World Maritime University (WMU)

Research Associate, Ecosystem service models and social-ecological scenarios

World Maritime University (WMU)

Malmö, Sweden

The World Maritime University (WMU) is a postgraduate and research university established in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization, the maritime agency of the United Nations. WMU offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs, postgraduate diplomas, and Professional Development Courses with the highest standards in maritime and oceans education and training. The incumbent will be working within the Research Unit of the Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute at WMU’s headquarters in Malmö, Sweden.

We currently seek a post-doctoral research associate with expertise in coupled human-natural systems, quantitative social science research methods, and model-based policy analysis under deep uncertainty, to contribute to a Horizon 2020 project (MEESO) focussed on assessing options for the governance and management of the mesopelagic zone and its ecosystem services, and assessing the sustainability of a potential mesopelagic fishery.

Mesopelagic organisms occur at a depth ranging from 200-1000M, and are understood to be the World’s largest unexploited ecosystem in the World’s oceans, with a recent biomass estimate at 10 billion metric tons. The overall goal of MEESO is to quantify the spatio-temporal distributions of biomass, production and ecosystem role of mesopelagic resources and to assess options to sustainably manage and govern their potential exploitation. The candidate will collaborate with an international consortium of biophysical modellers, fisheries economists, and ocean governance researchers. The research will compare the consequences of alternative governance and management approaches for carbon sequestration and biodiversity, and evaluate the potential consequences of harvesting mesopelagic biomass. The efforts will inform ecosystem area-based management of mesopelagic resources.

This project has received funding from the European Commission – Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 817669 for a three year period.

The successful candidate will conduct an analysis of the economic value for mesopelagic carbon sequestration based on source/sink dynamics under varying scenarios of future exploitation, climate change, and the social cost of carbon (i.e., costs imposed on society due, for example, to environmental productivity, human health, or sea- level rise damages attributable to elevated atmospheric carbon emissions – Greenstone et al. 2013, Nordhaus 2017). The project will address uncertainties arising from biophysical modelling, harvest and processing costs, and the economic analysis of fishery development. Participatory modelling approaches to scenario development will be involved.
The successful candidate is expected to publish the results of the project in international scientific journals.


PhD in quantitative environmental social science, environmental economics, environmental science/environmental engineering or a related field.


1. Experience in coupled social-ecological systems.
2. Experience in environmental policy, environmental governance, or similar.
3. Experience with quantitative methods for analyzing uncertainty (e.g. model based policy analyses) and informing decisions under deep uncertainty (e.g., Robust Decision-Making, Bayesian Belief Networks are particularly desirable).
4. Ability to collaborate across disciplines (e.g. with natural scientists, environmental economists, policy analysts) to inform the development of decision making scenarios and risk analysis tools.
5. The successful applicant is required to be resident at WMU in Malmö, Sweden, for the duration of the programme, and able to undertake research trips.

▪ Experience in environmental science and ecosystem services, environmental economics, and/or North Atlantic ocean governance/policy.
▪ Experience in qualitative research methods (i.e. conducting focus group/ interviews and analyzing their results).

Knowledge and skills

▪ Excellent communications skills.
▪ Ability to work independently and as part of a professional/academic team.
▪ Effective organizational skills to manage time, set priorities and undertake administrative tasks.
▪ Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.
▪ Ability to deal with administrative and research matters as appropriate to status and with reference to other colleagues within WMU.

The vacancies are open to male and female candidates. WMU seeks to increase the number of women at all levels and, therefore, qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply. WMU will make every effort to facilitate the employment of persons with disabilities.

The Post-Doctoral position provides for a monthly stipend of approximately 42,000 SEK (free of income tax in Sweden) and medical and life insurance coverage by Cigna International. Applicants must fill in the Personal History Form, which can be found at, provide a letter of interest and why you are the right person for this position, CV, list of publications, copies of degree certificates, and the contact information of at least two referees we may contact to Marco Batista, Head of Human Resources ( Candidates will be contacted if they are short-listed.


Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Research Associate, Ecosystem service models and social-ecological scenarios