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PhD position in Geochemical analysis at Department of Organismal Biology – Uppsala, Sweden

Sweden, Uppsala University

The program for Evolution and Developmental Biology is looking for a new doctoral student, main supervisor Zivile Zigaite. The PhD position forms part of ERC Advanced Grant project ERC-2020-ADG 101019613 “Tetrapod Origin”, at Uppsala University, Sweden, 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field:
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: -
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Department of Organismal Biology
Uppsala University
Uppsala University
Uppsala , Sweden

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Qualification Details

A master degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area is required. First-hand experience of geochemical analysis of fossil vertebrates using high-resolution in-situ secondary ion mass-spectrometry (SIMS) techniques, especially δ18O analysis, is essential. Basic knowledge of REE and trace element data interpretation. The candidate must be fluent in spoken and written English.

Additional qualifications

Experience with laser ablasion inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) is desirable. Basic knowledge of French is a plus. In filling this position, the university aims to recruit the person who, in the combined evaluation of competence, skills and documented qualifications, is judged most suitable to carry out and develop the work-in-hand and to contribute to a positive development of the department.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The PhD student will carry out geochemical analyses of bones and teeth of fossil tetrapods and associated vertebrates from the Devonian period. The purpose of these analyses is to investigate the environmental and palaeobiological signals contained in the oxygen isotope (δ18O) and Rare Earth Element (REE) profiles of the hard tissues. We will be looking above all at water salinity, but also other environmental parameters such as water temperature, burial conditions.

In practical terms, the student will undertake preparation of material for analysis, including sectioning and mounting, and will perform analyses including secondary ion mass-spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry at analytical facilities such as the NordSIM and the "Vegacenter" micro-analytical facilities at the Natural History Museum in Stockholm, and the Time-of-Flight SIMS facility at the Regional Platform of Surface Analyses RPSA, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. The student may spend extended periods of time at RPSA. The results and analytical conclusions will contribute towards the overall synthesizing goals of the ERC project, which aims to achieve an overall understanding of the origin of tetrapods as an evolutionary and ecological phenomenon. In addition to presenting their work in primary publications, the student will be invited to participate in this process and coauthor papers arising from it.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: UFV-PA 2021/4929
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

The application should include 1) a letter of intent describing yourself, your research interests and motivation of why you want to do a PhD, 2) a short description of your education, 3) a CV, 4) a copy of your master degree and course grades, 5) the names and contact information (address, email address, and phone number) of at least two reference persons, 6) relevant publications (including master thesis). The application is preferably written in English.

About the Department

The Department of Organismal Biology teaches and explores the evolution, development and function of whole organisms. For more information see

About the Employer: Uppsala University

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Contact details

For further information about the position, please contact: Zivile Zigaite,

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