Post-doctoral position on stable isotope hydrology and salt geochemistry in the desert environment

The stable isotope geochemistry group at the University of Cologne invites applications for a post-doctoral researcher position. The position is part of research center CRC 1211 - evolution at the dry limit - which conducts bio- and geoscientific research in the Atacama and Namib deserts ( The stable isotope geochemistry group investigates the water cycle between atmosphere, surface water, and soil since the Miocene in these hyper arid environments. The analysis of all water isotopes, particularly the triple oxygen isotopes, the spatial and depth distribution of salts, and the mass-independent isotope signatures of sulfates and nitrates allow for a unique quantification of evaporation, continental vapor recycling and the identification salt sources, deposition mechanisms and wash-out.

Your task will include the analytical development of fluorination and thermal extraction procedures of O2 gas from hydrous mineral and salt fluid inclusion samples, mass spectrometry of stable water and other isotopes along with standard geochemical and mineralogical measurements. You will plan, organize and conduct field campaigns to the Atacama and Namib deserts including at high altitudes. Your tasks also include the design and conduction of in situ evaporation experiments. You will work with students and PhD candidates.

Your profile:

  • PhD in geosciences, preferentially in isotope geochemistry
  • Experience with geochemical analysis in general and mass spectrometry in particular
  • Advanced knowledge in stable isotope fraction of volatile elements
  • Experience with field campaign in foreign countries
  • Advanced skills with the English language

The position is available from 01.01.2021 on a full time basis (100%) and is limited to three and a half years. If the applicant meets the relevant wage requirements and personal qualifications, the salary is based on remuneration group 13 TV-L of the pay scale for the German public sector.

The University of Cologne promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations. Women are strongly encouraged to apply and given priority in accordance with the Equal Opportunities Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (Landesgleichstellungsgesetz - LGG NRW). We explicitly welcome applications from individuals with severe disabilities or people of equivalent status. Severely disabled applicants of equal merit and qualifications will be given priority.

Please apply by email to Prof. Michael Staubwasser - - with proof of qualification. Your application should include a cover letter outlining your motivation and your expertise regarding the project tasks, CV, copies of certificates, and letter(s) of reference. The reference number is Wiss2008-08. Please direct any questions to the same address.

The application deadline is 20.09.2020.

posted: 21 August 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.