Researcher on fine scale dynamics in the deep ocean; French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, Ifremer

Job Title: 
Researcher on fine scale dynamics in the deep ocean
Job Location: 
Brest, Bretagne, France
Application Deadline: 
Monday, December 7, 2020

The Institute and the recruiting departement

French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, Ifremer, through its research work and expert advice, contributes to knowledge of the oceans and their resources, to monitoring of marine and coastal environments and to the sustainable development of marine activities. To these ends, Ifremer conceives and operates tools for observation, experimentation and monitoring, and manage the oceanographic databases.

Created in 1984, Ifremer is a French public institute of an industrial and commercial nature. It is supervised jointly by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs.

Ifremer undertakes research missions, offers expert advice and acts as a funding agency.

Ifremer performs targeted applied research to address the questions posed by society (climate change effects, marine biodiversity, pollution prevention, seafood quality etc.). Results include scientific knowledge, technological innovations, and systems for ocean observation and exploration. Partnerships may be public, private or a combination of the two.

Ifremer works in a network with the French scientific community, also collaborating with international partner organizations, in the frame of several national and international projects, including contractual activities.

Description de l'offre:

The Laboratory of Ocean Physics and Satellite remote sensing (LOPS) is a Joint Research Unit placed under the supervision of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer), the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the University of Brest (UBO). It is also a laboratory of the European University Institute of the Sea (IUEM). As a research unit, LOPS develops and participates in research programs in oceanography which contribute to the development of knowledge on ocean dynamics at different time and space scales and which study the relationships of the ocean with other compartments of the Earth system such as the atmosphere, sea ice and living organisms.

Within the scientific team "Ocean Scale Interactions" of UMR LOPS, under the authority of the head of the Ifremer laboratory "Deep Ocean and Ocean Scale Interactions", the recruited person will lead an original research project on fine scale dynamics in the deep ocean.

General areas of responsibility

Compared to surface processes, the small-scale processes deep into the ocean are still little explored. It is nevertheless in the bottom layer that a significant part of the energy of the global ocean dissipates and that turbulent processes generate the mixture which will determine the physical and biogeochemical properties of the ocean water masses on a large scale.

These bottom boundary layers are an area of development of small-scale structures that are energetic and leading to significant mixing. But due to the difficulty of observing them so far, these small-scale processes in the deep ocean are still largely unknown.

Understanding the dynamics of the deep ocean is also an essential issue in order to better understand the problems linked to hydrothermal plumes and deep ecosystems and to assess the environmental impacts linked to the exploitation of mineral resources.

These bottom layer fine-scale processes are not taken into account in large-scale models. This partly explains the first-order uncertainties regarding the quantification of biogeochemical flows, and in particular of micro and macro-nutrients at the topography-water column interface. A better understanding of the processes of deep fine scales may allow, ultimately, the establishment of parametrization of physical and biogeochemical flows at the topography-water column interface which will benefit to large scale models, notably climatic, and to geosciences.

The LOPS "Ocean Scale Interactions" team has developed a great expertise in the turbulent dynamics of the oceans, based both on the theoretical analysis of the geophysical fluid dynamics, and on the development and use of suitable numerical models of those processes.

The recruited person, physical oceanographer, will specialize in bottom layer processes and current - topography interactions. The scientific objectives are to better understand the dynamics of fine scales in the deep layers of the ocean as well as the impact of these dynamics on ocean circulation on a larger scale and on physics-biology-lithosphere interactions.

Principal activities

The recruited person must carry out an original research project on the subject set out above. He / she can base his/her approach on a combination of theoretical models, in-situ data analysis with high spatial and temporal resolution, and numerical simulation.

He / she can be brought to contribute to data collection via the realization of dedicated campaigns and to propose technological developments preparing the future of in-situ measurements on fine scale in the interior and deep ocean.

To carry out his scientific project, he / she will pilot proposals, supervise doctoral and post-doctoral students, promote his research through scientific publications, presentations at international conferences, and communication to the general public.​​​​​​​

Collaborative work environment

  • Internal collaborative relationship

The 4 research teams and the Technical Service of In Situ Observation (TOIS) of the UMR LOPS. Within Ifremer, the geosciences and deep ocean ecology laboratories.

  • External collaborative relationship

The other local research units of the Brest site (mainly within IUEM), national and international research units in the scientific field, with most of which the LOPS already collaborates.

Profil recherché


  • PhD in physical oceanography and post-doctoral experience, one of which preferably abroad.

Required knowledge, skills and characteristics

  • Knowlledge, skills and abilities

- Scientific research skills in the field described here

- Knowledge on geophysical fluid dynamics

- Data analysis techniques and / or numerical simulations for the study of fine scales processes

- Good level of English


  • Human qualities

- Research spirit and intellectual curiosity to understand ocean dynamics

- General interest on marine sciences

- Ability to interact with collaborators from other disciplines

- Strong autonomy

- Recognized expertise

- Strong writing skills (in English)


Specific working conditions

  •  Full-time job, opportunities for work at sea
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