Postdoc in Arctic Marine Organic Geochemistry
and Paleoceanography - 950818

The Department of Geoscience of Aarhus University is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work with biomarkers and organic geochemistry of marine sediment cores from the Arctic Ocean and northern North Atlantic Ocean. The main research subject is the impact of variability of sea-ice cover and ice sheet dynamics on climate during the last glacial cycle and the Holocene.

Research group

The postdoctoral researcher will be part of a newly established research group working with organic biomarkers in (sub-)polar paleoceanography, in close collaboration to existing groups in the same department as well as the departments of Chemistry, Bioscience and Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University. The main research questions of the research group are:

  • How anomalous is the current loss of Arctic sea-ice cover over a longer time perspective?
    • During the Holocene (last ~11,700 years)
    • During previous interglacials of the Late Quaternary
  • What is the impact of meltwater input from ice sheets on ocean circulation and climate?
    • In the early Holocene (North American ice sheet)
    • Present and future (Greenland)


The main duties of the postdoctoral researcher will be the study of organic biomarkers from marine sediments, and to assist with building up a biomarker extraction laboratory and GC-MS method development. Recent biomarkers will be used to reconstruct sea-ice cover and productivity, while ancient biomarkers will be analyzed to study the provenance of detrital sediment input. Several sediment records are available for analysis from a large geographic area including the Arctic Ocean, Labrador Sea, Baffin Bay and East Greenland.

Within the general framework of Arctic biomarker paleoceanography, there is freedom for the postdoctoral researcher to develop her/his own ideas. Candidates are therefore invited to formulate their research plans in a short research proposal as part of the application.

The postdoctoral researcher is expected to assist with the (co-) supervision of thesis projects for (under-) graduate students and the (co-) writing of larger grant applications. Classroom teaching is optional.


The applicant is expected to have experience with organic geochemistry and biomarkers from marine sediments as proxies for reconstructing past climate and oceanography. The ideal candidate has experience with the Arctic environment and sea-ice biomarkers such as IP25. Experience with other proxies, including micropaleontology, is advantageous, but not a requirement. Knowledge of multivariate statistical methods and scientific programming (R, Matlab, Python) are very useful. Candidates should hold a PhD degree (or complete one before summer 2018) in Earth Sciences, Geochemistry, Oceanography or similar. The applicant should have good proficiency in English and should be able to work in a large team.

Place and conditions of employment

This full-time postdoctoral position is limited to two years, with preferred starting date before summer 2018. In case external funding is secured within the academic area the candidate is assessed obviously qualified for, an extension is possible for up to a total maximum of 4 years of employment as a postdoc. The place of employment is the Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University, Høegh Guldbergs Gade 2, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.


Applications should include an application letter, CV with publication list, a research plan (1-2 pages max.), and up to three letters of recommendation.


For further enquiries, contact Assistant Professor Christof Pearce (, +45 9350 8915).

Application procedure

Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications - and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, - the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.

Formalities and salary range

Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities. Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities. Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers Relocation service to International researchers. You can read more about it here.


All applications must be made online and received by: 15.01.2018

posted: 15 December 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.