Seeking a PhD candidate: Precursors of the anomalous merging of the Atlantic and African jets as a way of examining possible predictors to rare dynamical regime changes

Supervised by: Prof. Nili Harnik (personal web page).

Project description:

This project focuses on understanding and predicting extreme dynamical events and specifically when the jet stream and storms in the North Atlantic behave in a very unusual way for a relatively long period. Such a rare state of the flow occurred for example during winter 2009-10 when the usually separate Atlantic and African jets merged into one zonal jet, more typical of the Pacific jet stream, resulting in unusually cold and wet conditions in North America, Europe and even China (see details here). We propose to apply a novel rare event algorithm, based on statistical mechanics, to produce an ensemble of model runs of similar winter flow conditions, to study both the dynamics of these events, and their predictability using dynamical systems tools.

The project is part of the “European weather Extremes: DrIvers, Predictability and Impacts” (EDIPI) project led by a an international consortium of universities, research centres and private companies aiming to further our holistic understanding of temperature, precipitation (incl. drought) and surface wind extremes over Europe. As such, you will be part of a leading cohort of early-career researchers studying different aspects of climate extremes in Europe, from atmospheric dynamics to public health and agricultural impacts, and will have access to a rich programme of training activities and research exchanges. These are designed to enhance your career prospects in both academia and the private sector. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellows in Innovative Training Networks (ITN) program - grant agreement No. 956396.


Where: Geophysics Department, Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel

When: Starting 01-09-2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Duration: A three-year PhD project.

Salary and conditions: The salary conditions will follow the European Marie Curie ITN rules (see the 2019 allowance amount).

Eligibility: ITN program requires that applicants must not have resided and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Israel for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. The applicant must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of his/her research careers and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

Further requirements by Tel Aviv University can be found here:, or by emailing the TAU Geophysics PhD program coordinator Yafa Cohen-Hadari:


Further requirements: Candidates should have a background in either climate sciencesatmosphere dynamics, geophysical fluid dynamics, or physics. Experience running atmospheric general circulation models is an advantage. The candidate should be able to demonstrate motivation and a strong eagerness to learn and have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Duties: Besides the PhD related course and research work, the fellow must be willing to travel and will be required to complete international secondments. Specifically, major parts of the project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Freddy Bouchet at ENS de Lyon, France

Applications must include a cover letter, a CV, any document that might attest the academic results during the last two years, 2 recommendations letters. These should be sent directly to

The closing date is 31st May, 2021. After 31st May 2021, please contact to know if the position has already been granted or not.