Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Organic Chemistry

Updated: 3 months ago

at Department of Environmental Science . Closing date: 10 February 2022.

The Department of Environmental Science is one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Science. The department consists of four units with more than 170 researchers, teachers, doctoral students and technical/administrative staff from over 30 countries. Research and teaching focus on atmospheric science, biogeochemistry, chemical contaminants and (eco)toxicology. The sources and fate of environmental contaminants is one of the research foci, and the department maintains state of the art instrumentation for ultra/trace analysis of organic chemicals in complex matrices.

Project description
The project is funded by a grant from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet ). A summary of planned research is provided below.

In previous work, funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) and the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS), we demonstrated in the lab that surface active pollutants such as perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are enriched hundreds of thousands of times in nascent sea spray aerosols (SSA) relative to the bulk water.

Due to a lack of research in this field, the transport of pollutants on SSA is neglected by environmental chemists and excluded from global transport and fate models. Although our previous laboratory work is a key piece of evidence for proving the importance of SSA as a source of PFAAs to the atmosphere, a stronger evidence base, including field studies and mechanistic modelling studies, is further needed to determine the relative importance of SSA transport compared to other sources. PFAAs are ideal model pollutants for better understanding the process.

In this project, we will (1) conduct fieldwork to determine if air concentrations of PFAAs are correlated with tracers of SSA (i.e. sodium and magnesium ions) in ambient air samples collected at multiple global coastal locations and (2) conduct global modelling studies to determine if ocean-to-air transport of PFAAs on SSA is an important source of PFAAs relative to other sources (e.g. precursor transformation and direct discharges from manufacturing).

The new data gathered will provide strong evidence for the importance of this previously overlooked atmospheric transport process for pollutants.

The successful applicant would work within a small team focusing on this research topic comprising several senior scientists and PhD students. They would also be a member of a research group in the Contaminant Chemistry Unit led by Ian Cousins. The project is, however, an inter-unit collaboration in our department between the Contaminant Chemistry Unit and the Atmospheric Science Unit.

Main responsibilities
The postdoctoral fellow will primarily plan and conduct experimental research in the laboratory and field to investigate the sea spray associated transport of pollutants. The experimental research will involve analysis of pollutants using advanced instrumental methods.

Qualification requirements
Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country. A good command of English is required.

Assessment criteria
The degree should have been completed no more than three years before the time when the employment decision is made. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances. Special reasons refer to sick leave, parental leave, elected positions in trade unions, service in the total defense, or other similar circumstances as well as clinical attachment or service/assignments relevant to the subject area.

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to scientific excellence in environmental organic chemistry. Competence in running UPLC-MS instruments is also a strong merit.

Terms of employment
The position involves full-time employment for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years, with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date as per agreement.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Professor Ian Cousins , telephone: +46 8 16 40 12 or +46 768 93 36 68, .

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, , Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, , and (SEKO).

Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications
  • Research proposal (no more than 3 pages) describing:
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    – why and how you wish to complete the project
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position .

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

Closing date: 10/02/2022

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