ESR 10

– Sorry, this position is already filled – 

Biogeochemical mechanisms influencing the bioavailability of P and Fe from vivianite

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stefan Kraemer (University of Vienna, Austria)

Co-supervisor: Dr. Walter Schenkeveld (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

Employer: University of Vienna, Austria

Project description: This project is part of the European H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network P-TRAP (Preventing Phosphorus Input to Surface Waters – New Concepts in Trapping, Recycling and Management). P-TRAP tackles two urgent interlinked global problems: Potential shortages of phosphate (P) for producing agricultural fertilizers and the decline of surface water quality upon excess phosphate input. P-TRAP targets the P flux from artificially drained agricultural areas and the internal P load of lakes. By this, P-TRAP aims at intercepting the undesired flux of phosphate from agricultural systems into surface waters and developing a phosphate recycling strategy.

The research of the PhD student at the University of Vienna (ESR10) is focused on the rates and mechanisms involved in Fe and P mobilization from vivianite and will investigate the effect of the geochemical environment on this process. The student will study the effect of precipitation of secondary minerals and quantify the effect of naturally occurring Fe binding ligands (including low molecular weight organic acids, siderophores, humic substances) on the rates of mineral dissolution. The student will use state of the art analytical tools and geochemical modelling. The project will be performed in close collaboration with international partners and involves secondments at academic partners in the consortium, but also at companies which are partner organizations in the P-TRAP project.

Qualifications: We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student with a strong interest to perform innovative environmental geochemistry research. Previous experience in these fields and/or analytical chemistry would be an advantage. Applicants should hold an MSc degree (or equivalent) in environmental sciences, geosciences, geoecology, environmental chemistry, or a related discipline. Basic laboratory training is essential. Candidates must be willing to travel abroad for secondments and measurement campaigns, and to present research to an international research community. As this project requires close collaboration within the consortium, candidates are expected to be team players and have excellent written and spoken English skills.

You approach scientific problems with determination and eager to develop multidisciplinary skills. You must be willing to travel abroad for secondments and measurement campaigns, and to present your research to an international research community. As this project requires close collaboration within the consortium, candidates are expected to be excellent team players. You also have excellent written and spoken English skills.

According to EU eligibility criteria, researchers may be of any nationality, BUT must be at their early carrier stage and may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Austria for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the starting date of the fellowship.

Terms of employment: You will be offered a full-time position at first for one year. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of Austrian Universities. With good performance the appointment will be extended to a total period of three years, with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period.

About the organisation: The University of Vienna with its 20 faculties and centres, 178 fields of study, approx. 9.600 members of staff and about 92.000 students is one of the oldest Universities in Europe. The PhD student will be part of the new Centre for Microbiology and Environmental System Science. The Centre brings together 15 working groups, and addresses innovative scientific disciplines such as environmental sciences and microbiome research. The new Centre comprises the four divisions Computational Systems Biology (CUBE), Microbial Ecology (DoME), Environmental Geoscience (EDGE), and Terrestrial Ecosystem Research (TER).

You will be working within the environmental geochemistry group (http://edge.univie.ac.at/kraemer-group-research). We are taking an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of aquatic and terrestrial processes that control the earth environment. Chemical, physical, biological, and geoscientific concepts and methods are applied to experimental work and field observations to arrive at a molecular scale mechanistic understanding and quantitative modelling of these processes. We are well equipped to seize opportunities presented by new developments in areas such as bio-mineral interactions, plant and microbial nutrition and pollution mobility using isotope geochemistry, environmental chemical analytics and chemical speciation. Our overall goal is to understand processes controlling the environmental systems and to apply fundamental insights to the solution of some of the pressing environmental problems of today and tomorrow.

How to apply: Apply by using the vacancy portal of the University Utrecht. Evaluations and interviews will begin May 1st of 2019 and continue until the position is filled. The intended start will be September 1st of 2019.

The application material should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, copies of university and high-school degrees (including grades) and either two letters of recommendation or contact information of two people that can be contacted for reference. The selection procedure will follow the Code of Conduct for Recruitment. Candidates will be selected first on EU eligibility criteria, second on qualifications. The candidate will be selected based on a job-interview with the direct supervisors. For more information on the P-TRAP project, including this and other vacancies, please visit the P-TRAP website.

Contact: Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Stefan Kraemer (ptrap.umwelt@univie.ac.at)