Research Associate (Critical Zone Geophysics)

Lancaster University - Lancaster Environment Centre

In January 2016, as part of the UK Newton Fund activities, NERC in collaboration with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) agreed to support five projects under the theme “Using Critical Zone Science to Understand Sustaining the Ecosystem Service of Soil & Water (CZO)”. The five projects address a broad range of challenges facing the sustainability of ecosystem services of soil and water in China and address specific research questions at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Each project has adopted specific experimental methods to address the research questions posed. Recently, funds were been made available by NERC to provide dedicated geophysical equipment and research staff to support experimental investigations in all five projects. We are now seeking to appoint a postdoctoral researcher to join the research team and take a lead in geophysical investigations at the five study sites. We anticipate a focus on the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and electromagnetic induction mapping in order to provide 2D and 3D models of the subsurface.

You should have a PhD, with a track record in relevant geophysical methods applied to soil and groundwater investigations. You should also have good organizational skills, be able to co-ordinate field campaigns, work independently but also interact effectively in a multi-disciplinary team. Excellent communication skills (report and paper writing; oral presentations) are also necessary.

You will be based at Lancaster but involved in extensive field experiments at the Chinese field sites, the data from which will be used to develop plot-scale, and ultimately watershed-scale, models.

Lancaster has an established track record of the use of geophysics for tackling hydrological problems at a wide range of scales. We have developed in-house data analysis techniques (e.g. inversion codes) that will be utilised. We have experience of running international PhD training courses in hydrogeophysics and anticipate running a more general hydrogeophysics training course in China, allied with Chinese researchers with expertise in geophysical methods. The successful candidate will assist in such training ventures.

Lancaster University is a world-class university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching, scholarship and research. Lancaster is a UK top ten University and is consistently highly placed in all major league tables, in the top 1 percent of the world ranking. Lancaster Environment Centre is a large and multidisciplinary department and has an increasing portfolio of regional, national and international research partnerships that advance core disciplinary knowledge and address key societal issues.

This is a fixed term appointment commencing on 3 January 2017 to  31 December 2017.

Further details are available from Prof. Andrew Binley (

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