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Marine Hg species dynamics and distribution.

Project Description

Mercury is one of the least concentrated elements in the ocean, and its complex biogeochemical cyling drives ultimately the biomagnification of methylmercury into marine fish. Several key knowledge gaps must be filled to understand the marine biogeochemical Hg cycle. 1. One of the largest Hg flux occurs at the ocean-atmophere interface. This Hg exchange flux remains ill-quantified despite the fact that it is thought to be bigger than the annual anthropogenic Hg emissions. 2. The ocean remains undersampled and not all ocean basins have been mapped for Hg species. 3. Volcanic emissions are the only primary natural Hg source. Yet the magnitude of hydrothermal Hg emissions to the ocean remains virtually unknown. The UNEP Global Mercury Assessement 2018 has called to address those three knowledge gaps for a better understand of the global and oceanic mercury cycling.


ESR 4 will target key knowledge gaps of the marine biogeogemical cycle of mercury: 1. Refining the Hg flux at the ocean-atmopshere interface. The ESR will develop a first high resolution time-series of combined marine (DGM, other Hg species and methylation/demethylation incubations) and atmospheric Hg observations at a coastal Mediterranean site, 2. Map Hg species in the global ocean. The ESR will produce Hg speciation and incubation data in the only uncharted ocean basin, the Indian Ocean, 3. The ESR will sample hydrothermal vents during the Indian Ocean cruise and compare with samples from other hydrothermal vent sites. Collaboration with ESRs 1, 3, 5, 6, 11,13,14, 15.

Expected Results

Provide a DGM time-series to better constrain the large exchange flux at the ocean-atmosphere interface (paper 1). Provide high-resolution full depth open ocean description of all Hg species (tHg, MMHg, DMHg, Hg(0), DGM), and Hg methylation/demethylation rates for thethe Indian Ocean, including some hydrothermal vents (1 paper). New observations will feed the GEOTRACES global database and be used to confront and update state-of-the-art numerical global open ocean models.

Planned secondments

Tekran (E. Prestbo), 1 month, M4, implementation of DGM/TGM time-series measurements; UPPA (D. Amouroux), 1 month, M10, acquisition of isotopically-label incubation experiments techniques, and to implement a coordinated approach between all coastal and open ocean ESRs; JSI (M. Horvat/J.Kotnik), 1 months, M13, improvement and implementation of discrete DGM measurements (joint publication),HZG (C. Schrum, J. Bieser), 1 month, M32, to confront new observational data with models.

Eligibility Criteria

GMOS-Train is looking for a broad international representation of early stage researchers. The network clearly acknowledges its responsibility for the recruitment of the researchers,
their working and living conditions, as stated in the document “The European Charter for Researchers - Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”. Gender equality and
minority rights will also be promoted in the selection process. There is no age limit.


The positions are open to all nationalities. However, your application has to comply with the European Commission’s Mobility Rules, meaning that at the time of recruitment you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the
country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the reference date (indicative start of the employment contract, Month Date 2020).
Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account (European Commission’s Guide for Applicants).

Relevant University Degree

Master’s degree or equivalent in Environmental and Health Science or related fields.

Selection Process

In case an individual researcher is interested in several advertised ESR projects, he/she may apply for a maximum of three specific ESR projects and list their order
of preference.

The selection committee will check applications against the following criteria:

- Scientific background and potential as indicated by candidate experience.
- Fit to a research project.
- Evidence of ability to undertake research.
- Evidence of working within groups or teams.
- Impact and benefit of the proposed training to the candidate’s research career.

Three candidates will be short-listed for each research project and invited to an interview (interviews by video link will be held if candidates are not able to travel).

Interviews will consist of two parts:
1) a short presentation by the candidate followed by questions and answers, and
2) competence-based interview.

How to apply

Please find details about the ESR project descriptions, application process and modalities at

All applications must be submitted by means of on-line application on the official GMOS-Train project website:

Deadline for application is February 29th 2020.

Funding Notes

Prestigious EU fellowship.

Highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions.

Excellent training programme covering health and environment science and state-of-the-art technologies.

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