ESR 9: Studying the effect of Fe addition to sediments on the sedimentary biogeochemical processes

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Co-supervisor: Dr. Thilo Behrends (University of Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Employer: University of Bayreuth, Germany

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 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 project of ESR 9 aims to determine the dynamics of major biogeochemical cycles (C,N,Fe,S) and solute fluxes studying pore-water composition, solid phase speciation and turnover rates (e. g. sulphate reduction rates) in P-rich aquatic systems. The effect of biogeochemical cycles on the mobilisation of P considering will be numerically simulated using an early diagenetic modelling approach emphasizing the role of iron hydroxides as a geochemical barrier

Qualifications: We seek an enthusiastic PhD student holding an MSc degree (at the start of the contract) that ensures appropriate background knowledge in environmental sciences, earth sciences and/or (environmental) chemistry. You have a solid knowledge on biogeochemical processes in aquatic environments with interest in the simulation of biogeochemical processes in aquatic systems. Experience in geochemical / diagenetic modelling is helpful but not required.

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 be within the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research career and may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the starting date of the fellowship.

Terms of employment: The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment, with an indicated start salary is approximately 2500 € to 3100 € gross / month. The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if specific requirements are met). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education activities within P-TRAP, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

About the organisation: The Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER) combines technical competences and scientific expertise of more than 20 research groups covering a wide field of geosciences and ecological sciences. Young scientists profit from the broadly oriented information exchange that is cultivated at BayCEER through workshops, seminars, and interdisciplinary research. Graduate students have access in their research to an excellent infrastructure of shared research laboratories, workshops, established experimental sites, and database applications.

BayCEER runs its own PhD programme PEER (Programme for Ecological and Environmental Research, http://www.bayceer.uni-bayreuth.de/peer/en/) within the Bayreuth Graduate School for Natural Sciences (BayNAT) and currently hosts over 200 scholars and scientists.

You will be working in the Department of Hydrology (http://www.hydro.uni-bayreuth.de/hydro/en/), which has a research focus on the interaction between ground and surface waters. We conduct field, lab and modelling investigations that focus on gaining a quantitative process understanding of aquatic systems and address questions of performance and efficiency of matter processing but also vulnerability of aquatic systems, resulting from climate change or anthropogenic influences in general. The overarching goal is to obtain a better understanding of the coupling between physical and biogeochemical processes that control the cycling of matter and energy at the interface of surface waters and groundwater.

How to apply: Please upload your application material 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. Stefan Peiffer via s.peiffer@uni-bayreuth.