Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Reconstruction
of Mesozoic Subduction Histories

41,709 a year

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. The project, funded until at least July 2020 by the European Research Council (ERC), will interpret seismic tomographic images of the upper and lower mantle to infer the spatio-temporal evolution of Mesozoic subduction zones. The new constraints on paleo-trenches will be added to the current paleogeographic knowledge base by modifying existing, quantitative plate reconstructions based on seafloor spreading and other surface data. The focus will be on paleo-oceanic records associated with the Tethyan orogens (Turkey to Java) and/or the American Cordilleras and Andes. Within these specifications, there is considerable latitude to agree on sub-projects of mutual interest, providing that they contribute to interpreting the large-scale record of subducted slabs in the mantle.

The successful candidate will take the lead in synthesising the subduction record of one or more segments of these Mesozoic mountain belts through literature review and interaction with regional geologists, and will reconcile it with subsurface geometries of subducted slabs in the mantle, as imaged by global seismic tomography. The paleo-GIS system GPlates will be used to quantitatively integrate the inferred paleo-trenches with existing plate reconstructions, and to test the implied slab sinking scenarios against the geologic land record.

The successful candidate will be expected to present research results at conferences and to publish them in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. The project will be mostly computer-based, working closely with the seismology and regional geology groups in the department, and could include a component of field work.

Candidates will have a PhD in the Earth sciences, including but not limited to regional geology, plate reconstructions, tectonics, paleomagnetism, or geodynamics. Knowledge and/or experience in some branch of paleogeographic reconstruction is desirable, particularly in quantitative seafloor reconstructions or the tectonics and paleogeography of mountain belts. They should also have a proven publication and presentation record, as well as the ability to effectively communicate with team members, experts in diverse subject areas, and external audiences.

This is a fixed-term position until 31 July 2020 (although funding for an extension may become available). For further details of the responsibilities and duties, please see the job description.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 midday on 2 June 2017. Interviews will be held in the week commencing 12 June 2017.

Reference Number: 128720
Phone: 01865 272030
Closing Date: 02-Jun-2017

posted: 02 May 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.