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PhD position in sulfur isotope geochemistry

   Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics (IDYST)

   Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Job information

Expected start date in position : 01.04.2023 or upon agreement

Contract length : 1 year, renewable maximum 4 years

Activity rate : 100%

Workplace : Lausanne Mouline (Geopolis building)

Your responsibilities

Sulfur redox cycling exerts a significant impact on the global organic carbon reservoir and the oxidation state of the atmosphere. Microbial metabolisms involving sulfur are thought to be extremely ancient, thus playing an important role in shaping the surface chemistry of early Earth. These ancient metabolic reactions are known to leave stable isotope signatures in mineral byproducts such as pyrite, along with organic sulfur compounds, enabling us to trace their origin and extent in the environment. Despite recent evidence that S cycling in terrestrial environments is important, multiple S isotopes have not been systematically studied there, mostly because the small size and amount of pyrite precipitated prevents bulk isotopic analyses of sulfide. Fortunately, cutting-edge techniques such as secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) can resolve S and C isotope distribution at the microscale and have opened a new window for S isotope analyses within minerals and organic matter. The project will consist of measuring multi S isotope composition in sediments of three different freshwater systems from the Swiss Alps as well as experimental products from microbial cultivation by combining bulk and SIMS technique.

We value curiosity, creativity, and the drive to discover new things. You are expected to have a strong mastery of the English language. Possible collaborations include work on international projects in South Africa, Israel and the Swiss Alps.

Your qualifications

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in geoscience, geochemistry, or related domain.
  • Strong background in redox chemistry
  • Experience in isotope analyses is a plus.
  • Excellent written and spoken English skills. French in an asset, but not required.
  • Able to work both independently and collaboratively in an international, interdisciplinary environment

What the position offers you

We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment. Opportunities for professional training, a lot of activities and other benefits to discover.

Funding Notes

This project is funded for 4 years by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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