Post-doctoral Fellowship at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research


The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is a leading scientific and technology research organisation, implementing projects throughout Africa and making a difference in people’s lives.

Post-doctoral Fellowship

Modelling the impact of aerosols on Southern African Climate

About the job:

The CSIR has a vacancy for a Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) which is in collaboration with the University of North-West. The incumbent will work closely with the research team within the CSIR, North-West University, University of Cape Town and Meteo-France/CNRS. This position is based in Pretoria, South Africa.

This position will focus on modelling the impact of aerosols on Southern African climate, with a focus on aerosol particles over the south-eastern Atlantic ocean. The fellow will work to improve the characterization of marine aerosols in the CSIR’s Variable-resolution Earth Systems Model (VrESM), based upon the monitoring results in the PLATO project (Plankton in a coupled atmosphere-ocean system). The fellow will then utilize this new system to investigate the aerosols’ role in the climate of the region. A key area for improvement will be in the representation of emissions from marine sources linked to phytoplankton characteristics. These exact gaps will be identified by the measurement campaigns in PLATO. The improvements will be made through updating the PISCES biogeochemistry model to represent marine sources in this system. PISCES is currently used to simulate ocean biogeochemistry of carbon in VrESM. The fellow will work with an international collaborative team from South Africa and France.

Key responsibilities:

  • Improve the characterization of marine aerosols in VrESM, which currently uses PISCES to simulate the ocean biogeochemistry;
  • Implement climate model simulations on national computer infrastructures such as the Centre for High Performance Computing, for the purpose of generating simulations of the impact of aerosols on southern African climate;
  • Perform in-depth statistical analysis of the model simulations of the impact of aerosols on southern African climate;
  • Initiate further independent research within the strategic objectives of the current programme;
  • Supervise and/or co-supervise masters and doctoral students;
  • Contribute to the writing of peer reviewed journal publications, of which the successful candidate would be expected to be the lead author of at least two journals;
  • Contribute to ongoing project-based climate studies, modelling and environmental health work within the NRE, most notably on modelling the impact of aerosols on southern African climate.

Qualifications, skills and experience:

  • A doctoral degree  in a field related to atmospheric science;
  • Experience in the analysis of four-dimensional climate model simulations and observed/reanalysis data sets;
  • Experience in scientific programming (preferably Fortran) and data manipulation and visualisation (e.g. in GrADS and GIS environments);
  • Working knowledge of Linux operating systems;
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to work closely with others in a research group.

Closing date: 17 December 2018


For more info, please contact the CSIR Recruitment Centre on 012 841 4774 or email us at [email protected]

The CSIR is an equal opportunity employer. As such, it is committed to the Employment Equity Act of 1998. By applying for this position at the CSIR, the applicant understands, consents and agrees that the CSIR may solicit a credit and criminal report from a registered credit bureau and/or SAPS (in relation to positions that require trust and honesty and/or entail the handling of cash or finances) and may also verify the applicant’s educational qualifications and employment history. The CSIR reserves the right to remove the advertisement at any time before the stated closing date and it further reserves the right not to appoint if a suitable candidate is not identified.

Apply here!