Postdoc position in computational geodynamics (using ASPECT) at the IPGP, in Paris, France

Postdoctoral job offer from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris | UMR 7154

Researcher in Computational Geodynamics
Duration 2 years, full time (additional 1-year extension possible)
Department Geomagnetism Group
Salary 2 800 € / month

This research project will focus on carrying out state-of-the-art numerical simulations of thermal convection that incorporate recent seismic tomographic models of 3-D mantle structure and geodynamic/mineral physical inferences of mantle viscosity. These calculations will reconstruct the spatial-temporal evolution of mantle dynamics over the past 80 million years of Earth history using data assimilation methods.

This computational geodynamic modelling is a core component of the GYPTIS (Geodynamic Perturbations of Climate Signals) research project funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) in France. The tomography-based mantle convection simulations will provide the essential basis for establishing detailed connections between Earth’s internal dynamics and climate related signals recorded by surface geological markers, which include sea level variations and astronomical (Milankovitch) forcing of paleoclimate variations recorded by cyclostratigraphic data.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop a time-reversible mantle convection model, using the back-and-forth quasi-reversible data assimilation method, based on the ASPECT finite-element thermal convection code.
  • Benchmark the finite-element simulations using a pseudo-spectral thermal convection code employed in past work.
  • Use recent global tomography models derived from joint seismic-geodynamic inversions, to reconstruct the 4-D evolution of mantle density and temperature fields over the past 80 Ma.
  • Predict time-dependent evolution of dynamic surface topography and gravity/geoid anomalies on a global scale.
  • Participate in regular meetings with other members of the research group and actively collaborate with these group members.
  • Present results in international conferences and workshops.
  • Publish these results in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Research activities will be carried out full time at the IPGP

Required Qualifications:

A Master’s degree and a PhD in Geophysics, or Computational Fluid Dynamics, or Applied Mathematics, or Mechanical Engineering

Expected Skills and Training:

  • Experience in numerical modelling of solutions to partial differential equations encountered in a mathematical physics/geophysics context (e.g. diffusion and advection)
  • Knowledge of geodynamics and/or fluid dynamics is preferable.
  • Knowledge and (preferably) experience in using scientific computing languages such as C++ (highly desired) or FORTRAN.
  • Knowledge and (preferably) experience using parallel programming software such as MPI and/or OpenMP.
  • Experience working with Unix/Linux computer operating systems.
  • Proficiency communicating and working in an international, collaborative and multidisciplinary research environment.
  • A record of published research in recognized journals.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit:
(1) A cover letter including a statement of motivation and interests.
(2) A curriculum vitae (CV).
(3) The name and address of at least 2 persons of reference who can provide detailed assessments of the applicant’s aptitudes and skills.

The above items should be sent, via email, to Alessandro Forte (

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Further inquiries relating to this job offer may be addressed to Alessandro Forte and Marianne Greff (