Postdoc, coupled modeling - Aix en Provence, France

Centre de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences de l’Environnement (CEREGE) has available a postdoctoral position in coupled paleoclimate and paleoecology modeling on "Investigating the environmental control on Eocene to Miocene platform carbonate development."


Technopole Environnement Arbois-Mediterranee
BP80, 13545 Aix en Provence, Cedex 04, France


Beginning as soon as possible.
Advisors: Y. Donnadieu, A. Pohl and J. Borgomano
Duration: 24 months (with a mid-term evaluation)
Net Salary (including health insurance): 25-35 k€/year depending on the number of years after PhD and on the experience.
This position is in the framework of the collaboration between the French oil company TOTAL and the research laboratory CEREGE.


The climatic control on neritic carbonate sedimentation has a long history in the paleontological and sedimentological literature. Nevertheless, the dependence of platform carbonate development on environmental conditions has rarely been explored in a quantitative manner.

The primary goal of this project will be to investigate these relationships in the Eocene to Miocene in order to, ultimately, propose numerical tools predicting the presence or absence of platform carbonates at the global scale for the time slice of interest (40–20 Ma). The numerical approach consists in coupling climatic model experiments with niche-model-like transfer functions.

The first step consists in reconstructing past environmental conditions (ocean temperature, salinity, productivity) using the coupled ocean-atmosphere Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm) and/or the IPCC-model IPSL-CM with its biogeochemical model PISCES (NEMO for the ocean and LMDz for the atmosphere) for a well constrained time period of the Cenozoic (DeepMIP should provide enough data on the Eocene Climate Optimum, see Hollis et al. 2019, GMD, doi:10.5194/gmd-2018-309).

The second step consists in deriving a susceptibility of occurrence of platform carbonates from these paleoceanographic conditions using specifically-developed ArcGIS toolboxes (see Pohl et al. 2019, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.10.017).

Experiments will then be focused on three other time slices (40, 30 and 20 Ma) to test our capability to be predictive. Sensitivity tests to Antarctic ice sheet presence or absence, gateway configuration (Drake, Panama), pCO2 and orbital parameters will allow assessing the response of the sedimentary system to the various environmental changes documented at that time.

The workflow has been validated on the present-day (Laugié et al. in review) and successfully applied to the Cretaceous (Aptian, ca. 120 Ma). It is thus totally operational.

In collaboration with multidisciplinary scientists involved in the project, model constraints and comparisons will benefit from the project framework regarding the ecology of Eocene to Miocene platform carbonates, geodynamic changes as well as major global climate events.


Candidates should hold a PhD in paleoclimate or paleoecology science, and have strong skills in numerical modeling and model output analysis. Experience in programming with Fortran, data analysis and statistics with Matlab, R or Python are expected. Experience in geographical information system (GIS) would be an asset. Motivation, autonomy, rigor, critical mind, capacity to work in a multidisciplinary team, ability to communicate in English are all required. Additional expertise will be appreciated in geology and environmental proxies.


Deadline for sending application is 15 May 2019.

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