the second largest in Antarctic, is at the head of the Weddell Sea, and the Riiser-Larsen and Fimbul ice shelves are on its eastern side.

You will work with Prof. Dowdeswell and be responsible for the compilation of all available existing glaciological and related oceanographic data on the Larsen C and adjacent ice shelves in the western Weddell Sea. This activity will take place between July and December 2018. You will then participate in a 6-week geophysical cruise to the Weddell Sea aboard the scientific research vessel Agulhas II, flying from South Africa to Antarctica and joining the ship there. On the ship, you will be responsible for providing the existing glaciological data on Weddell Sea ice shelves as input to the planning of autonomous underwater vehicle missions beneath and adjacent to those ice shelves. On return to UK in mid-February, you will work together with other project members on the working up of glaciological and marine-geophysical data acquired during the cruise.

Informal inquiries should be directed to Prof. Julian Dowdeswell by email,

Expected start date: 1 July 2018.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.


Please quote reference LC15398 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online