PhD position in the field of atmospheric transport of microplastic particles

University of Vienna, Austria
Closing date: 9 May 2022

The position will be embedded in the research group of Prof. Andreas Stohl on atmospheric transport modelling.

The starting date can be as early as 1 May 2022 and the duration is for three years.

Plastic waste has become a severe environmental concern. Especially microplastic particles may be detrimental to human health and ecosystems. While microplastics in the ocean and other environmental compartments have been studied for several years now, research on microplastics in the atmosphere is in its infancy. At the same time, the atmosphere is the only truly global transport medium that carries microplastic particles even to the most remote regions of the Earth, such as the Arctic or Antarctica.

The PhD student will use the Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART (see www.flexpart.eu) to simulate the atmospheric transport of microplastic particles. (S)he will quantify the emissions of microplastics into the atmosphere, both from primary (e.g., tyre wear, clothes, etc.), as well as from secondary (e.g. landfills, agricultural fields, ocean) sources, and use these emissions to simulate the global atmospheric concentration and deposition of microplastics.

The position is part of the Research Platform PLENTY – Plastics in the Environment and Society (https://umwelt.univie.ac.at/en/research/plenty/) at the University of Vienna. The student will collaborate closely with other groups participating in this platform, and in particular with the experimental aerosol physics group of Bernadett Weinzierl, where atmospheric microplastic particle measurements will be made. The transport modelling shall, in particular, help to interpret the measurements, and at the same time these measurements shall be used to improve relevant processes in FLEXPART. A corresponding experimentally oriented PhD position in the Aerosol Physics group is advertised jointly with this announcement.

Besides research, the successful candidate is also expected to participate in teaching and the supervision of students. Financial support is available for attending international meetings and visiting international research partners.

Find more information on the website of the university of Vienna.


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