Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) in numerical modelling of volcano collapse – deadline April 12, 2021

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation of public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90 %) and the state of Schleswig-Holstein (10 %) and is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine sciences. Currently GEOMAR disposes over an annual budget of approx. 80 million Euro and has approx. 1000 employees.

The research unit Marine Geodynamics of the research division Dynamics of the Ocean Floor is seeking to recruit a Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) in numerical modelling of volcano collapse at the earliest possible date.

The scientific groups in our research division are specializing in seafloor geodesy, seafloor imaging, active and passive seismology, marine electromagnetics, geodynamic modelling as well as igneous petrology/geochemistry, volcanology, and hydrothermalism. Our central research focus is on the processes that shape the oceanic lithosphere, and the impact of these processes on the environment, e.g. natural hazards. We are one of the most active research groups in this field in Europe; hence, we can offer an inclusive work environment with good opportunities for professional development.

Project Description
Volcanoes are among the most rapidly growing geological structures on Earth. Consequently, their edifices can be mechanically unstable and volcano flank collapses can form giant destructive landslides as in the case of the 1980 Mount St Helens collapse. At ocean island or coastal volcanoes these events pose an even larger threat as the sudden displacement of large amounts of material in water can cause tsunamis with extreme and ocean-wide effects. The advertised position forms part of a five-year Starting Grant project supported by the European Research Council. The overarching aim of the PRE-COLLAPSE project is to improve our understanding of the factors and processes that lead to catastrophic collapses of ocean island and coastal volcanoes.

Through this three-year position (eligible for a 12-months extension pending successful evaluation after 1.5 years), the postdoctoral researcher will numerically investigate the twoway interaction between flank movement and the volcano’s plumbing system with the aim to assess all consequences of this interaction on edifice stability. This will encompass magmatic, tectonic and slope processes that cannot be captured within one single type of model. The postdoctoral researcher will therefore seek to fully couple different numerical approaches. Selection of software or codes to be used in the project will be made with respect to the experience of the postdoctoral researcher.

The postdoctoral researcher will closely exchange with PRE-COLLAPSE team members, a diverse group with different geoscientific backgrounds (geology, geophysics, sedimentology, geotechnics, geodesy). The post has no teaching duties; however, the postdoctoral researcher will be involved in supervising undergraduate students and mentoring PhD students. As we are a seagoing research group, the postdoctoral researcher will be given the opportunity to participate in research cruises. We offer support for presenting at national and international conferences.

• PhD in Earth Sciences / Geology / Geophysics / Volcanology / Physics / Mathematics or related disciplines
• Strong expertise (PhD or Postdoc phase) in numerical modelling of volcanic/ geodynamic processes or related
• Proven track record of research performance, including at least two publications in peer-reviewed journals
• Fluency in spoken and written English
• Background in volcanology is desirable
• Experience in model coupling will be an asset
• Experience with working in multidisciplinary teams will be beneficial

The position is available for a period of three years. There is the possibility of an extension of 12 months after a successful evaluation after 1.5 years. The salary is equivalent to E13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. This is a full-time position. The position can be split. The fixed-term contract shall comply with Section 2 Paragraph 1 of The Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract (German WissZeitVG).

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female academics to apply.

GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Please send your complete application for this post (cover letter, CV, a statement of research interest of maximum one page, and the contact details of three persons willing to write a reference) via email in a single pdf-file mentioning the keyword “PRE-COLLAPSE_PDR1” in the subject line. Please send your application no later than April 12, 2021 to the following email address:

As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulation.

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Dr. Morelia Urlaub (

Please do not contact us by phone about the present state of procedures. However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to In doing so,
please refer to the keyword.

GEOMAR is a member of the Helmholtz Association and the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM). For further information please visit or

GEOMAR is committed to an objective and non-discriminatory personnel selection. Our job advertisements address all people. We expressly renounce the submission of application


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