PhD fellowship: “The signature of Mid-Pliocene warmth in the ocean”
Utrecht University – Holanda
Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With a population of 2,600 students (BSc and MSc) and 600 staff, the faculty is a strong and dynamic organisation. The faculty embodies four departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences, and Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning.
The Utrecht Department of Earth Sciences is the largest academic Earth Sciences institute in The Netherlands. The department conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts an international tenured staff of over 45 scientists and more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. It and houses a wide variety of world-class laboratories.
The Marine Palynology and Paleoceanography group of the Department of Earth Sciences is looking for a motivated
PhD researcher on ‘The signature of Mid-Pliocene
warmth in the ocean’ (4 years)
The mid-Pliocene warm period (~3.5 Ma) with pCO2 levels around 400 ppm is the nearest past analogue of a warmer future climate and temperatures as well as sea level were higher on a global scale. Significant progress has been achieved in characterizing Pliocene climate from paleoclimate proxies and modeling. However, we still lack accurate data to determine and explain the apparently weakened equator-to-pole temperature gradients, the preferential warming of the Polar Regions and upwelling areas. Crucially, sea level might have been as much as twenty meters higher than at present, although this estimate still yields large error bars. Moreover, it remains unclear how much sea level rise during the Pliocene warm period resulted from the contribution of northern- and southern hemisphere ice caps.
This project aims to investigate temperature and sea level trends to ultimately better constrain climate sensitivity during this warm interval. Selected ocean cores including high-latitude polar and upwelling locations will help assessing the role and the response of polar areas in global climate.
This highly multidisciplinary project is primarily based on marine palynological (dinoflagellate cysts; potentially pollen and spores) and organic geochemical analyses (e.g., TEX86). This position connects to two other PhD projects on the Pliocene. One aims to reconstruct terrestrial temperatures based on biomarker proxies (MBT/CBT) and the other is focused on the modeling of regional sea level change in response to ice sheet dynamics and climate change. It is therefore expected that the candidate collaborate with these students and their advisors.
This project will run within the Netherlands Earth System Science Centre. The NESSC is a virtual research center funded by the Dutch ministry of Education, Culture and Science. It focuses on (paleo)climate sensitivity and tipping points in the climate system and comprises experts from several Dutch universities and research institutes. The paleoclimate aspects are dominantly carried out at the Departments of Earth Sciences and Physics at Utrecht University and at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Up to 10% of your time will be devoted to teaching assistance of BSc and MSc courses.
As a succesful candidate you should have a MSc degree in a relevant field such as Geology/Earth Sciences, Biology, Environmental Sciences, Paleoceanography. Experience in palynology or micropaleontology and organic geochemistry is desirable.
A broad interest in geosciences, and the willingness and capacity to work indepently as well as to interact in a multidisciplinary team, as well as the willingness to travel is essential. You should be fluent in oral and written English, since the host group is highly international in composition and publication aims.
Terms of employment:
You will be offered a full-time PhD position at Utrecht University, at first for one year. Depending on a satisfactory performance this may be extended to a total period of four years, with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The first evaluation will take place approximately after six months of employment, the second after nine months. After the nine month evaluation the decision will be made whether an extension of the contract to the maximum period of four years will be offered to the employee.
Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary starts at € 2,083.- in the first year and increases to € 2,664.- in the fourth year, and is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and a year-end bonus of 8.3% (salary level 1-9-2013). We also offer a pension scheme, a health insurance allowance and flexible employment conditions.
Facilities for sports and child care are available on our main campus (where the Department of Earth Sciences is situated), which is located only fiveteen minutes away from the historical city center of Utrecht.
Informal enquiries may be sent to Prof. Appy Sluijs: e-mail A.Sluijs@uu.nl.
You may also wish to visit the website of the Utrecht Institute of Earth Sciences: http://www.geo.uu.nl/ivau
How to apply:
Visit http://www.geo.uu.nl/vacancies, find the equivalent of this advertisement and fill in the application form. Please, attach your motivation for the position, a statement of your research interests, a curriculum vitae, and the names, positions and e-mail contact addresses of at least two referees.
Applications are accepted until the position is filled, but we intend to conduct a first evaluation by February 15, 2015. We aim for a quick review of applicants and seek to appoint as soon as possible thereafter, ulrimately in early summer 2015.
(publicado em http://www.earthworks-jobs.com a 09-01-15)
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