PhD and PostDoc positions in
petrology-geochemistry of subducted
hydrous mantle rocks

The Institute of Geological Sciences at University of Bern, Switzerland, invites applications for one PhD and one PostDoc position, fully funded, that aim at quantifying redox conditions and element fluxes triggered by serpentinite dehydration. Focus is on relic hydrous mantle rocks found along the subduction interface of the European Alps. Research approaches emphasize on petrology and measurement of data via diverse bulk and in-situ analytical techniques. Methods developments are required for LA-ICP-MS sulphide and oxide mineral analysis and SIMS measurements of S isotopes and halogen element concentrations. The geochemical emphasis will be on redox-sensitive elements including the chalcophile ones.

PhD: Field work combined with petrographic microscopy and EPMA, RAMAN, LA-ICP-MS, SIMS, all independently operated by the candidate.

PostDoc: Installation of, and methods development on, the new LA-ICP-MS facility at our institute. Methods-based research on selected topics complementary to PhD initiative.

We seek individuals with strong interest in petrology/geochemistry and analytical methods. Degrees in Earth Sciences and excellent communication skills in English are prerequisites, as is expertise in independent instrumental analysis for the PostDoc candidate. Experience in redox and thin-section microscopy is highly desirable. Experience with field work in rugged mountain terrains is advantageous for the PhD student.

The Institute of Geological Sciences houses an electron probe (JEOL JXA8200), two LA-ICP-MS systems, MC-ICP-MS, TIMS, FTIR, SEM-EDS, and RAMAN, besides basic infrastructure.

Access to SIMS is via the SwissSIMS facility in Lausanne. In-house research groups include those investigating metamorphic petrology, isotope geochemistry, and rock-water interaction.

Visit the institute at

The positions are fully funded (PhD: 3.5 years; PostDoc: 2.5 years), including benefits for social security.

This project is part of our vibrant core initiative on better quantifying fluid-mediated chemical cycling in subduction zones and is carried out in close collaboration with Profs. J. Hermann and D. Rubatto.

Applications should include a CV with details about research experience, personal and educational motivation to conduct this PhD or PostDoc project, abstract and graduation date (or planned date) of MSc or PhD thesis, and address of at least two referees who have agreed to provide references if requested. For PhD candidates, academic credentials (mark sheets and degree statements) are required.

Send only complete applications as a single pdf file by e-mail.

Evaluation of applications will start on July 1st, 2017, and continue until filled. The project starting date should be in 2017.

Contact and further information (preferably by e-mail):

Prof. Thomas Pettke
University of Bern,
Institute of Geological Sciences,
Baltzerstrasse 1+3,
CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland

posted: 06 June 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.