PhD Position in Evaporites Stable Isotope Geochemistry

Updated: about 13 hours ago
Job Type: Temporary

100%, Zurich, temporary


The Isotope Geochemistry Group of the Institute for Geochemistry and Petrology invites applications for a PhD position to explore the Mg and Sr stable isotope signature in evaporitic sequences.

The project includes a study of modern and ancient evaporites via experiments, fieldwork, and laboratory analyses of natural samples. It is aimed at developing new archives for seawater isotope composition of Mg and stable-Sr and at using these archives to reconstruct past variations in these isotope compositions of the ocean.


Project background

In recent years, the oceanic balance of Mg and stable-Sr isotopes (as δ26 Mg and δ88/86 Sr values) has been investigated, demonstrating their potential to trace past variations in the oceanic inputs and outputs of these elements. However, the scarcity of past seawater δ26 Mg and δ88/86 Sr record data, and differences between existing data-sets (all based on Ca-carbonate archives), currently limit this approach. In this project, we will explore and develop new evaporitic (non-Ca-carbonate) archives for seawater δ26 Mg and δ88/86 Sr values and use them to reconstruct past variations in seawater composition. In that framework, we will also study the environmental conditions related to the formation of these evaporitic sequences as well as their post-depositional preservation.


Job description

The position is funded for four years by the Swiss National Science Foundation. It includes mainly geochemistry laboratory work as well as two field trips for sampling (in Italy and Israel), sedimentary and petrological study of the sequences, data analysis and modeling and outcomes communication (in conferences and papers). The position offers the student an excellent training in a world-leading Earth’s surface group and laboratory as well as collaborations with geoscientists from different countries.


Your profile

We seek an excellent team-oriented candidate with an MSc or equivalent degree in Earth science or in other related natural sciences (e.g., oceanography, chemistry), and a strong motivation to work in the laboratory. Very good communication and writing skills in English are required. Experience in geochemical laboratories and/or mass spectrometry and/or with evaporitic systems will be of advantage.


ETH Zurich

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