River Researcher



The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technology to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. Our goal is to initiate the largest cleanup in history by mid-2018.

We are a young organization with a mission to tackle a global problem of an unprecedented scale. What we are aiming for is not easy, and we know we need to push the limits of current technological boundaries to reach our goals. Working at The Ocean Cleanup isn’t for everyone, but we believe that through optimism, perseverance, and ingenuity we can succeed.

We are recruiting a diverse team of bright, high-performing people, who feel comfortable going off the beaten path, and who perceive setbacks merely as necessary obstacles to be taken on the route to great and lasting achievement.


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 new river researcher, who will mainly work on further developing, testing and applying various riverine plastic models.

Responsibilities include:

  • Further improve the global river model
  • Collaborate with parties within and outside The Ocean Cleanup to adjust the global river model for regional and local assessments
  • Create a (visual) database using The Ocean Cleanup data and information on plastic in rivers
  • Develop a transport model for riverine macro-plastics
  • Data analysis of modeled and measured riverine plastic data
  • Assist occasionally on fieldwork assessments


  • Possess academic-level thinking (master’s/PhD degree) in geosciences, hydrology, fluid mechanics, environmental sciences or similar
  • At least 2 years’ experience working in a professional (non-academic) organization, in for example engineering or research
  • Experience using and developing simple and complex models
  • Proficient with GIS software (e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS) and programming (e.g. Matlab, Pyton, R) is an advantage
  • Experience with fieldwork or missions abroad is an advantage


  • Analytical thinking
  • Affinity for data analysis
  • Results-driven and self-motivated, even when faced with adversity and setbacks
  • Willing to travel abroad
  • Strong command of English and Dutch, verbal and written
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

Please apply by sending your CV and motivation letter to hr@theoceancleanup.com. For questions please email to josee.meiners@theoceancleanup.com.