A Postdoctoral Scholarship (2 years) in Peatland Mercury Biogeochemistry

Updated: 6 days ago

A post-doctoral scholarship in mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry is announced at the Department of Forest Ecology and Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Umeå. The department includes 100 people of which about 10 are professors. Our mission is to advance the understanding of forest ecosystem processes and to progress the principles of forest ecosystem management. For more information: http://www.slu.se/en/departments/forest-ecology-management/ .The scholarship is funded by the Kempe foundations and the research conducted is a part of a larger project funded by the Swedish EPA studying the effect of peatland drainage and rewetting on greenhouse gas formation and Hg transformation processes. The post-doctor will study in Hg biogeochemistry in a team of one other post-doctor funded by the Kempe foundations (and with a focus on greenhouse gas emission from peatlands), and a PhD student with an orientation against both greenhouses and Hg.  

Mercury is a globally spread pollutant having severe negative consequences on wildlife and human populations. Most importantly are biogeochemical processes that transforms inorganic Hg to the most toxic and bioavailable form of Hg: methylmercury (MeHg). This transformation process takes place in lake sediments and water saturated soils, such as peatlands, by the action of anaerobic microorganisms. Another important biogeochemical process is the transformation of Hg to the gaseous form of elemental Hg (Hg0 ). Also this process takes place in peatlands. Despite recent research advancements, there is an uncertainty to what extent drainage and rewetting of peatlands result in an increase or decrease in MeHg and Hg0 formation. 

The overarching goal of the research conducted by the post-doctor would be to identify and quantify environmental and biogeochemical factors in control of the formation of MeHg and Hg0 during drainage and rewetting of peatlands, represented by the most common types of such environments in Sweden.  


Successful candidates will have a PhD in (bio)geochemistry, preferably with a focus on Hg, or in closely related fields.  Demonstrated experience in applying synchrotron based spectroscopy (e.g. XAS), stable Hg isotope methods, other relevant analytical techniques, as well as chemical speciation modelling to environmental samples are considered meritorious. We also demand a documented capability of autonomous scientific research work and skills in writing scientific publications and reports in English. In addition, the postdoctoral researcher is expected to participate in other ongoing research projects within the collaborating research groups. Very good command of the English language, both written and spoken, is required.

As postdoctoral appointments are career-developing positions, we are primarily looking for candidates with a doctoral degree that is a maximum of three years at the end of the application period.  

Place of work:


The scholarship is for full-time over two years.



Starting date:

According to agreement.


We welcome your application no later than October 13 2021, please use the button below and follow the instructions.

Your application should contain: (1) a cover letter summarizing your research accomplishments and how you could contribute to the research project, (2) Curriculum Vitae, (3) publication list, (4) transcripts of relevant degree certificates and publications, and (5) names and contact details of 2-3 references.

Academic union representatives:


The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.


SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact person

URL to this pagehttps://www.slu.se/en/about-slu/work-at-slu/jobs-vacancies/?rmpage=job&rmjob=5376&rmlang=UK

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