10/12/2018

PhD Position in Physics/Geoscience or related field

This job offer has expired


  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    Universitaet Bern
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Chemistry
    Environmental science
    Geosciences
    Physics
  • RESEARCHER PROFILE
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE
    31/01/2019 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • LOCATION
    Switzerland › Bern
  • TYPE OF CONTRACT
    Temporary
  • JOB STATUS
    Full-time
  • HOURS PER WEEK
    42
  • OFFER STARTING DATE
    01/04/2019
  • EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
    H2020 / ERC
  • REFERENCE NUMBER
    820047

Unlocking the secrets of past volcanism using polar ice cores and cryptotephra

A PhD position is available at the division of Climate and Environmental Physics (CEP) at the Physics Institute, University of Bern. This PhD project is part of the European Research Council Consolidator Grant, “Timing of Holocene volcanic eruptions and their radiative aerosol forcing (THERA)”.

The announced PhD position is for 4 years. The preferred starting date is April 1st, 2019.

This multi-disciplinary project aims to advance our understanding of past global volcanic activity during the Holocene, its role for climate on a regional-to-global scale, and to inform volcanic hazard managers and climate scientists about the risks from extreme volcanic events. Archiving volcanic fallout such as sulfuric aerosols and ash (tephra) over many millennia, the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica contain a continuous and complete record of all large magnitude volcanic eruptions that occurred throughout modern human history. The primary goal of the THERA project is to extract data on the timing, magnitude and source location of the major volcanic eruptions that occurred during the Holocene (i.e., the past 12,000 years). THERA is focusing on developing a state-of-the-art reconstruction of volcanic aerosol forcing on global climate since the end of the last Ice Age using novel analytical tools and an array of ice-cores from both hemispheres.

Crucial to THERA is a detailed investigation of the tephra record contained within the annually resolved ice-core records from Greenland and Antarctica. Chemical signals in the ice, such as sulfur, can be used to construct a detailed volcanic history, however, the origin of such signals remains uncertain without the extraction and geochemical analysis of volcanic glass shards contained within the ice that can be traced to specific volcanic sources.

Details of the PhD Position

The PhD student will be trained in the extraction, analysis and correlation of tephra horizons and will apply these techniques to samples from archived Greenland and Antarctic ice-core sections for targeted volcanic events. The results will be synthesized to characterize the tephra content of these ice cores.

Volcanic glass tephra shards will be identified using optical microscopy and subsequently prepared for electron microprobe (EMP) analysis to identify their source. Geochemical analysis will be carried out in the Geological Institute at the University Bern. The major element geochemical fingerprints of identified tephras will be correlated against published reference material from the targeted volcanic events, identifiable source eruptions or specific volcanic centers.

The PhD student will integrate the developing ice-core tephrochronology into regional tephrochronological frameworks from both hemispheres allowing 1) the linking of marine and terrestrial climate proxies with the ice-core record and 2) the analysis of the climatic response following large Holocene eruptions.

Supervisor: Dr. Michael Sigl (University of Bern, +41 31 536 5944)

Qualification requirements

  • strong analytical skills and a Master’s degree in physics, chemistry, geosciences (or related disciplines)
  • fluent spoken and written English are prerequisites for this position
  • excellent collaboration skills and ability to successfully join in academic teamwork within and across disciplines
  • experience in the use of geochemical analytical techniques or tephra analyses is advantageous
  • some experience in statistics, database management and programming would be beneficial.

We offer

  • a fully-funded position for 4 years (salary according to the Swiss National Science Foundation rules)
  • a professionally stimulating working environment in a small team,
  • the student will benefit from the support of an active, interdisciplinary research environment. The PhD students will work alongside members of the Continuous Flow Analyses (CFA) Laboratory, the Oeschger Centre of Climate Change Research (OCCR) and international project partners (e.g. within the framework of the PAGES Working Group Volcanic Impact on Climate and Societies, VICS).

How to apply

Deadline for applications: 20th January 2019.  Please apply by emailing your application as a single attached pdf file (cover letter stating your suitability and motivation, curriculum vitae including MSc degree and pdf of the master thesis as well as contact information for three references) to Dr. Michael Sigl (michael.sigl@climate.unibe.ch). Please use the subject line "Application_PhD_Thera”.

 

Further information

Enquiries should be directed to:

Dr. Michael Sigl

Email: michael.sigl@climate.unibe.ch

Phone: (+41) 31 536 5944

Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute

University of Bern

Sidlerstrasse 5

3012 Bern, Switzerland

 

Selection process

Deadline for applications: 20th January 2019.  Please apply by emailing your application as a single attached pdf file (cover letter stating your suitability and motivation, curriculum vitae including MSc degree and pdf of the master thesis as well as contact information for three references) to Dr. Michael Sigl (michael.sigl@climate.unibe.ch). Please use the subject line "Application_PhD_Thera”.

Offer Requirements

  • REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL
    Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent
    Environmental science: Master Degree or equivalent
    Physics: Master Degree or equivalent
    Geosciences: Master Degree or equivalent
    Geography: Master Degree or equivalent
  • REQUIRED LANGUAGES
    ENGLISH: Excellent

Skills/Qualifications

  • strong analytical skills and a Master’s degree in physics, chemistry, geosciences (or related disciplines)
  • fluent spoken and written English are prerequisites for this position
  • excellent collaboration skills and ability to successfully join in academic teamwork within and across disciplines
  • experience in the use of geochemical analytical techniques or tephra analyses is advantageous
  • some experience in statistics, database management and programming would be beneficial.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
University of Bern
Switzerland
Berne
Bern
3012
Sidlerstrasse 5

EURAXESS offer ID: 362442

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