Two PhD Positions in Nitrogen Isotope Biogeochemistry

Porewater/Benthic Nitrogen Isotope Biogeochemistry of Marine and Lacustrine Environments

The Aquatic and Isotope Biogeochemistry Research Group at the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel ( ) invites applications for two PhD positions in the field of benthic nitrogen isotope biogeochemistry . The students will be part of a project investigating the stable isotope effects during elimination and cycling of bioavailable nitrogen (N) in lake and marine sediments. Research is planned in collaboration with scientists from the University of Southern Denmark (Department of Biology), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Eawag Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Systems Analysis, Integrated Assessment and Modelling), and the GFZ Potsdam (Section Geomicrobiology).

Your position

The prime goal of the planned research is to build a thorough understanding of the controls on the nitrate and nitrite N (and O) isotope signatures of sedimentary denitrification and anammox (and the interacting effects from other benthic N cycling reactions), and the N isotopic composition of gaseous N that is ultimately lost from aquatic sediments. The PhD projects will combine 1.) laboratory experiments, 2.) field investigations into the sediment porewater (N and O) isotope dynamics of distinct lacustrine and marine benthic environments, and 3.) mathematical modeling. The research will make extensive use of stable isotope mass spectrometry methods (IRMS, GC-IRMS, GC-MS), isotope tracer and microbiological techniques, and it will be highly relevant for the use of N isotope measurements to constrain local, regional, and even global N budgets.

Your profile

We are looking for motivated candidates with a MSc in environmental sciences, geoscience, chemistry, biology, or a related discipline. Candidates are expected to have a solid background and interest in one or several of the following research fields: limnology, oceanography, (bio-) geochemistry in aquatic systems in general, and (micro-) biological processes in benthic environments in particular. An expertise in nitrogen isotope/mass-spectrometric techniques and porewater geochemistry will be an asset. The ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and good communication skills including fluency in English are essential.

We offer you

The PhD projects (100%) will be part of a research project funded for 4 years by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). We offer an international, multidisciplinary work environment and excellent research infrastructure. Compensation will be according to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation ( ). Expected starting date is 1 June 2020 or later.

Application / Contact

Please submit your complete application documents, including a letter stating your motivation, experience and skills, a CV and contact details of at least two references via our online recruiting platform.

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Moritz Lehmann ( ). Review of applications will begin 15 April 2020 and will continue until the positions are filled. Apply

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