Postdoctoral Investigator - Geology & Geophysics

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is searching for a Postdoctoral Investigator to join the Geology & Geophysics Department. This is a regular full-time, exempt position, eligible for full benefits. The appointment is for a one-year period with the possibility of an extension based on performance and availability of funding. 


We are seeking a recent Ph.D. graduate with experience in tropical, shallow water coral reefs to join our multidisciplinary team as a Postdoctoral Investigator. The incumbent will participate in research aimed at understanding and detecting reef resilience, with emphasis on biophysical mechanisms. 


The institution has a top-rated postdoctoral program ( that supports a dynamic postdoctoral community with formal mentoring and career guidance programs. While the primary focus of the work will be in research, the Postdoctoral Investigator will have the opportunity to participate in educational and outreach activities associated with the project.


Online application forms should be submitted with a cover letter, complete curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation. Applications will be reviewed upon submission.

Essential Functions

The incumbent will participate in research aimed at understanding and detecting reef resilience, with emphasis on biophysical mechanisms. The position requires a coral reef ecologist who has expertise in coral reef biophysics, compound specific isotopes, and coral resilience. The PDI will be co‐leading an on-going project with Senior Scientist Anne Cohen and will be responsible for generating data and developing products, and establishing a network of collaborations to move the project forward.

Education & Experience

  • Ph.D. Marine Geology and Geophysics is required
  • Strong mathematical skills are required
  • Superior Matlab coding is required
  • Experience with Netcdf and large climate datasets
  • Knowledge of, and experience working with, ROMS output is preferred
  • Extensive fieldwork experience desired
  • AAUS certification preferred
  • Laboratory experience desired
  • Strong publication record a must

Special Requirements

Willingness and ability to travel, sometimes to remote places.

Physical Requirements

Physical requirements include lifting 25 to 50 pounds 3 times per day, and carrying 10 to 25 pounds 6 times per day. Other physical requirements include frequent prolonged standing and walking, kneeling, bending, stooping, twisting, climbing ladders and stools, use of hands for basic grasping/manipulation, use of hands for fine manipulation, pushing, pulling, and reaching above and below the shoulders. Occupational requirements include depth perception, far vision, near vision, peripheral vision, ability to distinguish basic colors, hearing, talking, working around others, working with others, and working alone. Exposure to excessive heat or humidity, and high location will occur.

Sea Duty

May work at least 8 hours per day and, at times in excess of 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. Sleep and work hours can deviate from those on land. May be expected to work on watch schedule (such as 8 hours on and 8 hours off or 12 hours on and 8 hours off) for all or part of a cruise or to work as hours are needed to accomplish the planned work. May need to travel during holidays and for long distances to and from foreign ports. May experience rudimentary living and working conditions, with shared and basic living quarters and laboratories. May experience bad or extreme weather conditions, including heavy seas, winter weather or hot, tropical weather. Work on deck may occur in both hot and cold conditions around the clock. Sea conditions will lead to active ship motion. Should be able to climb steep and vertical ladders and able to enter and exit compartments through hatches, doors, and sills. Should be able to carry heavy gear and participate in the loading and unloading of the ship as well as in the activities on deck and in the labs during the cruise. Shipboard environment may include: confined areas, shared sleeping quarters (berths) and bathroom facilities, small and basic berthing, fixed meal times and basic menus. Modest levels of heating, cooling, ventilation, and illumination, limited or no email and internet access and limited off-duty and recreational facilities (library, lounge, movies). May be exposed to potential allergens and irritants, including paint fumes. May experience constant and intermittent loud noises, and slippery and uneven surfaces.


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