Postdoctoral Associate – Coral Reef Hydrodynamics – Deadline 01 June 2023

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Associate to work at the intersection of coastal hydrodynamics and coral reef restoration. The project aims to increase understanding of linkages between large-scale coral restoration (with large-scale modification of reef roughness) and changes in wave attenuation and reef circulation. The project is part of a multi-year effort to restore coral reefs along the Florida Keys. This hydrodynamics study is unusual in that is being conducted in parallel with a restoration from the outset, and thus provides a rare opportunity to capture restoration effects. The project is a collaboration between Duke University, NOAA NCCOS and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary with the overarching goals of:

  • make field measurements that quantify hydrodynamic processes that coral restoration may modify;
  • analyze field data using a physics-based framework;
  • collaborate with project partners making measurements of bathymetry and bottom structure to quantify changes in reef structure over time for reef roughness parameterizations and bottom boundary conditions in models;
  • advance and apply physics-based numerical models to interpret restoration effects and forecast future reef conditions;
  • advance theory needed to generalize the underlying process and inform coral reef restoration projects in the future.

The postdoc will be at the forefront of interdisciplinary research in nature-based solutions, in advancing our understanding of physical processes on coral reefs, and in how coral restoration can be used to increase the resiliency of coastal communities adjacent to reefs. The postdoc will work with Jim Hench (Duke University) and Shay Viehman (NOAA NCCOS) and will also have excellent opportunities to develop connections with researchers from different universities, federal agencies, and private foundations.

TERM Initial appointment is for 1 year, with strong possibility of extension for a second year based on performance and funding.


Applicants should hold a PhD in physical oceanography, coastal engineering, environmental fluid mechanics, or other relevant fields. In particular, we are interested in individuals with experience in coastal circulation and wave modeling, fluency in hydrodynamic theory, and field data analyses. Ideal applicants should have experience using the COAWST circulation/wave model that couples ROMS and SWAN. Experience in programming with Matlab and Python and use of HPC supercomputing resources is also desired.


The position is available immediately. Start date is flexible for doctoral candidates completing degrees in spring and summer of 2023.


The work will be based at the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina, with travel for field work at the primary study site in Key West, Florida.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Application Materials Required:

Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A short cover letter describing your background, research experience, teaching experience, and career goals
  • Three references (actual letters acceptable but not required, just names and email addresses help popup)
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info: James Hench: < >

For  further information about this opportunity, click here.

via Duke University
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