Postdoctoral researcher position in Geobiology

Project Title: Nanoscale Characterization of microfossils in Proterozoic chert deposits

A postdoctoral researcher position in Geobiology is offered at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP). The position will focus on the nanoscale structure and composition of microfossils in diagenetic and metamorphosed Proterozoic chert deposits. For this purpose natural samples of various formations will be studied using high-resolution in-situ analytical techniques, and experiments will be conducted in which key types of microorganisms are silicified and altered at diagenetic and low-grade metamorphic conditions. Insight is generated into carbonization steps, as well as loss of morphology of microorganisms during progressive steps of alteration. The goal is to see if certain cell types are more likely to be preserved than others, and thus whether there could be a bias in the microfossil record in Proterozoic silica deposits.

The position is funded through ERC Consolidator Grant 'TRACES: Tracing Ancient Microbial Cells Embedded in Silica', and the researcher will be part of the research team of Dr. Mark van Zuilen in the Geomicrobiology group at IPGP in Paris.

The Geomicrobiology group at IPGP manages a fully equipped microbiology laboratory and a high-pressure, high-temperature experimental laboratory. IPGP houses the state of the art analytical platform PARI that includes a Raman spectrometer, FTIR-spectrometer, CLSM, SEM, FIB-SEM, and laser ablation-ICP-MS. Our team also has access to NanoSIMS and TEM facilities at associated institutes. During the course of this postdoctoral research project several of these analytical facilities will be extensively used. Further information on the Geomicrobiology group is available at the following webpage:


The successful candidate is motivated and ambitious, has a Ph.D. degree in Earth Sciences, with a strong interdisciplinary background in geosciences. The ideal candidate has experience with the study of microfossils, and has a strong background in high-resolution analytical techniques, preferably Raman spectroscopy, SEM/TEM and SIMS/NanoSIMS techniques. Requirements are a broad interest in micropaleontology, and the origin and evolution of early life. The candidate should be fluent in English and have a willingness to travel, carry out field work in remote areas, and interact in a strongly interdisciplinary team.

Terms of employment:

We offer a full-time postdoctoral position for 12 months, renewable for at least 6 months based on reasonable progress. The selected candidate will be employed by IPGP in Paris, following French labour laws. Remunerations will be subject to French income tax.

When and how to apply:

The application deadline is August 20th, 2018. Interviews with selected candidates will be held late August and the project is intended to start October 2018. Applications including a motivation letter, statement of research interests, and CV with contact information of at least two potential referees, should be sent in PDF format to Dr. Mark van Zuilen (

posted: 20 July 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.