July 2020
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[Met-jobs] post-doc on climate variability in Western Central Africa

From Nathalie Philippon <>
Date Mon, 6 Jul 2020 11:24:38 +0200

15-month post-doc position at IGE, Grenoble, France on "Space-time variability of low cloud cover in Western Equatorial Africa and relationships with atmospheric weather types"

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to work on a french-german project DYVALOCCA (Dynamics, Variability and Bioclimatic effects of Low Clouds in Western Central Africa,, funded by the French ANR and the German DFG and lead by Nathalie Philippon (IGE, Grenoble) and Andreas Fink (KIT, Karlsruhe).

The main aim of the project is to understand the dynamics and space-time variability of low cloud cover (LCC), i.e. basically non convective stratiform clouds, over the western equatorial Africa -WCA- (mostly Gabon, Congo and southern Cameroon) and its impact over forests physiology during the austral winter (May October). This area and season are rather exceptionnal over the whole tropical zone since the stratiform deck is very frequent, thus decreasing the diurnal temperature and limiting the evapotranspiration. This area harbors very rich endemic sempervirent forests despite a rather small annual amount of rainfall, when it is compared with other equatorial areas as Amazonia.


The offered position is under Workpackage n°4 dedicated to the «intra-seasonal to interannual variability of the low cloud cover» lead by Vincent Moron (CEREGE, Aix en Provence) and Pierre Camberlin (CRC, Dijon).
The main role of the postdoc will be to analyse the space-time variability of LCC on the contemporaneous period (1971-2019) from diverses sources, including observed station products as EECRA as well as satellite products as CLAAS-2.1. A first step will be to concatenate various sources to produce a reliable dataset of LCC from 3-hourly time scale. A second step will be to analyze the space-time variability of LCC from this time scale and define its main modes of variation using statistical methods (PCA, M-SSA, clustering …) and then to look at their relationships with atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics from ERA-5 and MERRA as well as with boundary forcings, especially the sea surface temperatures offshore the WCA.


The candidate will have a PhD or comparable degree in meteorology/atmospheric sciences/climate dynamics or physical geography (climatology) or a related subject. He/she will be interested in broadening their view on the climate variability over WCA and equatorial Atlantic across a range of scales. Experience in climate diagnosis, statistical analysis and good programming skills in Matlab, Python or R are required. Knowledge on dynamics of LCC and/or solar radiation and/or climate variability over WCA may be an advantage. We expect the candidate to be self-motivated and, in close collaboration with the leaders of the WP4 and of the project other workpackages, to develop and oversee a research programme, to publish scientific papers, and to present their work at international conferences and to international research initiatives.

Work Context

The IGE, Institut des Géosciences de l'Environnement ( is a Joint Research Unit (UMR) under the supervision of Grenoble Alpes University (UGA), CNRS (UMR5001), IRD and Grenoble-INP. It brings together about 145 permanent members (researchers, teacher-researchers, engineers, technicians and administrative staff) and about 95 doctoral students, post-doctoral students and staff on fixed-term contracts. Its premises are located on the campus of the University Grenoble Alpes in Saint Martin d'Hères. Research conducted at the IGE focuses on climate, the water cycle, the cryosphere, and natural and man-made environments. It aims to better understand the processes that govern the functioning of the different geophysical environments (ocean, physico-chemical atmosphere, cryosphere, watersheds, critical zone), their interactions and responses to anthropogenic pressures, as well as the processes of adaptation and resilience of societies.

The CEREGE, Center for Research and Teaching in Environmental Geosciences, brings together around 130 permanent staff (45 Teacher-Researchers, 40 Researchers and 45 Engineers, Technicians or Administrators), 110 non-permanent staff including 60 doctoral students. It is a mixed research unit (UM 34) whose supervision is the University of Aix-Marseille (AMU), CNRS (UMR7330), IRD (UMR 161), the Collège de France and INRAE (UMR 1410). Its premises are located on the Technopôle de l'Environnement Arbois-Méditerranée, located on the Arbois campus (Aix-en-Provence, Les Milles). Through its theoretical, methodological and technological approaches, CEREGE is a place of strong interdisciplinarity.

The position will be for 15-month and located at Grenoble within the team « PHyREV » ( The candidate will carry out his/her mission under the guidance of Pr Vincent MORON (CEREGE, Aix en Provence, and Nathalie PHILIPPON (CR - CNRS / IGE).
The position induces frequent contacts with the other labs included in WP4, noticeably CRC at Dijon (

Constraints and risks

The research will be done either in French or English, however it is expected that the non-French-speaking candidate strives to learn the basics of French in order to facilitate communication and its integration into the laboratory.

Additional Information

Submission of applications:

Dr Nathalie PHILIPPON 
Equipe PHyREV - Institut des Géosciences et de l'Environnement
Grenoble - FRANCE

DYVALOCCA project on low clouds in Western Central Africa

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