PhD student in Marine Geology

at the Department of Geological Sciences , Stockholm University, Sweden

Ref. No. SU FV-0600-17
Closing date: 07/04/2017

Project description

The PhD position is in the field of Arctic Marine Geology and is part of a project titled "The Quaternary chronology of Arctic Ocean sediments".

Across Quaternary glacial cycles the Arctic experienced dramatic environmental changes. These include profound changes in the extent and type of ice cover, variations in sea level, re-organisation of ocean circulation and significant changes to biological production. Interpreting how these changes were coupled to the global climate system is a fundamental goal of Arctic paleoceanography. However, persistent challenges in dating Arctic sediments have made it difficult to integrate the Arctic with the global paleoclimate ensemble. Accurate age models for Quaternary Arctic sediments are needed to apply, interpret and integrate increasingly sophisticated proxies for past environmental conditions.

Utilising a large collection of Arctic marine sediment cores stored at Stockholm University, this project aims to resolve significant uncertainties in the age of Quaternary Arctic Ocean sediments. Specifically, it will target 3 regions of the Arctic; the Yermak Plateau, Lomonosov Ridge and East Siberian Sea, and will test and develop methods for establishing age models that can be applied to sediment cores not included in the studied areas. The goal is to combine and test traditional chronological methods, including biostratigraphy, paleomagnetics, and cyclostratigraphy with less widely applied techniques, including Amino Acid Racemization (AAR) and Optically Stimulated Luminesence dating (OSL).

The student will acquire training and expertise in Arctic paleoceanography and more generally, methods for dating Quaternary marine sediments. He or she will have the opportunity to integrate the derived chronologies with paleoceanographic proxies to reconstruct aspects of the late Quaternary environmental history of the Arctic Ocean. These could include, but are not limited to, reconstructions of the extent and dynamics of circum-arctic icesheets, variations in the intensity and extent of sea ice during past glacial and interglacial periods, and the timing and impact of changing oceanic exchange between the Arctic, Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans.

The project will be supervised by Dr. Matt O'Regan at Stockholm University, Sweden, Prof. Helena Alexanderson at Lund University, Sweden and Prof. Darrell Kaufman at Northern Arizona University, USA.

Qualification requirements

The academic requirements for all students applying to the Department of Geological Sciences is a Master's degree or a university education worth at least 240 ECTS, which includes an undergraduate bachelor's degree (3 year, 180 ECTS) and at least one year (60 ECTS) of post-graduate (Master's level) studies, or the equivalent from an international university (for example, a 4 year BSc). The most important selection criterion is that the student's credentials demonstrate that he or she has the capability to successfully complete a PhD degree.

In addition to these basic requirements, the following specific requirements are necessary for admission to the Marine Geology program:

  • At least 90 ECTS in Geological Sciences or Geosciences
  • At least 60 ECTS must be advanced (Master's level or 4th year BSc) geoscience including an individual project in geoscience.
  • At least 30 credits in mathematics, physics, chemistry and / or biology, depending on the selected subject specialization in marine geology.
  • Students who have a degree in a closely related subject such as chemistry, mathematics, physics or geography may also be accepted into this program.

Selection criteria

The selection is based on the perceived ability of the applicant to successfully pursue the research. Special emphasis is put on the applicant's knowledge and skills within the subject area, ability to express their work verbally and in writing, creativity, initiative and independence, and a capacity for working together with other researchers. The evaluation will be made based on the relevance of publications, past education and experience, the quality and ambition of the advanced independent project, references, a cover letter motivating the candidate's interest, and possibly interviews. Preference will be given to students who experience applying some form of chronological technique to marine or lacustrine sediments.


For more information, please contact Docent Matt O'Regan, email:


Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system:

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. We recommend that you hand in your application, including necessary documents, in English.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2 references

In addition, please include the following documents as pdf files:

  • Cover letter (max. 3 pages) including:
    • why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    • why and how you wish to complete the project
    • what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • CV - with degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/publications (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at:

published: 28 February 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.