PhD position in environmental science with focus on sediment carbon burial and loss in northern lakes

Umea University
June 05, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University, Sweden, invites applicants for a PhD position in environmental science, with focus on sediment carbon burial and loss in northern lakes. Start date will be 1 August, or according to agreement. Application deadline is Monday, 5 June 2023.

Project description The aim of this project is to develop a more realistic model of the role of northern lakes as carbon sinks/sources under a changing climate. The research will combine a high-resolution study of organic matter transport and burial in one lake with a multi-lake analysis based on repeat coring to assess sediment carbon burial efficiency. Important factors to be studied include quantifying changes in the sources and composition of organic matter and disentangling the influence on carbon burial of diagenetic processes, catchment land-use changes, and seasonal to millennial responses to environmental and climate changes. The research will combine established methods in (paleo)limnology such as major and trace element geochemistry with state-of-the-art methods such as infrared spectroscopy (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, visible–near-infrared spectroscopy) and pyrolysis-GC/MS. The project will further advance our knowledge on the ability of lake sediments to sequester carbon in response to climate and environmental changes.

Work tasks The holder of this position will investigate the role of northern lakes as a global carbon sink and address the question of whether observed increases in recent carbon accumulation represent increased permanent burial or the progressive loss of carbon with depth (time). A key work task will be to continue a >20-year-long intensive field sampling program in a boreal lake. The knowledge from this detailed, long-term study of carbon transport and burial will be applied to new and archived paired sediment cores from >20 lakes to develop a landscape view into sediment carbon burial efficiency, which will require extensive fieldwork resampling lakes from southern to northern Sweden. Furthermore, carbon burial processes will be deconstructed in high-resolution Holocene sediment records to assess responses to past climate and environmental changes. FTIRS will be one of the key analytical tools to be used, which can yield information on the organic matter molecular content and mineralogy. The project will benefit from ongoing collaborations between researchers at Umeå University, Stockholm University and the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

The position is financed by a grant from the Swedish Research Council and by the Dept of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University. Professor Richard Bindler will be principal supervisor and co-supervisors will include Docent Christian Bigler, Dr Johan Rydberg, and Docent Malin Kylander (Stockholm University) and Prof Antonio Martínez Cortizas (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain).

Qualifications To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level the applicant is required to have completed a second cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from abroad, or equivalent qualifications.

To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third- cycle level within the subject of environmental or earth science, the applicant is required to have completed courses within a first-cycle subject relevant to environmental or earth science comprising at least 120 credits. At least one course at second-cycle level in a subject that is central to the doctoral student's planned specialization shall have been completed, as well an independent piece of work (degree project) with relevant specialization of at least 15 credits. The recruitment procedure for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen Chapter 5 and 7). The requirements should be met at the time of acceptance to doctoral studies.

We are looking for a person with research experience analyzing and assessing sedimentary environmental archives, experience with fieldwork, a relevant academic background in environmental or earth science or similar field, and good ability to write and speak in English. The successful applicant should further have creativity, power of initiative, independence, good interpersonal skills, and ability to collaborate. Strong merits are knowledge of the topic area (sedimentary archives), experience with geochemical analyses (such as XRF, XRD), infrared spectroscopy (FTIRS) and statistics, and a valid driving license.

Evaluations will be based on the application, references, and interviews.

Terms of employment The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the doctoral student is thus to be part of the research education, which includes participation in the described research project but also to take relevant courses. Teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%) can be included. The employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching and other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students.

How to apply You apply through our recruitment system on Monday, 5 June 2023 at the latest. The application, written in English or Swedish, should include:

  • A short (max 2 pages) description of why you are interested in and suitable for the position
  • CV
  • Copies (scanned) of degrees and certificates from higher education
  • List of completed university courses and the grades
  • Copy of degree thesis and possibly other scientific publications
  • Names and contact information of three reference persons
  • The documents should be in MS Word or PDF-format.

    Contact If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Richard Bindler, [email protected]

    The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG) is both a research and teaching department situated within the Umeå University campus. The department has approximately 120 staff members, of which 24 are PhD students. For more information, visit https: // www. ecology-and-environmental-science/

    Type of employment Temporary position

    Employment expires 2027-07-31 Contract type Full time First day of employment 2023-08-01 or according to agreement Salary Monthly salary Number of positions 1 Full-time equivalent 100% City Umeå County Västerbottens län Country Sweden Reference number AN 2.2.1-907-23 Contact

  • Richard Bindler, 090-7869742
  • Published 15.May.2023 Last application date 05.Jun.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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