• Interviews started
  • Closing date: 08 May 2023


In our mission to rid the world's oceans of plastic, we rely on a thorough understanding of the ocean plastic pollution problem. The research team at The Ocean Cleanup aims to refine our understanding of the sources, transport, and fate of ocean plastics. Our scientific findings help steer the organization's strategy to maximize our impact. We work in a multidisciplinary team, including field and lab scientists, numerical modelers, geospatial analysts, and remote sensing experts. You will report to the Head of Research.

The River Data Scientist & Modeler leads the development and maintenance of our next-generation river plastic emission model. The output of this model is directly used by our River team to prospect new locations and to assess efficiency for existing Interceptor deployments. The role requires strong interactions with other scientists at The Ocean Cleanup and external research partners with the goal of translating empirical and observational data into meaningful numerical model parameters. You will oversee the implementation of our model script and the sourcing of environmentally, socially, and economically relevant datasets. You will have succeeded when we can accurately predict global emissions of plastics from rivers into the ocean annually.

"With a wide observational network in rivers worldwide, scientists at The Ocean Cleanup are uniquely positioned to further our understanding of plastic pollution sources in the ocean. We have gained an unprecedented quantity of data and evidenced that existing models are limited. I am looking forward to our new generation of dynamic emission models, which will be critical for enabling data-oriented strategy in our mission of ridding the ocean of plastics." - Laurent Lebreton, Head of Research.


  • Develop a mathematical model script for the transport of plastics into and within rivers.
  • Curate and document several global datasets of environmental and socio-economic indicators.
  • Run simulations under varying scenarios and maintain a library of model outputs.
  • Participate in the implementation of interactive geospatial visualizations.
  • Coordinate model development with internal and external scientists.
  • Supporting the River Team with model outputs/analysis for deployment projects
  • Reporting model updates to the River Team
  • Publish findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Presenting research findings at international conferences and workshops.


  • Postgraduate degree in Mathematical or Computer Science, Earth Science (with Modelling background), Geospatial Information System (GIS).
  • 2 to 5 years of relevant work experience in computational modeling, and/or geospatial mapping.
  • Native in mathematical scripting software language (i.e., Python, Matlab, R, SQL)
  • Experience in leading data-savvy projects; you are not afraid of Terabytes.
  • Experience with producing and maintaining version-controlled software is preferred (e.g., send us your GitHub profile)
  • Experience in environmental and/or socio-economic mapping is an advantage.
  • Experience with building interactive data visualization is also an advantage (please forward portfolio)


  • Organized and able to quickly synthesize information
  • Independent, curious, and strong attention to details
  • Team player
  • Have a sense of humor (or tolerance for bad puns)
  • Results-driven and self-motivated, even when faced with adversity and setbacks
  • Strong command of English, verbal and written
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

Please mention the potential start date in your application.

Please note: because we are a non-profit, our salaries reflect that of an organization fully reliant on donations rather than a commercial entity.

Starting from:
Work permit needed:
European Union

Interviews have started, but please feel free to apply, as we might consider new applications.