The Department of Ocean Systems (OCS) is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with a background in geochemistry and/or paleoceanography to develop and apply novel methods for the reconstruction of oxygen loss (‘deoxygenation’) and subsequent ventilation (‘reoxygenation’) from the sedimentary record in restricted basins (principal investigator dr. Rick Hennekam).
Our oceans and seas are losing oxygen due to eutrophication and climate change, having a detrimental effect on marine life and impacting biogeochemical cycles. Marine basins with limited water exchange with the global ocean are particularly vulnerable areas to deoxygenation because they can trap nutrients. Moreover, mixing in these restricted basins easily gets disturbed because of freshwater input and surface water warming. Within this project, you will study past (de)oxygenation events in several restricted basins, such as the Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Sea of Japan. Sediment cores from these basins will be used as archives to reveal the primary processes that trigger deoxygenation and subsequent reoxygenation under contrasting basin configurations, climatological settings, and on variable timescales (yearly to Milankovitch). You will use state-of-the-art geochemical proxies, such as trace metal concentrations from high-resolution X-Ray Fluorescence core scanning, uranium and molybdenum isotopes, and metal speciation. In collaboration with others, we will combine the multi-proxy data with biogeochemical models to define the environmental thresholds resulting in deoxygenation and reoxygenation, providing important constraints to accurately predict the environmental responses of our oceans.
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