Job opportunity with TheOceanCleanup

(05-07-2019) The Ocean Cleanup (Rotterdam, Netherlands) is looking for a River Field Scientist


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop technology to rid the world's oceans of plastic.

In order to do so, we need to understand the problem: our Research program investigates sources transport and fate of ocean plastics so we can make informed decisions while working towards our 90% plastic mass reduction goal in the global ocean by 2040.

You are responsible for furthering our understanding of terrestrial sources of plastic in the ocean so we plan for efficient interception technology. You will have succeeded when: we have gained sufficient level of knowledge on riverine plastics to accurately predict emissions and impact of interception strategy.

"We are a fast moving team of researchers on a journey to monitor, quantify and characterize global plastic pollution. We ask relevant questions and plan for rapid experimentation to deliver answers and advance the field. We produce open-access, peer-reviewed science and we value cooperation, creative thinking and ingeniosity. I am looking forward to working with our new River Field Scientist that will take the lead on refining our understanding on terrestrial emissions of plastic into the ocean." Laurent Lebreton, Research Lead.


The Ocean Cleanup is executing river research to provide global estimates of riverine plastic debris using a combination of (1) fundamental experiments, (2) targeted fieldwork and (3) modeling exercises. We are looking for a River Field Scientist, who will mainly be responsible for the rapid acquisition of long-term monitoring data in targeted rivers.

Responsibilities include:

Lead the organisation of observational campaigns in several targeted rivers worldwide.
Develop new field data collection protocols to support the development of our global river model.
Establish cooperation with local universities and environmental groups for the systematic collection of river plastic abundance data.
Collaborating with our other researchers, studying ocean plastic, fully utilizing any synergy


  • Possess academic-level thinking (master's/PhD degree) in geosciences, hydrology, fluid mechanics, geology, environmental sciences or similar
  • Have at least 3 years of experience in senior research positions, leadership positions in driving ambitious research projects
  • Experience with fieldwork or missions abroad
  • Experience with sampling for (micro-)plastic in the riverine environment is an advantage
  • Good publication record in high ranking scientific peer-reviewed journals


  • Field Ninja
  • Curious and ingenious
  • Results-driven and self-motivated, even when faced with adversity and setbacks
  • Willingness to travel abroad
  • Strong command of English, verbal and written
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal




European Union

A valid European Union work permit is highly preferred for this position. However, feel free to send an open application so we can contact you if an opportunity arises in your country.