PhD opportunity: Calibration of Ediacaran period in Namibia - U-Pb high-precision geochronology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland

A PhD position in high-precision time calibration of Ediacaran period in Namibia is open at Earth Science Department of the University of Geneva.

The aim of the project is to establish an absolute temporal framework for the occurrence of Ediacaran biota and their paleogeographic distribution, based on known and new occurrences of Ediacaran sedimentary sections in Namibia. The candidate will acquire high-precision U-Pb zircon ages by chemical-abrasion, isotope-dilution TIMS from volcanic ashes inter-bedded with fossiliferous fluvio-marine sediments. The project involves field work in Namibia and analytical work at University of Geneva (U-Pb geochronology, Hf isotope analyses on accessory minerals from the dated ash beds). Additional laboratory work will involve stable and radiogenic isotope analyses, whole-rock chemical and mineralogical analyses, partly in collaboration with University of Lausanne.

Applicants with a MSc., Diploma, high-ranking BSc. (honors; 1st class or 2-1), and/or equivalent degree(s) in Earth Sciences are invited. Previous experience in geochemical analyses in a clean laboratory environment is beneficial. Knowledge in basic paleontology, stratigraphy and isotope geochemistry is required as well as affinity for working with analytical equipment, especially mass spectrometers. It is expected that the candidate is careful and disciplined, as well as ambitious, initiative and keen on working in a multidisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual environment. The candidate will have to be curious, inventive and able to quickly learn new skills. The candidate needs to have a driving license to carry out independent field work. Excellence in speaking, reading and writing scientific English is required. The project starts 1st March 2019.

The University of Geneva, as a part of the ELSTE community (Earth Science Sections of the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva), offers state-of-the-art analytical facilities. For more detailed descriptions see:

Applications (including a CV, a list of three referees, and a letter of motivation) should be sent as one pdf file to Dr. Maria Ovtcharova ( before November 1, 2018.

posted: 02 October 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.