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PhD Position in Marine Palynology

Posted 13 Jul 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
31 Jul 2024 00:00

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The department of Earth Sciences is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with an MSc Palynology, Micropaleontology, Organic Geochemistry and/or Oceanography. You will work on the project “Ice-ocean interactions in West Antarctica during rapid transitions in past warm climates”. In this four-year study, you will reconstruct in detail the oceanographic changes close to the West-Antarctic ice sheet during prominent deglaciations in the Pliocene and Pleistocene.Your job

You are expected to generate multiple records of organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst assemblages crossing glacial-interglacial transitions from sediment cores that were collected by the British Antarctic Survey and through the International Ocean Discovery Programme. In addition, the project involves the generation of organic geochemical biomarker records from the same sedimentary records, which will complement the reconstruction of ecosystem, ocean and climate variability. Alongside this, there are opportunities to generate sedimentological and inorganic geochemical data on the sediment core as well, which are indicative of both ocean and ice dynamics.

A personalised training programme will be set up, mutually agreed on recruitment, which will reflect both your training needs and career objectives. As part of this training, up to 10% of your time will be dedicated to assisting in the BSc and MSc teaching programmes of the Earth Sciences department.

The position is part of a larger interdisciplinary project, that includes a postdoctoral researcher with whom you will closely collaborate. Both positions are funded by the Dutch National Science Foundation NWO in a special call of the Polar Programme in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey. The positions are based in the Marine Palynology & Paleoceanography group at the Department of Earth Sciences in Utrecht, NL. Regular visits to the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK, are foreseen, e.g. for scientific discussions and to perform analyses.

Your qualities

We are looking for a candidate with commitment to overcome the challenges faced in working with complicated material from close to Antarctica. This project really seeks a problem-solver, one that isn’t let down by the first disappointment. You demonstrate the capability to contribute yourself to the planning and organisation of your work, with a keen interest in taking initiatives for the direction in which it develops.

You must have completed your MSc degree in Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biology or a related discipline by the time the position starts. Preferably, you also have:

  • experience or strong interest in paleoclimate/paleoceanography;
  • experience in palynology/micropaleontology is highly appreciated;
  • experience in working in a laboratory or willingness to learn;
  • experience in (in)organic geochemistry is a pro;
  • a love for microscope work and teamwork, willingness to travel (also abroad);
  • adequate social/verbal/communication skills.

Due to the international character of our research, good command of spoken and written English is essential. We highly encourage applicants from all members of our community and of diverse backgrounds to join us.

Our offer

We offer:

  • a position for one year, with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year;
  • a working week of 36 hours and a gross monthly salary between €2,770 and €3,539 in the case of full-time employment (salary scale P under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU));
  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU.

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