Postdoc Opportunity to Study the Influence of Mantle Dynamics on Earth’s Magnetic Field (University of Florida)

Dear Colleagues,

The Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida is looking for one postdoc to join our NSF funded research project “UNDERSTANDING THE INFLUENCE OF MANTLE DYNAMICS ON THE GENERATION OF EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD THROUGHOUT THE PLATE TECTONIC CYCLE”. The successful applicant will take a leading role in the project by carrying out high-performance computer simulations of mantle convection and the geodynamo in order to quantify the largest possible influence of mantle heat transport on the magnetic field at Earth’s surface, taking into account the influence of inner core size. This will be accomplished by computing realistic core-mantle boundary heat flux patterns generated by 3D mantle convection models and coupling them to geodynamo simulations that produce Earth-like magnetic fields. This work will improve understanding of the mantle’s role in regulating the magnetic field throughout Earth’s history. Additionally, the work will determine whether changes in the magnetic field so far ascribed to inner core nucleation could instead partly or completely be explained by mantle dynamics alone.

The postdoc will work directly in collaboration with PIs Courtney Sprain, Juliane Dannberg, and Rene Gassmoeller at the University of Florida, and will have the opportunity to visit and work with the international project collaborators at the University of Liverpool and University of Leeds. Together, the team has extensive experience in modeling mantle convection, plate tectonics, the geodynamo, and paleomagnetism. The postdoc will be involved in all aspects of the project and will gain valuable interdisciplinary experience and the opportunity to expand their skills in numerical modeling, high-performance computing, and programming.

We seek individuals with strong backgrounds in geophysics and experience in high-performance computer modeling, with a preference for applicants who have studied Earth’s magnetic field and have experience in numerical geodynamo modeling. Applicants must have completed a PhD by the position start-date.

University of Florida is ranked as the #6 top public university in the US and allows postdocs to serve as Principal Investigator on grants (under certain conditions). We will encourage and support candidates who want to obtain additional research funding and aim to pursue an academic career. More resources for postdocs at UF can be found at More information about the Department of Geological Sciences can be found at

The advertised position is for up to 3 years, with a start date as soon as possible, and ideally not later than spring 2022. If interested, please contact Courtney Sprain (, Juliane Dannberg (, or Rene Gassmoeller ( Candidates can apply by sending a cover letter that also outlines their research interests, a CV, and the names of 3 references who can provide a letter of recommendation to Courtney Sprain ( Application review will begin on September 20th, however applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Temporary accommodations due to the COVID pandemic can be discussed.

Thank you!

Courtney Sprain, Juliane Dannberg, and Rene Gassmoeller