PhD Position in Geoscience/Geochemistry/Paleoclimatology/Physics or related field

Updated: about 1 month ago

Job Type / Workload
Academic: PhD Position 100%
0 weekly jours
Education / Culture
Functional Area
Geo Sciences
CHF 0 /
Entry date
January 9, 2020
as agreed upon
Switzerland - Bern
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PhD Position University of Bern – Decoding the climate impact potential of ancient volcanic eruptions from ice cores

A PhD position is available at the division of Climate and Environmental Physics (CEP) at the Physics Institute, University of Bern in Switzerland. This PhD project is part of the European Research Council Consolidator Grant, “Timing of Holocene volcanic eruptions and their radiative aerosol forcing (THERA)”.

The PhD position is for 4 years. The preferred starting date is March/April 2020.

The goal of the THERA project is to extract data on the timing, magnitude and source location of the major volcanic eruptions that occurred during the Holocene (i.e., the past 12,000 years). THERA is focusing on developing a state-of-the-art reconstruction of volcanic aerosol forcing on global climate using novel analytical tools and an array of deep ice-cores from Greenland and Antarctica.

The PhD student will 1) investigate glaciochemical archives of ash and aerosol delivery to elucidate eruption proximity, 2) undertake detailed tephra sampling, microscopic preparation, and geochemical analyses for fingerprinting provenance and will 3) apply sulfur isotope (33S, 34S) analyses in collaboration with project partners at the University of St. Andrew as a tool for constraining plume injection heights. The PhD student is encouraged to request funding ( ) and to undertake a field campaign in Iceland to sample proximal tephra deposits for key volcanic eruptions in Iceland. This will allow us to make robust geochemical correlations with the ice core archives and relate the proximal volcanological records to the distal ice core archives.

Supervisor: Prof. Michael Sigl, University of Bern, +41 31 631 8652, [email protected]

Qualification requirements

  • strong analytical skills and a Master’s degree in physics, chemistry, geosciences (or related)
  • fluent spoken and written English are prerequisites for this position
  • excellent collaboration skills and ability to successfully join in academic teamwork within and across disciplines
  • experience in the use of geochemical analytical techniques or tephra analyses is advantageous
  • some experience in statistics, database management and programming would be beneficial

We offer

  • a fully-funded position for 4 years (salary according to Swiss National Science Foundation rules)
  • a professionally stimulating working environment in a small team
  • the student will benefit from the support of an active, interdisciplinary research environment. The PhD students will work alongside members of the Continuous Flow Analyses Laboratory, the Oeschger Centre of Climate Change Research (OCCR) and international project partners (e.g., St Andrews Isotope Geochemistry, UK)

How to apply

Deadline for applications: 10th February 2020

Applicants should upload a CV, a statement of research experience and interests (max. 2 pages), a pdf or a web link to the master thesis, and contact information of 2 references as a single pdf at . Consideration of applications begins immediately. The position will stay open until filled.


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