Postdoctoral fellowships in Remote Sensing and Modeling of the Amazon River-to-Sea Continuum via AGU

University of São Paulo

São Paulo, , BR

Postdoctoral fellowships in Water Color Remote Sensing and Modeling of the Amazon River-to-Sea Continuum. The Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil) invites applications for two Post-doctoral fellowships, supported by the São Paulo Research Support Foundation (FAPESP) thematic project TROCAS II (Biogeochemical blindspots along the lower Amazon River continuum: from land to the atmosphere and ocean, co-funded by the US National Science Foundation). The TROCAS objective is to understand the large-scale drivers that create the spatial and temporal variability in carbon remineralization and CO2 fluxes, expressed as Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), from the lower Amazon River out into the Amazon plume. The project is based at CENA, with partner institutions, coordinated by Dr. Victoria Ballester (CENA) and Dr. Jeffrey Richey (CENA/University of Washington, USA).

The post-doc for remote sensing, to be supervised by Dr. Ballester and Dr. Milton Kampel (National Institute for Space Research/INPE) will be expected to: (1) Develop and validate algorithms for estimating pCO2 in the study region, using in situ and water color remote sensing data coupled to field measurements. (2) Generate a time series of at least 10 (ten) years of pCO2 by applying the algorithm generated in the satellite images. (3) Analyze the spatiotemporal variability of pCO2 in the study region. (4) Be available to participate in field work campaigns in the Amazon region (10-30 days). (5) Contribute to the cyber-informatics of project databases and cloud access, as part of the elaboration of a dynamic information framework for final project presentation. The successful candidate will be expected to have: (1) A PhD. degree in Remote Sensing, Oceanography, Biology or related fields. (2) Experience in above and below water radiometry including collecting and processing in situ radiometric and bio-optical data, fieldwork in the study region, and laboratory biogeochemical analyzes. (3) Experience in one or more image processing and geoprocessing software such as SeaWiFS Data Analysis System (SeaDAS), ArcGIS, QGIS, Google Earth Engine. (4) Experience in statistical analysis of time series.

The post-doc for modeling, to be supervised by Dr. Paulo Rosman (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and Dr. Richey,will be responsible for extending the current application of the environmental hydrodynamic modeling system SisBaHiA  in both space (from lower river into inner shelf) and process detail. The successful candidate will (1) Fine-tune physical model attributes and estimates of biogeochemical process rates. (2) Initiate calibration/validation of the model to in situ data. (3) When the model is capable of accurately estimating present day biogeochemical fluxes, run the model under scenarios of future change. (4) Explore coupling with an upstream basin hydrology model (e.g., VIC), and with downstream marine models (e.g., ROMS). (5) Contribute to the cyber-informatics of project databases and cloud access, as part of the elaboration of a dynamic information framework for final project presentation. The successful candidate will be expected to have: (1) A PhD. degree in Engineering, Oceanography, or related field. (2) Experience in coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical modeling, preferably including SisBaHiA. (3) Experience with computer programming languages and working with/developing hydrologic modeling frameworks, hydrologic data compilation, remote sensing experience a plus.

Brazilian and international applications are welcomed. The selected candidates will be involved in the planning and execution of research activities and may also act as co-advisor for project graduate and undergraduate students. Successful candidates will be expected to have fluency in English and Portuguese. A good track record of publications in high impact journal publications is expected. Experience in the Amazon region is a plus.

Period and Start of Activities

The fellowship duration is 24 months. Renewal may be for two additional periods of up to 12 months each, for a maximum of 48 months. The candidate should start the activities immediately after the fellowship is authorized by FAPESP.

Values and Condition

  • Monthly (tax-free) fellowship of R$ 7.373,10, plus 15% of the annual amount for research-related expenses (technical reserve).
  • The candidate must have completed the doctorate no more than six years before the beginning of the fellowship.
  • The fellowship requires full dedication to the research project (except under the conditions described in resolution PR N° 13/2009 of July 15, 2009).
  • The fellowship holder must not have any formal or informal employment, nor receive, during the fellowship contract, a fellowship from another Institute, salary or remuneration arising from the exercise of activities of any nature. 
  • To implement the fellowship, the selected candidate must present all the documentation required by FAPESP. For further details, please visit:

       How to apply

The submission deadline is February 20, 2020. Submissions are by email to: [email protected] and [email protected], mentioning in the Subject – “Remote sensing (or Modeling) postdoctoral fellowship, TROCAS II Project”, followed by your name, and submit the following files in PDF format:

  • A letter of interest of up to 2 pages in English, explaining your motivations for working on this project
  • Short CV Lattes (for Brazilian applicants), including publications attesting the competence to work on the project, the candidate’s academic background and experience in related topics. For foreigners, please provide a short CV (maximum of 4 pages).


An initial screening will be based on the documentation presented. Candidates passing this screening will be asked for 3 letters of recommendation, and an interview (via Skype, if in person isn’t feasible). The selected candidate must submit the necessary documents for the FAPESP fellowship application within 15 days of its approval.