- Postdoctoral Researcher
Tallurutiup Imanga and Sarvarjuaq/Pikialasorsuaq, located in the northeastern region of Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic, comprise one of the most biologically productive marine areas in the Arctic Ocean and are vital to Arctic marine conservation plans due to their ecological and cultural significance. These regions are the sites of the largest polynyas in the world, as well as seasonally-recurring floe edges that support strong ocean upwelling, intense and critically-timed primary production, and crucial harvesting grounds for local Inuit communities. Fundamental to ecosystem functioning in these regions are variations in the physical and biogeochemical marine environment driven by seasonal cycles in solar radiation, sea-ice cover, glacial meltwater inputs, and atmospheric forcing. Climate change is altering the nature of many of these cycles, which in turn is having a broad range of effects on the marine environment and its associated marine ecosystem.
We seek a highly motivated postdoc to be part of a recently funded project to explore the impacts of climate change in this critical northern region. This position is focussed on numerical modelling, with the goal to forecast and understand future changes in sea-ice conditions, offshore to nearshore waves, ocean circulation and ecosystem functioning in the region. Extensive observational datasets from nearby regions will also be available to ground-truth and evaluate model results.
Specifics aims of the position will be to conduct high resolution numerical coupled sea ice-ocean-biogeochemical ocean modelling of the region using the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) model to simulate past, present, and future ocean conditions in the region. Initial tasks will be computational in nature, including coupling a wave model (e.g. Wave Watch III) into the local University of Alberta NEMO configuration, evaluating the model using historical data (hydrographic, biogeochemical, sea-ice), as well as data collected during the project. Depending on the results of the evaluation, the candidate may explore the role of vertical mixing, wave effects, sea-ice representation and surface drift, along with updated river and ice sheet runoff and iceberg calving to improve the base model simulation results. Then, the candidate will produce regionally downscaled atmospheric forcing sets based on IPCC climate scenarios, to drive regional ocean/sea-ice/biogeochemical model simulations out to 2100 to examine evolution of the conservation area in terms of sea ice conditions, ocean circulation and primary productivity.