Postdoctoral researcher in experimental and analytical geochemistry

School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of St Andrews

Salary: £33,797 - £36,914 per annum,
Fixed Term: 3 years,
Start: 1 October 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher who will be responsible for driving the development and application of a hydrothermal reactor experiment that can be used to test the mobility of nutrient elements in fluids under elevated pressure and temperature. The post will also involve the setup of a new analytical method for reduced phosphorus species by ion chromatography-mass spectrometry. The project is fully funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in the UK.

Hydrothermal vents have long been thought to have played a pivotal role in the origin of life on Earth, and it is conceivable that they were also critical for maintaining habitability over the past four billion years by providing essential nutrients to the marine biosphere. The aim of this project is to test this hypothesis through new laboratory experiments, specifically targeting redox chemistry of phosphorus and nitrogen under hydrothermal conditions. The project will involve the development of appropriate experimental setups and analytical methods. The methods would also be applicable to rock samples from hydrothermal deposits through Earth history. A successful candidate will therefore be technically skilled, keen to optimize analytical instrumentation, and have a strong interest in reconstructing past environments.

The postdoctoral researcher would join a dynamic cohort of researchers in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences and have the opportunity to join the St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Sciences (StACES). It is expected that the results produced from this project would be presented at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr Eva Stueeken (

Applications are particularly welcome from women, people from the Black, Asian, Minority or Ethnic (BAME) community and other protected characteristics who are under-represented in academic posts at the University.

The University is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through accreditation (Athena SWAN; Carer Positive; Stonewall, LGBT and Race Charters).

Please quote ref: AR2576MR

Closing Date: 16 August 2021

Apply under:(Research Fellow - AR2576MR (

posted: 02 August 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.