PhD position in Isotope Geochemistry

Investigation of the Redox Evolution of the Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic Atmosphere and Oceans with Novel Transition Metal Isotope Tracers


We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate to undertake a PhD project within our international Isotope Geochemistry Group in Tübingen, Germany, commencing October 1st 2017 or shortly thereafter. The major goal of this study is to investigate the mode, size and temporal evolution of redox-changes within the atmosphere-hydrosphere system before, during and after the 2.32 Ga Great Oxidation Event (GOE). Samples planned to be collected during a field campaign to South Africa in 2018, complementing already existing samples from the Kaapvaal Craton, will be investigated using major and trace element systematics as well as traditional (i.e. C-O-S) and novel ('non-traditional') transition metal isotopic tracers such as stable Se and W isotopes. The study of ancient sediments will be complemented with investigations on modern analogs for Archean/Proterozoic Oceans for a better understanding of the redox-cycling of these elements and their isotopes in Earth's early history.

The project requires a wide range of geochemical analyses, all of which will be performed at the Department of Geosciences in Tübingen. The Isotope Geochemistry Group hosts a Bruker Pioneer XRF instrument for major element determinations, gas-IR-mass spectrometers (MAT DeltaPlus XL and MAT 252) for H-C-O-S stable isotope analyses and a newly upgraded solid source thermal ionization mass spectrometer (MAT 262) for radiogenic Sr and Nd isotope analyses. The heart of the Isotope Geochemistry facilities are state-of-the-art class 10 to 100 clean-room laboratories with multicollector (Thermo NeptunePlus) and quadrupole (Thermo iCAP-Qc) ICP-MS instruments for transition metal isotope and trace element analyses, respectively.

The potential candidate should have a Diploma or Master Degree in Geosciences and provide an excellent understanding of Isotope Geochemistry. Experience in laboratory work and handling of mass spectrometers, such as (MC-) ICP-MS, TIMS or gas-IRMS will be acknowledged benevolently. Fluency in both spoken and written English is a prerequisite for the communication within our work group and the publication of results in international journals. The position is limited to a term of 3 years. Salary and benefits are commensurate with the German employee scale TV-L E13 for a 60 % position. As the University of Tübingen intends to increase the proportion of female employees in science, women are particularly encouraged to apply. In case of equal qualification and experience, physically challenged applicants are given preference.

Complete applications including a detailed curriculum vitae, a copy of the Diploma/Master certificate, a one page summary of your Diploma or Master Thesis, a statement of research interests and names and contact details of two potential references should be sent to Prof. Ronny Schönberg (schoenberg@ifg.uni-tuebingen.de). Application reviewing starts on August 1st and continues until the position is filled.

posted: 06 July 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.