First listed on: 27 August 2022

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in modelling climate impacts on the Great Barrier Reef using ML


Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in physical oceanography, climate modelling or a closely related field?
  • Conduct research to estimate the future state of the Great Barrier Reef and guide conservation strategies.
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation!

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.

Coral reefs around the world including the Great Barrier Reef are under the threat of severe coral bleaching and ocean acidification from the impacts of climate change. Conserving reefs into the future will require an understanding of the evolving distribution of climate refugia that currently protects reefs. This will depend on how reef-scale circulation and reef connectivity change with climate conditions. However, the current generation of climate models are unable to resolve critical reef-scale physical processes.  The Fellow will address this critical need using machine learning approaches to rapidly downscale climate model outputs. The research will be supported by a team with expertise in ocean modelling and downscaling, machine learning, and ecological impact assessment. The Fellow will be able to exploit existing data, models and software to extend machine learning approaches for the purpose of downscaling climate models.  Resulting high-resolution ocean projections will be used to estimate the future state of the Great Barrier Reef and guide conservation strategies. Combining climate knowledge with new machine learning methods will place the Fellow at the forefront of this important research area.

Your duties will include:

  • Carry out innovative, impactful research in climate science that will lead to novel and important scientific outcomes and publications. 
  • Advance the application of machine learning in climate research and accurately document the methods and results.
  • Represent CSIRO externally in scientific forums.
  • Utilise design thinking methodology to plan and prepare research proposals, and apply non-academic impact methodology to research projects.

Location:  Perth, WA 
Salary:  AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years
Reference:  86925

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as physical oceanography, climate modelling or a closely related field. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in the design, implementation and use of mathematical models to analyse and solve scientific problems and publish the results. 
  • Understanding of physical processes that influence marine ecosystems.
  • A high level of understanding of scientific software engineering practices.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by 31 January 2023.

Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

17 October 2022, 11:00pm AEDT

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