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Research Associate - Marine Ecosystems Remote Sensing/Biological Floats

Apply now Job no: 496646
Work type: Full time
Location: Hobart
Categories: Research Focused

Research Associate – Marine Ecosystems: Remote Sensing/Biological Floats 

  • Fixed-term, full time position for 3 years.
  • Based in Hobart.
  • Design and lead experiments to link phytoplankton physiology - across a wide range of Southern Ocean plankton.

The Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science (ACEAS) is a major $25M Special Research Initiative of the Australian Research Council. The goal of ACEAS is to help the world community prepare for climate risks emerging from East Antarctica and the Southern Ocean by integrating knowledge of the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and ecosystems, and their interplay. ACEAS is a national-scale, University-led centre for excellence in Antarctic science focused on this goal. ACEAS is led by the University of Tasmania with a range of Australian and International Partners (

The Opportunity

The Research Associate – Marine Ecosystems: Remote Sensing/Biological Floats will contribute to Program 1- Circum Antarctic and East Antarctica, which addresses the overarching question : “ How can shifts in carbon, heat and moisture transport in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean system to be better constrained to improve projections of future climate and sea level changes?”, and Program 2 – Regional East Antarctica and its provinces, which addresses the overarching question: “What are the causal linkages between atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and their consequent effects on open water and under ice biogeochemistry and ecology in East Antarctica for past, present and future conditions?”.

The successful candidate will design and lead experiments to link phytoplankton physiology - across a wide range of Southern Ocean plankton - with the improved interpretation of particle property signatures obtained from regional time-series of BGC-Argo robotic profiling floats in East Antarctica. 

Key Accountabilities:

  • Interpret bio-optical (chlorophyll fluorescence, particulate backscatter, irradiance) sensor data from BGC-Argo floats in the context of lab-based experiments using identical sensors.
  • Demarcate the relative contributions of floristics, biomass and physiological status in setting chlorophyll fluorescence, particulate backscatter, and how they vary with keystone cultured Southern Ocean species.
  • Develop novel proxies to further exploit the datasets from BGC-Argo floats.
  • Collaborate with other Research Associates and PhD students working in Program 1 on satellite and water column remote sensing and modelling.
  • Potentially participate in marginal ice zone field work in 2023, to investigate the role of sea-ice retreat in bloom formation.
  • Contribute to the research excellence of ACEAS and UTAS, through publication in high-impact international journals and the co-supervision of higher degree research students.

Your Application

To be successful in the role, your application will need to demonstrate;

  • A PhD in a biogeochemical oceanography, or a relevant discipline area.
  • A deep understanding of Southern Ocean phytoplankton physiology and how it links to regional biogeochemistry and ecology.
  • Expertise in culturing and conducting physiological experiments with a diverse range of phytoplankton functional types and in linking physiology to ‘omics’-based approaches, including extraction of RNA material.
  • Expertise in analysis of bio-optical data from BGC-Argo floats and experience in visualising and analysing data in R, Matlab or Python.
  • A strong record of, and continuing commitment to, research that is internationally recognized and has made worthwhile contributions to the field of phytoplankton physiology and/or biological oceanography, demonstrated by a strong record of quality publications and presentations at conferences.


Appointment to this role will be at Academic Level a or Level B and will be determined based on the successful candidate’s level of skills, qualifications, and experience. The role will have a total remuneration package of up to $136,519 comprising base salary within the range of $72,861 to $116,683 plus 17% superannuation.

How to Apply

  • To apply online, please provide your CV and 1-2-page cover letter outlining your interest in the role, skills, capabilities and experience.  You do not need to separately address the selection criteria.
  • For further information about this position, please contact Philip Boyd, Professor of Marine Science, or (03) 6226 8554.
  • Please visit for our guide to applying and details on the recruitment process.

Download File Position Description - Research Associate - Marine Ecosystems Remote Sensing Biological Floats.pdf

Applications close Monday, 20 December 2021, 11.55pm

Advertised: Tasmania Daylight Time
Applications close: Tasmania Daylight Time

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