Postdoctoral Researcher, BHP HGHP

This role is fully-funded by BHP Minerals and is subject to the terms and conditions of the collaboration agreement between NHM and BHP. We are seeking a creative and experienced geoscientist to join the London Centre for Ore Deposits and Exploration (LODE) research group to work on this exciting project investigating the genesis of high grade hypogene porphyry-copper deposits. The research will combine detailed characterisation of mineralogy and mineral chemistry from a variety of study sites with the development of tools for the recognition of high-grade ore signatures using machine learning techniques.

The post holder will be responsible for the field collection of samples and the analysis and interpretation of whole rock, mineral assemblage and mineral chemistry data. He/she will conduct sample petrography of altered and variably mineralized rocks from a variety of porphyry systems. Whole rock geochemistry, optical and SEM-based techniques (including automated SEM), and mineral analyses by analytical SEM, electron microprobe and LA-ICP-MS will be used to characterize and interpret whole rock petrology and mineral chemistry in order to quantify mass transfer and mi neralogical changes during alteration-mineralization. The post holder will be responsible for a large sample throughput, the processing and collation of large datasets and may also be involved in sample preparation where necessary. Chemical-thermodynamic modelling of mineral-fluid equilibria and mineral chemistry will be carried out to understand the precipitation conditions and chemistry of alteration minerals with the goal of identifying and understanding signals that discriminate processes leading to high gra de ore formation. Meticulous attention to detail is required even for routine work. There may be a need for development of new analytical protocols and validation of methods using appropriate standards and experiments. Publication of results in high profile international journals will be required. The role will necessitate working to tight deadlines with strict reporting requirements to BHP and the wider project consortium involving written reports, presentations and knowledge exchange via 6-monthly project meetings. Wider involvement in the LODE group, such as via supervision of PhD and MSci students, and in public engagement activities, will be expected. This role will be challenging but offers the post-holder an exceptional opportunity to be involved in this frontier field of exploration geochemistry, interfacing with international academic collaborators and the minerals industry, and operating within an award-winning team.

Main Responsibilities

* Sample prepar ation (if required) using cutting, crushing, mineral separation and mounting/polishing methods
* Petrological study of rock samples, including use of techniques such as reflected and transmitted light microscopy, cathodoluminescence and SEM
* Imaging and microanalysis of target minerals using SEM-EDS, EPMA, LA-ICP-MS, plus data processing and quality control
* Development of analytical protocols for accurate and precise microanalysis of mineral compositions (as required)
* Chemical-thermodynamic modelling of fluid-mineral equilibria and mineral compositions
* Multivariate statistical analysis of large geochemical datasets and development of discrimination tools using multivariate statistical and machine learning methods
* Database management
* Verbal and written reporting to project manager and industry partners, technology transfer activities, including project meeting/workshop presentations
* Preparation and delivery of conference talks, sci entific papers for publication, public engagement talks and other public outreach activities
* Co-supervision of MSci and PhD student projects and organisation of LODE group events

Person Specification

* PhD in relevant field (geology / economic geology / mineralogy / geochemistry)
* Fieldwork experience in different terrains and exposure to different cultures
* Skills in mineral recognition in hand specimen and under the light microscope
* Knowledge of porphyry copper deposits, alteration mineralogy, mineral chemistry, fluid inclusions, geochronology and thermodynamic modelling methods
* Knowledge and experience of sample preparation, involving cutting, grinding, polishing, crushing, picking and mounting
* Experience of cathodoluminescence, SEM-EDS, automated SEM, electron microprobe and LA-ICP-MS techniques
* Experience of managing and manipulating large datasets
* Experience of the use of multivariate statistical methods for data analysis
* High standard of verbal and written reporting (including academic publications), including reporting to industry
* Ability to plan and organise own time to manage multiple priorities and meet tight deadlines
* Ability to communicate effectively and willingness to work within a team as well as under own initiative

General Information

All positions at the Natural History Museum are conditional subject to receipt of:

* Proof that you are legally entitled to work in the UK
* A Basic Disclosure Check from the Disclosures and Barring Service (DBS)
* Satisfactory references covering the last 3 years of your employment or education
* Health clearance

The Museum supports flexible working.

posted: 17 May 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.