Application of drifter measurements to validate models of shelf sea dispersal – MRes Scholarship


Application of drifter measurements to validate models of shelf sea dispersal

Bangor University, School of Ocean Sciences

Project ID: BUK2E051
Annual Stipend: £11,937
Application Deadline: 14th December 2022.

Applications are invited for this one-year fully-funded Masters by Research (MRes) at Bangor University, simulating and validating models of dispersal in the marine environment. The research project is being undertaken jointly with CGG – a global technology leader that provides data, products, services and solutions in Earth science, data science, sensing and monitoring. The aim of the project is to improve our understanding of dispersal of pollutants in the ocean environment, adapting existing modelling frameworks of dispersal, and validating models with newly acquired ocean drifter data from the Irish Sea. This is a topic of international importance, particularly within the context of understanding the transport and accumulation of marine plastic litter. The project has two main objectives. The first objective is to further develop a Lagrangian particle tracking model of the study region, incorporating physical processes such as buoyancy, degradation and the effect of tidal currents, density-driven currents and wind stress on dispersal. The second objective is focussed on validation of the model, making use of the tracks of drifters that have been released for several months in the study region. With a detailed understanding of the Irish Sea, the end product of the project – a validated Lagrangian dispersal modelling framework – can be relocated to other shelf sea regions of the world.

This project presents an excellent opportunity for candidates interested in an applied research career in an industrially relevant field, within a one-year funded study programme. It also provides excellent training for undertaking future PhD studies. The project will provide training and experience in parameterizing and running ocean models, data processing and model validation/calibration, report writing and liaison with industrial partners. The successful candidate will also join a vibrant and large ocean modelling research group in the School of Ocean Sciences. The post will be located in the School of Ocean Sciences, Menai Bridge, and the successful candidate will have their own office space and full access to the research facilities available within the school.

Entry Requirements

Prospective candidates will be assessed on how well they meet the following essential criteria:

  • A good (2:1 or above) honours degree in Oceanography, Physics, Civil Engineering, Computing, or a related subject.
  • Experience in undertaking a research project.
  • Experience of computer coding in either R, Python or Matlab.
  • Experience of working with data collected in situ.
  • Good level of understanding of ocean processes.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

To apply, send a CV and covering letter to Professor Simon Neill ( and cc to Penny Dowdney ( ) by 14th December 2022.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the East Wales on University registration and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.