Postdoctoral researcher position in Environmental Chemistry / Environmental Microbiology / Biogeochemistry
We are inviting applications for a postdoctoral researcher position in the groups of Environmental Chemistry and Subsurface Biogeochemistry in the Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich (Dr. Michael Sander, Prof. Martin Schroth, and Prof. Kristopher McNeill). The topic of the postdoctoral researcher position is: ‘Electron transfer to and from peat particulate organic matter in northern peatlands: characterization and impact on carbon dioxide and methane concentrations’.
Northern peatlands are a major pool in the global carbon cycle. Because of the significant amounts of stored carbon, it is critical to understand the processes that result in the release of carbon from these systems to the atmosphere, both as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Processes that control the emission of CH4 are of particular importance because of its large warming potential. With this Postdoctoral research project, we seek to investigate the role of peat particulate organic matter (POM) as terminal electron acceptor for anaerobic microbial respiration in these systems and its impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. While the focus of the work will be on mechanistic laboratory studies, the project also involves annual field trips to and running experiments in ombrotrophic bogs in Värmland, central Sweden. The postdoctoral research project will advance a more fundamental understanding of biogeochemical redox processes in northern peatlands and, ultimately, our capabilities to predict their greenhouse gas emissions. A particular emphasis of the project will lie on peat soil incubation experiments coupled to the analysis of CO2 and CH4 formation and following changes in the redox state of peat POM.
The postdoctoral researcher will have access to various state-of-the art experimental systems and acquire expertise on advanced analytical techniques, including analytical electrochemistry, high-resolution mass spectrometry, and (isotope sensitive) greenhouse gas analysis. The postdoctoral researcher will further gain experience in developing new analytical approaches to characterize electron transfer reactions in peat systems, both in laboratory studies as well as in the field. The project is embedded into a larger, interdisciplinary research effort —involving also a PhD student as well as master students— that aims at advancing our understanding of peatland redox biogeochemistry.
We are looking for highly motivated candidates who should hold a PhD degree (or equivalent) in environmental chemistry, soil chemistry, (bio)geosciences, environmental microbiology or related disciplines. The candidate should have a strong interest in organic (geo)chemistry and biogeochemistry, soil chemistry, and/or environmental microbiology. Good communication skills in English (written and spoken) and the ability to work in a team are essential. Employment will be according to standard regulations at ETHZ (100%; funding secured for 2 years). The project will start in summer 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a brief statement of research interests (1 page), a summary of their PhD work (and if completed, a link to the thesis), and names and contact information for reference letters from 2-3 referees. These documents should be submitted as a single pdf file via the online application portal.
For further information about the research group and our work in peatlands, please visit http://www.envchem.ethz.ch/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXYdTOovbkg. For further details on the project, you may also contact Dr. Michael Sander or Prof. Dr. Martin Schroth by email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Evaluation of applicants will start March 30thth 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.