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2 Marine Jobs
PML | Plymouth, UK | Deadline: various

1. Research Software Engineer

Closing Date: 20/08/2020
Division: Science
Description: Full Time Open Ended Appointment
Salary: £32200

Research Software Engineer – Technology post.

PML is seeking to recruit a talented Research Software Engineer augment its internationally renowned marine system modelling group. The numerical codes that we develop to understand, predict and identify solutions for marine systems are complex, addressing combinations of hydrodynamics, chemistry, physiology and ecosystems, using techniques such as data assimilation and latterly machine learning. Our models address scales ranging from global to local and tackle many key issues such as climate, sustainability, resources, pollution and energy provision.

As the group expands it is essential to maximise our use of cutting edge computational technology to maintain and increase our international impact. The post will focus on the development and optimisation of our suite of modelling codes and analysis tools. One of our primary challenges is to ensure that our increasingly complex high resolution models remain tractable on available platforms and that our systems are future proof, given the projected development of “exascale” computation over the next 5-10 years and the demise of “Moore’s Law”.

Post responsibilities will include at least some of:

  • Optimising the performance and workflow of various model codes and analytical tools
  • Developing computational techniques such as machine learning and other multivariate statistical approaches
  • Designing emulators to enable fast computation of subsystems
  • Enabling porting of our codes to alternative (e.g. cloud) platforms
  • Developing high quality visualisations of 3D time evolving data sets
  • Enabling the dissemination of our data via portals
  • Maintain, document and support software applications so as to facilitate their utilisation, longevity and quality
  • Managing our HPC resource allocation
  • Liaising with PML’s IT group (who manage our server hardware and network connectivity) to optimise new hardware specification, use of disk space and backup/archiving protocols

Much of our work utilises Fortran codes in a Linux environment with Python Scripting. The model systems we use are diverse although the main ones are NEMO, FVCOM and ERSEM. Direct experience of these latter codes is not necessary, nor is knowledge of marine systems, but experience with complex systems models would be beneficial.

We use national and in-house state of the art computational facilities; a summary of our work can be found at The group works on a range of projects directly connected to the investigation, evaluation and remediation of impacts of change (climate and anthropogenic ) on the ocean and coastal environment in a policy and socially relevant framework. and address many of the UN sustainable development goals including those concerning food security, energy, sustainability and ecosystem health.

Applicants will require a PhD, MSc, or a minimum of three years postgraduate experience or equivalent, in a relevant computationally based discipline. Proven ability in programming and computer skills (e.g. Fortran, Python, Linux, or similar) is required, as will good mathematical and statistical skills, including ‘big data’ expertise.

The successful candidate will be able to communicate effectively and clearly within a highly interdisciplinary environment, liaising with scientific colleagues in order to understand their requirements for specialised scientific software solutions and share knowledge and expertise with colleagues to enhance overall group effectiveness . The candidate will be able to work with minimal supervision and will have excellent time-management skills.

Closing 20th August 2020

Interviews to be held in September, with the option of video interviews depending on candidate location and Covid-19 restrictions at the time.



2. Earth Observation Scientists

Description: Earth Observation Scientist (2 positions)

Location: Plymouth

Grade: Scientist

Salary range (full-time): £32200 – £38100 (dependent on experience)

Fulltime, open-ended appointment

Job Description

PML is looking for two versatile Earth observation (in situ / remote sensing) scientists to work on international research and development projects in the PML Earth Observation science group. The posts are linked to on-going research projects (detailed below). Following the end of these projects you will continue to contribute to research projects; you will be able to develop own research ideas and submit applications for future funding as opportunities arise.  Applicants will automatically be considered for either post but are encouraged to motivate any preference in their application form.


The first post will contribute to project MONOCLE: Multiscale Observation Networks for Optical monitoring of Coastal waters, Lakes and Estuaries ( You will be part of an international team of scientists and industrial experts working to innovate and develop sensor, platform, and data handling technologies to increase spatiotemporal coverage and ultimately lower the cost of water quality remote sensing in inland and coastal water bodies. PML is working on several sensor and monitoring concepts and works with project partners to develop satellite products building on validation from ships, buoys, drones and smartphones by experts and citizens.

Key Deliverables for post 1

  • Characterising uncertainties in satellite and in situ Earth Observation (EO), in particular related to atmospheric and water optical properties.
  • Statistically-optimised integration of multi-scale (satellites, buoys, ships, drones, smartphones) radiometric data captured by the various platforms.
  • Leading and contributing to high quality research papers to advance the state of EO in optically complex water bodies, particularly aiming to lower the operational cost of water quality monitoring.
  • Contributing to developing GIS-based visualisation of satellite product confidence based on near real-time integrated remote and in situ optical observations.
  • Added-value analysis of citizen science and high-frequency optical observation platforms in satellite calibration and validation.
  • Contributing to international capacity building; producing training resources and delivering training overseas.

This post is open-ended and available up to full-time. Whilst candidates will be expected to spend some time in PML’s offices in Plymouth each week, opportunities for flexible working arrangements may be considered*

 Experience and Eligibility requirements are given further below.

 Post 2: S3-EUROHAB

The second post will contribute to the project S-3EUROHAB: Sentinel-3 products for detecting EUtROphication and Harmful Algal Blooms in the French-English Channel ( You will be part of a European team of scientists and shellfishery monitoring organisations working on the detection of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and poor water quality (WQ) using satellite ocean colour data. You will work on developing satellite ocean colour products to detect these events from space using both the Copernicus Sentinel-3 and NASA MODIS and VIIRS ocean colour satellites. The products will be used in a web alert system that communicates to stakeholders in the shell fish industry, risks from HABs and poor WQ. The successful candidate will work as part of a dynamic team who are researching environmental drivers, transport and dispersion and economic impacts of HAB’s.

Key Deliverables for post 2

  • Use the latest satellite technology and in situ optical data to develop and test harmful algal bloom and water quality detection models and algorithms. for use by shellfishery organisations.
  • Statistical accuracy assessment and validation of a range of ocean colour satellite products using in situ data to select the most accurate products for use in the web based alert system.
  • Investigation into satellite product environmental proxies for detecting harmful algal species that is not easily discernible in ocean colour imagery.
  • Time series analysis of harmful algal bloom using the most accurate satellite products to assess the frequency and magnitude of HABs in relation to environmental conditions in the English Channel.
  • Leading and contributing to high quality research papers on satellite detection of harmful algal blooms and water quality monitoring.
  • Contributing to international capacity building by feeding the results of satellite HAB detection into national and international marine and coastal programmes in support of societal needs.

This post is open-ended and available up to full-time. Whilst candidates will be expected to spend some time in PML’s offices in Plymouth each week, opportunities for flexible working arrangements may be considered *

Experience & Eligibility Requirements (both posts)

The appointments will be made at Scientist grade and candidates would possess a PhD or equivalent experience in limnology, oceanography, Earth observation or a similar numerical field (mathematics, statistics, computing, or physics). The successful candidate will need to demonstrate strong computing skills as appropriate for quantitative remote sensing R&D (most of our software is implemented in Python) as well as numerical and mathematical skills. The post holder will work both individually and in a team, as required, be self-motivated, with good communication skills, including scientific writing.

* PML currently successfully operates a remote working environment due to covid-19 restrictions. Whilst candidates will be expected to spend some time in PML’s offices in Plymouth each week, opportunities for flexible working arrangements may be considered, this can be discussed at interview.

Interviews will be held in September, with the option of video interviews depending on candidate location and Covid-19 restrictions at the time. 

CLOSING DATE: 12 August 2020