Postdoc at University of Bern (Switzerland) in Paleoclimate & Aerosol Modelling

Using ice-cores, aerosol- and climate models to constrain the impact of volcanic eruptions on Holocene climate

Postdoc at University of Bern (Switzerland) in Paleoclimate & Aerosol Modelling

Bern, Switzerland
We are looking for an enthusiastic Post-doctoral scientist in paleoclimate modeling to join our Paleovolcansim & Climate Impact Group at Climate and Environmental Physics (CEP), Physics Institute & Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of Bern, Switzerland.

The announced Postdoc position is for 2 years. The preferred starting date is March/April, 2022.

We offer
- a fully-funded position for 2 years (salary according to Swiss National Science Foundation rules)
- a professionally stimulating working environment in a small team
- the post-doctoral researcher will benefit from the support of an active, interdisciplinary research environment alongside members of Climate and Environmental Physics, the Oeschger Centre of Climate Change Research (OCCR) and international project partners (e.g., PAGES VICS).
Climate models, instrumental observations and proxy records demonstrate that volcanic eruptions were the dominant drivers of natural climate variability climate over the Common Era and that they may contribute to mitigate anthropogenic global warming in the 21st century. Using novel tephrochronological, glacio- and geoechemical analyses to constrain key eruption source parameters (location, season, plume height, sulphur injection), the ERC THERA - "Timing of Holocene volcanic eruptions and their radiative aerosol forcing" project aims to achieve a continuous reconstruction of global radiative forcing from volcanic eruptions over the past 12,000 years. The project further aims to explore to which extent these eruptions influenced climate variability over the Holocene as inferred from proxy records and transient climate simulations.

The activity of the THERA team focuses on the study of the timing, sulphur mass injection, plume height and location of past eruptions which combined control their climate impact potential. The THERA group is part of the Climate and Environmental Physics (CEP) division of the Physics Institute of the University of Bern and affiliated to the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR). With our unique palette of state-of-the-art ice-core analyses tools and physical-biogeochemical climate models we investigate causes of past climate change and simulate the consequences of future man-made climate change.
The successful candidate will design model experiments to investigate the evolution and dispersal of volcanic aerosols, reconstruct volcanic forcing, and simulate the impacts on the global climate system. The post-doctoral scientist will use estimates of atmospheric volcanic sulphate loadings derived from ice cores for the largest eruptions of the last 12’000 years and perform short experiments for key eruptions of the Holocene. Combining observations from remote sensing and sulphate aerosol measurements in air/snow over Greenland with a particle transport model the candidate will explore and quantify the contribution from Iceland to volcanic sulfate deposition over Greenland. The post-doctoral scientist will assess the uncertainty ranges of reconstructed volcanic forcing, and study the climate response following the eruptions.
- PhD in meteorology, atmospheric sciences, physics, climatology, earth science or related field
- publication(s) in peer-reviewed international journals
- solid experience in programming and in managing large data sets
- expertise in numerical climate modelling as well as experience in the following topics: aerosol physics, aerosol chemistry and/or volcanic plumes
- strong motivation and interest for a research career
- demonstrated verbal and written communication skills in English
- interest in working in a multidisciplinary environment.
How to apply
Deadline for applications: 20th January 2022.
Applicants should upload
(i) a statement of research experience, qualification and interest,
(ii) a complete CV including a list of publications, and
(iii) the name of at least two scientists who would agree to send a letter of recommendation
as a single pdf at:

Consideration of applications begins immediately. The position will stay open until filled.
Application deadline
Further information
For questions about the position and the project please contact Prof. Dr. Michael Sigl.
Phone Office: (+41) 31 684 8652
Home Office: (+41) 31 536 5944

University of Bern:

Climate and Environmental Physics (CEP), Physics Institute:

Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR):

PAGES VICS - Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society Working Group:
Contact email