International Collaborative Project on Fluvial Sediment Export from Agricultural Catchments and impacts on Water Quality (Eutro-SED)

Nutrient Biogeochemist/Hydrologist

Intensification in worldwide food production over the last number of decades with associated agricultural activities has resulted in increased nutrient cycling and transfer to surface and groundwater. Nutrients from river and stream sediments have been identified as a contributing factor to waters failing the criteria for 'good ecological status' under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Many factors controlling fluvial sediment nutrient accumulation, transformation and mobilization from agricultural catchments, are as yet, unknown. The goal of the new EU-NSERC funded Eutro-SED project is to develop process understanding which can be scaled up to develop more realistic representations of biogeochemical transformations in agricultural catchments, which can be included in catchment-scale hydrological models.

Duties: A Research MSc student is sought to work with a team of Canadian, Swedish and Irish researchers studying fluvial sediments and nutrient dynamics in monitored agricultural catchments. Routine geological and surface water analysis will be carried out along with developing advanced spectroscopic and biogeochemical techniques for sediment analysis. Work will involve field sampling, laboratory and office tasks.

Qualifications: We are primarily looking for an MSc candidate with a strong background in geological characterisation techniques, biogeochemistry, microbiology, hydrology or hydrogeology. Applicants should hold a 2:1 BSc in Environmental Chemistry/Environmental Science, Geochemistry, Hydrology, hydrogeology or related field and should have good knowledge of catchment hydrology and biogeochemistry. Applicants should also have some experience of geological materials analysis (XRD, FTIR etc.) and/or water quality laboratory analysis of surface waters. A valid driving license is also required. Proficiency in English (spoken and written) and a keen interest in advanced spectroscopic methods for geological analysis is advantageous. Potential to extend to PhD exists depending on performance and availability of funding.

Place of Work: The student will be registered and funded from the University of Saskatchewan and spend 1 year working in Canada (University of Saskatchewan) and 1 year in Ireland (Trinity College Dublin). The collaborative work environment will be mentored by: Dr. Yongfeng Hu at the University of Saskatchewan and Prof. Laurence Gill & Dr. David O'Connell at Trinity College Dublin.

Form of employment: Temporary employment for 2 years (possibly 3 depending on funding), extent 100% with the starting date by agreement. Specific documents attached: Applications should include: 1) CV 2) transcripts 3) a description of earlier research and scientific interests, as well as 4) names and contact information for two reference persons. For further information regarding this position or to submit an application, please contact Dr. David O'Connell (, Prof. Laurence Gill ( or Dr. Yongfeng Hu ( Deadline for applications 20th December 2017.

posted: 16 November 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.