Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biogeochemistry
Durham University - Department of Geography
United Kingdom

The Department of Geography at Durham University seeks to appoint a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) in Biogeochemistry to join the research team led by Dr Bob Hilton as part of the European Research Council (ERC)-funded 5 year project “ROC-CO2”. The post is fixed term for 18 months, from 1st September 2019 or thereafter.

This PDRA post will examine the alteration and transformation of rock organic matter as it undergoes weathering. They will track the oxidation of rock organic carbon across soil profiles by applying novel geochemical techniques, including Ramped Pyrolysis Oxidation (RPO) coupled to radiocarbon analysis (in collaboration with Dr Valier Galy at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA). Soil profiles from settings with contrasting denudation rates and rock types will be examined. Sites include Critical Zone Observatories in the USA (Shale Hills) and France (Draix Bleone Observatory) and other ROC-CO2 field locations (Peru, Canada, New Zealand). The Department of Geography at Durham also hosts extensive facilities to characterise the abundance, distribution and isotopic composition of biomarkers, and depending on the applicant, these approaches could also be explored. The overall aims of the post are to quantify rock organic carbon reactivity and help to examine the degree to which rock organic carbon cycles through modern biomass.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Bob Hilton (, 00 44 191 33 41970). All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence

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