From March 2020 onwards, the Department of Sediment- and Isotope Geology, Faculty for Geosciences at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, offers a

PhD position (36 months) in the DFG-funded project:
The four major Isotopes of Dolomite (C, O, Mg, Ca): Closing the Calcium Isotope ( δ44/42Ca) Gap

Introduction: Dolomites and dolostones occur naturally in a variety of sedimentological and diagenetic environments. Owing to their abundance among carbonate rocks in Earth's geological record, mineralogical, elemental and isotopic proxy data from various dolomite types have been extensively studied. Remarkably, data on dolomite calcium isotope signatures remain scarce at present. The main focus of this project is to establish a well-constrained background data set of Ca isotope signatures for natural dolomites and experimentally precipitated material. We further aim to apply a variety of methods including normal- and polarized light microscopy, cathodoluminescence, X-ray diffraction, element concentration and isotope analysis of Mg, C, O and stable Sr isotopes in order to assess the formation and diagenetic alteration conditions of various dolomites. The Ca isotope signature of dolomites will be calibrated against these proxies. The experimental part of the project will be performed in close collaboration with Graz University of Technology (Austria). Furthermore, the successful applicant will work closely with the GEOMAR in Kiel (Germany) investigating stable Sr isotopes of dolomites. The outcome of this work will be published in international peer-review journals.

Requirements: We seek an enthusiastic PhD student holding a M.Sc. degree with a specialization in Geology, Sedimentary Geochemistry or Isotope geochemistry. The successful applicant must have a demonstrated background in carbonate research. Furthermore, basic knowledge on isotope geochemistry and experience with practical work in a geochemical-oriented laboratory must be demonstrated.

Tasks: Next to laboratory work, the main focus of this project, the successful applicant must be physically able to perform field work in mountainous regions. Following an introduction phase, the successful applicant will be able to work independently in the laboratory. Laboratory work includes (but is not limited to) the preparation, chemical digestion and element separation of natural and experimentally precipitated dolomites. The successful applicant will analyse his/her samples by means of ICP-OES (element concentrations), MAT 253 + GasBench II (C and O isotopes) and MC-ICP-MS Neptune (Ca and Mg isotopes) in the laboratories of the Department of Sediment- and Isotope Geology. He/she will analyse thin sections of dolomite samples with normal- and polarized light and cathodoluminescence microscopy. Additionally, X-ray diffraction analysis will be performed. The successful applicant will travel to both Graz and Kiel to collaborate with our partners with regard to dolomite precipitation experiments and the analysis of stable Sr isotopes of dolomites, respectively. We expect that the applicant is capable to communicate and publish in English and to present his/her work at international conferences.

Please contact Dr. Sylvia Riechelmann ( or Prof. A. Immenhauser ( for more details.

Please submit your application in the form of a pdf until January 15 latest to cc to Your application should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, contact information of at least two references and a copy of certificates.

We regret that travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded. At Ruhr-Universitšt Bochum, we wish to promote careers of women in areas in which they are been underrepresented, and we would therefore like to encourage female candidates to send us their applications. Applications by suitable candidates with severe disabilities and other applicants with equal legal status are likewise most welcome.

posted: 27 November 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.