Applications are now open for a deep-sea taxonomy postdoctoral fellowship with Ifremer for candidates from developing States Members of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The 18-month fellowship position will focus on developing and testing new methods and technologies for deep-sea species identification and is expected to begin in February 2022.

ISA is calling for candidates with a Ph.D. degree in marine biology, ecology or a related discipline and preferably having expertise in marine meiofauna taxonomy and microscopy. Fluency in written and spoken English is also required.

The fellow will be part of Ifremer’s “Blue Revolution” project and will work on the development and testing of 3D-imaging techniques for the identification of meiofauna organisms of deep-sea ecosystems found in areas currently being explored for mineral resources. Processed images will contribute to the creation of a training dataset for the development of machine-learning method. The fellow will also contribute to identify key-species that can be used as indicators for assessing potential environmental changes in the future, which will inform the work of ISA.

It is the mandate of ISA under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment and promote and encourage marine scientific research in the international seabed area (the Area). ISA is also committed to contributing towards the scientific objectives of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, as reflected in the Marine Scientific Research Action Plan adopted by the ISA Assembly in December 2020[1]. Developing innovative, cost-effective and practical tools and methodologies for the assessment and monitoring of deep-sea biodiversity is essential to ensure activities in the Area are environmentally sustainable. It is the aim of ISA, through this partnership with Ifremer, to contribute to identifying scientifically robust, coherent and coordinated ways and means to advance knowledge of deep-sea biodiversity and enhance capacities – especially of its developing Member States – in relation to deep-sea taxonomy.

The postdoctoral fellowship is a joint initiative by ISA and Ifremer which was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of France. The fellowship is provided as part of ISA’s capacity development programmes for nationals from developing States Members of ISA. It will be hosted at Ifremer in France.

Please visit this link for more information and to apply for the fellowship. Applications by qualified candidates should be received no later than 30 November 2021.



For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Marie Bourrel-McKinnon, Senior Policy Officer & Special Assistant to the Secretary-General, ISA,


[1] See ISBA/26/A/17