Thesis on dynamics of microplastics in an estuary

EPOC/University of Bordeaux

Fixed term contract – Bordeaux, France

Deadline: 12/09/2022

#oceans #microplastics #estuary #physics

EPOC (Environnements et Paléoenvironnements Océaniques et Continentaux) of the University of Bordeaux is proposing a thesis on the dynamics of microplastics in a hyper turbid macrotidal estuary.

Host organisation

UMR 5805 “Environnements et Paléoenvironnement Océaniques” (EPOc) was created on 1 January 1997. This UMR first associated two, then very quickly three laboratories of the University Bordeaux 1: (1) the Department of Geology and Oceanography (DGO), the Laboratory of Biological Oceanography (LOB) and the Laboratory of Ecophysiology and Ecotoxicology of Aquatic Systems (LEESA). This change brought the number of supervisors of the unit to four: the University of Bordeaux 1, the CNRS, the EPHE and the University of Bordeaux 4. The merger of three Bordeaux universities on 1 January 2014 reduced this number to three: the University of Bordeaux, the CNRS and the EPHE.

Its main areas of activity are:

  • Scientific research in all fields related to the study of oceanic and continental aquatic environments and paleoenvironments. This component of EPOC’s activity is structured around three main themes: (1) Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry, (2) Coastal Oceanography, and (3) Marine Geosciences, on which the EPOC research unit intends to position itself nationally and internationally. All the research activities of the UMR EPOC come under the Science and Technology Department of the University of Bordeaux
  • Training in and to research. Within the University of Bordeaux, EPOC’s teacher-researchers are notably involved in: (1) the Master’s degree in Earth Sciences, Environment and Ecology, whose two specialities, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry, and Oceanography, have been designed to mirror the three research themes of the UMR, and (2) an international Master’s degree in Environment and Marine Resources (Master MER). The teaching and research staff of the UMR EPOC belong either to the College of Sciences and Technologies (Earth Sciences and Environment UF and Chemistry UF) or to the Biology UF of the University of Bordeaux
  • Observation, which includes both long-term and high-frequency components. These activities are conducted in close association with OASU and often within the framework of national networks (e.g., the Service d’Observation du Milieu Littoral, and the Réseau National RESOMAR, some of whose scientific activities are carried out by EPOC staff)

Position description

The objective of this position is to make fundamental advances in the understanding of the transport, trapping and dispersal of microplastics in tidally dominated estuaries. The successful candidate will address research questions such as:

  • The effect of different processes on microplastic transport in different estuarine regions
  • The formation of estuarine microplastic maxima (EMPM) in macrotidal estuaries in relation to the physical properties of the particles (density, size and shape) and physical factors
  • Microplastic flows entering the estuary and discharged into the ocean and source-sink relationships
  • The role of macrotidal estuaries as a source and sink of microplastics, which will ultimately contribute to quantifying the dispersion and balance of microplastics at the land-ocean interface

Profile and skills

  • Master’s degree in physical oceanography, environmental physics, marine science, fluid mechanics or related field
  • Mastery of scientific programming software (MATLAB, Python)
  • Experience in data analysis and modelling
  • Fluency in English (reading, speaking and writing)

Professional skills

  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork
  • Autonomy
  • Good communication (written and spoken)
  • Writing skills
  • Passion et enthusiasm

Contract type

Fixed term contract, 3 years


UMR EPOC, 33615 Pessac, France

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