PhD position in Marine Biogeochemistry is available at the Department Ocean System Research (OCS), NIOZ, Netherlands. The position is based on a research project which is a part of GEOTRACES program.

NIOZ is a world leading marine research institute and consists of 5 centers of expertise: 

North Sea Research Centre
Wadden & Delta Research Centre
Sea Level Research Centre
Seaweed Research Centre
Deep Sea Science & Technology Centre.

The research centers at NIOZ, being the most influential in the field of oceanography/marine sciences have received several awards, prizes and has an outstanding record of external funding. NIOZ is involved with multidisciplinary and applied marine research relating to aspects of oceans and seas in national and international context.

NIOZ is divided into four departments of science: 

Estuarine & Delta Systems
Coastal Systems
Ocean Systems
Marine Microbiology & Biogeochemistry 

PhD position in Marine Biogeochemistry

The PhD position is part of a project, titled – Anthropogenic carbon dioxide uptake and accumulation in the Indian and South Pacific Oceans: a blind spot in recent global monitoring.

The current PhD position in Marine Biogeochemistry will enable the student to work with state of the art laboratory equipment ( e.g. determining carbonate chemistry of seawater). Samples will be collected across the Indian Ocean, Pacific and/or tropical Atlantic oceans as a part of the GEOTRACES program. The research will contribute to knowledge in marine biogeochemical cycles. New measurements will be combined with existing datasets to understand the causes and consequences of CO2 exchange between air and sea, anthropogenic CO2 storage, and ocean acidification.

Research at the Department of COS

Department of COS is involved with studies on key physical, biological and chemical processes that determine the ecological functionality and productivity of coastal regions. The coastal system is studied in relationship to water, microalgae sediments, fish, birds, and macrozoobenthos. COS department is involved with research in coastal ecosystems and their populations of fish, birds and other marine animals in the North and Wadden Seas (a UNESCO world heritage site) as well as on a global scale.

Ocean absorbs almost 25% of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year. This CO2 does not influence the climate but instead shifts the balance of chemical equilibria in seawater, resulting in pH decrease. This decrease in pH causes ocean acidification, might affect the viability of marine organisms. Studying the carbon dioxide in the oceanic sink will help in understanding uptake mechanisms of CO2 through space and time. This research will help in determining the impacts of CO2 emissions, their impacts on marine biogeochemistry and ecosystems, and future climate.

Global marine carbon dioxide system observations are biased spatially
as in the past 2 decades, there has been comparatively little sampling in the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. This gap has led to large uncertainties in regional calculations of properties (rate of pH decline, anthropogenic CO2 inventory and sea-air CO2 fluxes). These properties are essential in maintaining balance in the global carbon budget and the health of marine biota. New oceanic measurements will provide key insights into the affect of anthropogenic activities on Earth’s system, and to project their chemical, biogeochemical and ecological consequences.


The requirement for this position is a Master’s degree in natural sciences, e.g. geology, chemistry, oceanography, environmental chemistry or physics. Previous laboratory work and experience in scientific programming are desirable. Applicants are required to be equipped for pursuing independent research work. The candidates are expected to take a lead in directing the course of their own research within project framework. Excellent spoken and written English proficiency is required. The candidate will attend international conferences and prepare manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals during their PhD.

Employment benefits offer a salary for 4 years, holiday allowance, end of the year bonus and flexible work arrangements. Other benefits include generous relocation expenses for employees coming from abroad and support in finding accommodation.

To apply for this position (PhD position in Marine Biogeochemistry) visit this link.

Contact details

More information regarding this position is available by contacting:

Dr. Matthew Humphreys (principal investigator)
Prof. dr. Gert-Jan Reichart (department head).

Information regarding the application procedure can be asked from Alexandra Noppeney (senior HR advisor).

Information regarding the Department of Ocean Systems is available here.

Interviews will be held on January 13, 2020. The deadline to apply is December 2, 2019.


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