Open PhD position: 'Geochronology of the first Eurasian Ice Sheets' based at Charles University and Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague

Dear Colleagues,

We invite applicants for a 4-year fully funded PhD position based at the Department of Physical Geography & Geoecology, Charles University, and the Czech Academy of Sciences Geophysical Institute, Prague.

Geochronology of the first Eurasian Ice Sheets

Cosmogenic nuclides are produced by cosmic rays bombarding Earth's surface. Measurement of these rare nuclides in rock and sediment has revolutionised the study of how climate and tectonics have shaped landscapes through time. Earth's climate has changed dramatically over geologic time, and knowledge of what drives those changes is fundamental to understanding our planet and its future. It is well known that vast ice sheets have advanced and retreated across northern Eurasia many times over the past few million years. For instance, ~20,000 years ago the maximum extent of the last ice sheet covered the northern parts of Germany and Poland. Prior to that, however, the glaciations are poorly understood, and geologists have spent the past century trying to resolve how the distribution of ice sheets has varied over time. This research project will set out to apply a newly developed set of dating and modelling tools to unveil the history of the Early to Middle Pleistocene glaciations in Eurasia (i.e. before 130,000 years ago).

The international advisory team will comprise: John Jansen (Czech Academy of Sciences), Martin Margold (Charles University), and Mads Faurschou Knudsen (Aarhus University). The candidate will be involved with 1) collecting field samples at sites stretching from NW to NE Europe (possibly into Russia), 2) laboratory analysis, 3) mathematical modelling with cosmogenic nuclides, and 4) presentation of results at international conferences. A significant period will be spent at Aarhus University, where candidates will develop skills in modelling and the art of preparing samples for cosmogenic nuclide analysis.

Applications are invited from those with headstrong interests in numerical modelling, glacial geomorphology, and Quaternary sciences. Applicants should hold a Master's degree or be in the final year of their studies and be able to present their Master's degree at the beginning of their PhD candidature. Applicants with some combination of maths fluency, programming language skills, and lab experience will be strongly favoured.

The starting date is 1 Oct 2020, and remuneration will be competitive (up to 25,000 CZK/month), allowing for a reasonable standard of living in Prague.

Learn more about the Department of Physical Geography & Geoecology, and the Institute of Geophysics at

Applications as well as informal inquiries should be sent to:

John Jansen
GF Institute of Geophysics, Prague

Applications should include:

  1. A cover letter including your name, academic status and contact details, as well as the names and contact details of two faculty advisors from whom confidential letters may be sought.
  2. A statement of interest including long-term academic plans, research interests etc.
  3. A short resume/CV, including a list of courses taken, and grades.
  4. A self evaluation of strong and weak research skills, skills you particularly want to develop, and likes and dislikes associated with research and modelling.

Deadline for applications is 20th April 2020.

John Jansen
GF Institute of Geophysics, Prague

posted: 11 March 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.