1 PhD position at Météo France

1 PhD position in Climatology is open at The Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques in Toulouse within the Climate Research Group of Météo-France.

The successful candidate will work within the project “MARine MAnagement and Ecosystem Dynamics under climate change (MARmaED)” (http://www.marmaed.eu/) an Innovative Training Network funded by the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (The European Union's Horizon 2020) under grant agreement No 675997 for the period 2015-2019. MARmaED is an international and interdisciplinary network that unifies specific and complementary competences in marine sciences from Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and France to investigate how the cumulative stress from biodiversity loss, climate change and harvesting will affect Europe’s complex marine systems and the consequences for optimal resource management.

The project’s main aim is to investigate how combined anthropogenic and climatic changes affect different harvested ecosystems (terrestrial, freshwater, and marine – particularly, but not only, in Arctic regions) and how management strategies can be improved to ensure sustainable exploitation and resilience. MARmaED will provide salary for 15 PhD projects.


The PhD candidate selected will work on future regional climate change scenarios of the Mediterranean Sea (robust assessment and uncertainties). The main objectives will be to analyse the sources of uncertainty of the future evolution of the Mediterranean Sea and to assess the robustness of the Mediterranean Sea response to regional climate change in the frame of the new IPCC-AR5 scenarios.

In this PhD work, we propose to unlock the above issue in order to assess a robust impact of climate change on the Mediterranean Sea physics and on relevant ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea. The PhD student will use the skills and modelling facilities of Météo-France (regional setup of the NEMO ocean model adapted to the Mediterranean Sea, skills in regional climate change, cocoordination of the international Med-CORDEX initiative, Mediterranean Sea scenario protocol, access to super-computer) to investigate the relative role of the various sources of uncertainty in Mediterranean Sea regional climate change projections on physical and ecosystemic variables. First she/he will use the multi-model Med-CORDEX ensemble (www.medcordex.eu, on-going initiative) to study the sensitivity of the projection results to the choice of the climate model for a given scenario (RCP8.5) and to the choice of the scenario for a given model (CNRM-RCSM4 model, has been run for 3 RCPs). Following the results of the first step, she/he will then perform dedicated sensitivity simulations to study the role of the model initial state and of the model setting/tuning in the simulated response to future climate change. At each step, integrated indicators (vertical stratification index, vertical mixing index, eddy or frontogenesis index, extreme indices such as ocean heat waves) useful for marine ecosystem modelling will be computed and analyzed in addition to more classical physical variables (temperature, salinity, current velocity, thermohaline circulation, water mass formation).

Mandatory visit:

University of Oslo (Norway), 2 months. During this obligatory secondment, the student will use the outputs of the long-term ocean climate simulations (any climate variables including wind, temperature, surface velocity, stratification index, mixing index, radiation, salinity, ...) to drive a Mediterranean-dedicated ecosystem model. The candidate model is a demographic model on the European hake Merluccius merluccius (an important fish resource) developed on data spanning of the period 1982-2008. However, the model formulation could be modified following progress done prior to the visit. The ecosystem model will be run for multi-decadal periods, typically 1950-2100. The aim of this secondment is to gain knowledge on ecological use of physical models and be thus able to work in an interdisciplinary team.

Expected results:

If successful, the PhD work should lead to a better understanding of the Mediterranean Sea circulation and its sensitivity to both climate variability and climate change. She/he will describe, assess and understand the various sources of uncertainty in future projections (scenario choice, model choice, natural climate variability, ocean initial state). This work will also provide an ensemble of future regional climate change simulations for the Mediterranean Sea following the new IPCC-AR5 radiative concentration pathways (RCP) in the frame of Med-CORDEX and a deep understanding of the impact of the various sources of climate projection uncertainty on a relevant Mediterranean Sea ecosystem.



Mandatory conditions to apply:

- The applicant should not have spent more than 12 months all in all in France over the last 36 months before the starting date of the PhD project

- The applicant must not have more than 4 years of experience in the research field


Requirements/ qualifications:

1) Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or equivalent before the start of the PhD

2) Masters in applied mathematics, physics, atmospheric, ocean, geophysical fluids or environmental sciences are encouraged

3) Experience with Unix/Linux environment, with coding in Fortran or an equivalent language and with analysis tools like, NCL, R, IDL, Matlab, Python will be an evaluation criteria

4) Experience with climate or ocean modelling and with analysis of large data sets is desirable

5) Interest for climate change and related impacts is expected

6) A good proficiency in English is required

Interviews will be organized by phone or skype if required


How to apply :

For full consideration, applicants are asked to submit the following documents to samuel.somot@meteo.fr and michel.deque@meteo.fr before the submission deadline (October 14th, 2015):

- a curriculum vitae (CV) summarizing education, current position, academic work, scientific internships, scientific publications, language skills and computing skills

- copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letter(s) of recommendation

- a motivation letter

- names and contact details of 2 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number) that we may contact


Practical information :

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. The successful applicant will be contracted by Meteo-France and will be based at the « Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques » (CNRM, http://www.cnrm.meteo.fr/) in Toulouse (France) within the Climate Research Group of Météo-France/CNRM (nearly 80 persons).

More precisely, the PhD student will work in the Regional climate modelling team of CNRM including currently 2 researchers, 2 engineers, 2 postdocs and 1 PhD student. She/he will be registered to the University of Toulouse to obtain the PhD diploma. The PhD supervisors will be Dr. Michel Déqué and Dr. Samuel Somot. The net salary will be around 1900-2000 euros/month before income tax but after most of the other taxes and insurances have been deducted. In addition, mobility/travel allowances will be provided as well as family allowances if applicable. The starting date of the contract will be between January 1st, 2016 and March, 1st 2016


Contact :

Please contact : Dr. Samuel Somot, samuel.somot@meteo.fr Météo-France, CNRM/GMGEC, 42 avenue Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse cedex, France +33 5 61 07 93 62 http://www.cnrm-game.fr/spip.php?article437


By Joel Durant
Published Sep. 14, 2015 12:05 PM - Last modified Dec. 8, 2015 1:18 PM