Join the Group

The Atmospheric Composition Analysis Group is always seeking talented, curious students and postdocs to help improve scientific understanding of the atmosphere.

The Group is multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary, bringing a variety of skill sets to examine the physical and chemical processes determining atmospheric composition, and the implications of anthropogenic activities on climate and surface air quality. By combining satellite and ground-based measurements with the latest in atmospheric modeling, we’re seeking to assess not only the current state of the planet, but also the potential long-term effects of humanity’s current activities.

As a prospective graduate student or postdoc, you’ll be encouraged to pursue your curiosity about the atmosphere in an independent research environment, aided by the support and guidance of other members of the Group. Combining mathematical, physical, and chemical knowledge with computational methods, you’ll contribute to a quantitative understanding of Earth’s atmosphere and, in particular, changes in tropospheric composition.

Requirements for students

Want to join our Group? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • critical-thinking skills (that’s the most important)
  • quantitative-thinking skills
  • a background (Bachelor of Science) in physics, chemistry, math, engineering, or computer science. (Prior coursework in atmospheric science is unnecessary; you’ll learn what you need to know once you’re here.)
  • a strong ability to express yourself verbally (writing and speaking)
  • the ability to work independently and creatively

MSc or a PhD?

The choice is ultimately yours. If you have a BSc degree, the normal point of entry in the Faculty of Science is the Master of Science (MSc) program. You can enrol in the MSc program for a year and then transfer into the PhD program. A MSc degree is not a prerequisite for a PhD. I will work closely with you to determine your areas of interest and which specific project you can contribute to. The research is really broad, so there’s a lot of “wiggle room.”

Application deadlines

You may apply at any time. For September 1 enrollment, the application deadline for Canadian applicants is June 1. For non-Canadian applicants, the deadline is April 1 (if visa processing is lengthy, applicants should apply by January 31). I will also accept students who wish to begin on January 1.

Working with Randall Martin

My interactions with students in the research group vary a lot from week to week—and from student to student. I have an “open door” policy: if my door’s open, you can walk in any time. Some students visit frequently, while others prefer to work more independently. There’s a lot of flexibility.

It’s also important to foster collaborations between our group and other groups—we’re very much part of an international community, with organizations including NASA, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Health Canada, Environment Canada, as well as other post-secondary educational institutions, including Harvard, Tsinghua University, the University of British Columbia, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Colorado.

Contact the Group

I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about our research and your interest in joining our group. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have:

randall.martin@dal.ca