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Research Scientist in Biophysical Modeling

Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research
Ann Arbor, Michigan
$75,000 - $110,000
Closing date
Apr 2, 2023

The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) is seeking a full-time Research Scientist in Biophysical Modeling in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) and the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). This position can be filled at the Assistant, Associate, or full Research Scientist rank depending on experience.

You will lead CIGLR’s portfolio of research in biophysical modeling, especially the use of coupled numeric hydrodynamic and ecological models to understand large-scale patterns and develop forecasts for the Great Lakes. Our past research in this area has included a Lake Erie harmful algal bloom forecast (now operational with NOAA), a Lake Erie hypoxia forecast (transitioning to operations), and biophysical forecast models used in support of lake management and international science initiatives. These models are increasingly important for informing adaptive management of the lakes, providing early warning to coastal communities, and assimilating data from observing systems and other sources.

This position complements CIGLR’s ecological and biogeochemical research. Modeling approaches are incorporated into our science enterprise and are a key component of our process of research to operations, which involves hypothesis generation, fundamental science on mechanisms and interactions, model design, model parameterization, skill assessment, and translation to an information product. Our coupled ecological-physical models build on observational and experimental work and incorporate scale and heterogeneity beyond what can be accomplished by monitoring or experimentation. This is of utmost importance for research that will inform management of the lakes, such as the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.  

Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Forecasting effects of nutrients, meteorology, and hydrodynamics on water quality in the Great Lakes
  • Modeling impacts of climate change, invasive species, and land use change on ecosystem function and services in the Great Lakes over mid- to long-term timescales
  • Assimilating data from observing systems, remote sensing, traditional sampling, and ‘omics to inform forecasts and/or models for inference
  • Integration of lake biophysical models with regional climate models, landscape and watershed models, and Earth system models
  • Co-development of information products to meet needs of identified stakeholders (e.g., public water systems, recreation users, lake managers)


Candidates must have a PhD in oceanography, limnology, aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, or a related field. The successful candidate is expected to have a strong record of publication, including first-author publications. Candidates should also have the following:

  • Experience developing hindcasts or forecasts using ecological or biogeochemical models coupled to 3-dimensional hydrodynamic models used in coastal marine or Great Lakes systems.
  • Experience with high performance computing systems and performing deterministic modeling in FORTRAN, Python, R, or similar programming language.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate with diverse experts at CIGLR, SEAS, GLERL, and other partner agencies/institutions/organizations.
  • Ability to effectively communicate, supervise and mentor employees and students, and provide scientific leadership of an interdisciplinary team.


  • For more information and to apply, visit the full job ad:
  • The application deadline is March 28, 2023. Review of applications will begin March 14, 2023 and will continue throughout the posting period or until the position is filled.
  • For assistance or for further information, you may contact Greg Dick, Director of CIGLR at

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