Postdoctoral Researcher – Increasing Coastal Resilience Using Terrestrial & Ocean-Based Nature-Based Solutions

Closing date: 5.00 pm 2nd February 2022

Start date: Position is available from 01 April 2022.

Salary: €39,132 to €50,529 per annum (public sector pay policy rules pertaining to new entrants will apply).

The project is seeking a highly qualified and ambitious candidate to undertake a 4-year fixed term postdoctoral research project aimed at enhancing our understanding of coastal and ocean-based NbS in Ireland. The project will combine research on ocean models, coastal change models, remote sensing (drones) and community engagement via citizen science projects. These will be achieved by adapting an existing coupled wave-morphodynamics model (SWAN wave model + XBeach morphodynamic model) developed by the team, collecting new field data, and conducting community workshops. The position is funded by a Marine Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme grant. The researcher will work closely with Dr. Eugene FarrellDr. Stephen Nash and Ms. Sheena Fennell (NUI Galway). The position is suitable for candidates with backgrounds in ocean modelling, coastal engineering, and geomorphology. The successful candidate is expected to conduct fieldwork and collaborate closely with members of active coastal communities in Ireland.

More information is available here

Job Description:

The researcher will join the coastal and ocean engineering research group where they will work on an exciting Nature-based Solution project with three main components:

(1) providing the first scientific evidence of the potential benefits of ocean-based NbS in Ireland on mitigating storm impacts on the coast by adapting existing wave-morphological models within the coastal and engineering research group to simulate the effects of ocean-based NbS on waves and erosion.

(2) use the extensive coastal community network uniquely available to the project to co-design citizen science monitoring programmes to systematically monitor the coastal changes in the vicinity of terrestrial beach-dune NbS’s.

(3) deliver the terms of reference for a large-scale, multi-year evidenced-based review to scope out potential for ocean and intertidal NbS in Irish coastal waters.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The main duties of the post will involve:

  • Adapt an existing coupled wave-morphodynamics model (SWAN wave model + XBeach morphodynamic model) to simulate the effects of ocean-based NbS on both wave attenuation and coastal erosion.
  • Design and run an ensemble of ocean models of past and future environmental conditions to gain understanding of the coastal protection efficacy of ocean-based NbS.
  • Deliver in the first year of the research programme terms of reference for a larger-scale multi-year study to assess the potential of ocean-based NbS in Ireland. This study will focus, at least, on kelp forests, seagrass meadows, oyster reefs and intertidal saltmarshes.
  • Co-design a cost-effective citizen science methodology to map NbS within beach-dune systems using a combination of ground and aerial (drone) surveys.
  • Work closely with a local community and experts to co-design biodiversity monitoring protocols and short community training workshops.
  • Review of project progress in line with the commitments of the Project Agreements (outputs and deliverables, etc.) and work with project partners and the NUI Galway Team to ensure that these are met.
  • Management of project reporting (technical and financial).
  • Day to day supervision of PhD and/or MSc researcher work.
  • Dissemination of research results and activities through a variety of media.
  • Development and contribution to academic dissemination via journal publications and conferences.
  • Engagement in the development of new research funding proposals.

Qualifications/Skills required:

Essential Requirements:

  • A PhD in a relevant discipline, e.g. coastal, civil, or environmental engineering, physical geography or equivalent
  • Proven experience, proficient skills in numerical modelling using DHI MIKE Software (1D, 2D and 3D hydrodynamics module) and/or Delft3D software
  • Proven experience with GIS software such as ArcGIS or QGIS and geospatial data management and analysis
  • Demonstrate an interest and previous experience in areas such as coastal engineering, geomorphology  and climate change
  • Demonstrated ability to collect, manage and analyse large quantitative and/or qualitative datasets and conduct statistical analyses
  • Excellent project management skills including a proven record of meeting project deadlines
  • Experience of report writing, both technical and progress reports for projects
  • Proven ability to work well in a team
  • Ability to support the development of appropriate methodologies for research in a multidisciplinary environment
  • Demonstrated aptitude for critical thinking and capable of taking initiative
  • Evidence of excellent communication skills (both written and oral) in English
  • Ability to deliver high quality peer-reviewed papers commensurate with their career stage
  • Candidates will be required to drive


Desirable Requirements:

  • Experience in planning and execution of fieldwork
  • Experience in conducting professional-grade surveys e.g. taking levels, processing data, etc.
  • Experience with remote sensing data collection (drones) and analysis (GIS)
  • Experience in supervision of researchers

To Apply:

Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details (names & addresses) of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to: ei.yawlagiun@llerraf.enegue

Please put reference number NUIG RES 013-22 in the subject line of the e-mail application.


The closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm 2nd February 2022