PDRA in Tephrochronology within the Leverhulme PAGES project

Royal Holloway, University of London - Department of Geography

Two year full-time appointment.

Applications are invited for the post of Post Doctoral Research Associate in tephrochronology and cryptotephra analyses in archaeological, palaeoenvironmental and proximal volcanic records in Armenia, in the Department of Geography.

This position is for a tephra research associate tied to the recently funded Leverhulme, PAGES project - (Pleistocene Archaeology, Geochronology and Environment of the Southern Caucasus). The project aims to integrate the archaeological record of human dispersal and adaptation in the region to test the influence of climate change on the pattern of human presence over the last ~1 million years. As such, this project involves a large team of researchers and the role of the PDRA is to work with the RHUL C0-I to provide tephrochronological underpinning. This includes assessing which tephra are key for 40Ar/39Ar dating and correlation between environmental and archaeological records, which will necessitate some examination of proximal tephra deposits, to understand the compositional ranges and chronology of the source tephra. While many of the tephra in the various records are visible to the naked eye, many are deposited as cryptotephra, thus the role will also involve detailed cryptotephra studies of archaeological and environmental sediments, using established density separation techniques. The PDRA will work closely with the project Investigators, PDRA’s and other collaborating scientists to build the tephra framework and successfully apply it to the correlation of archives. This will require extensive fieldwork during the period of the project where the successful candidate will work in a range of field contexts with other projects members for several weeks at a time. This will be coupled with detailed laboratory analyses of sediments for the presence of cryptotephra, visible tephra deposits, and proximal tephra units using a range of appropriate techniques. The successful candidate will prepare and analyse samples for geochemical profiles using EPMA and LA-ICPMS techniques, under the overall supervision of the Royal Holloway project Co-I (Dr S. Blockley). The PDRA will also have the opportunity to both lead and to contribute publications arising from this project and to present results at UK and international conferences.

The successful candidate will hold, or will have recently submitted, a PhD in an appropriate area (e.g. Physical Geography, Quaternary Science, Earth Sciences) and will have a thorough understanding of the application of tephrochronology to relevant research areas, especially the correlation and dating of a range of archives using tephra (including cryptotephra). This will include the analyses of both visible and cryptotephra and a detailed understanding of key processes such as reworking, and an understanding of the appropriate steps to resolve problems raised by such archives, including detailed geochemical and sedimentological analyses. The PDRA will also collaborate with colleagues on the mapping of volcanic and sedimentary deposits and would ideally have significant field experience.

To apply, please send CV and covering letter to Simon.Blockley@rhul.ac.uk.

To view further details of this post, please visit: https://jobs.royalholloway.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=1116-367. The Human Resources Department can be contacted with queries by email at: recruitment@rhul.ac.uk.

Please quote the reference: TephraPAGES 1116-367.

Closing Date: Midnight, 12th December 2016.

Interview Date: 19th December 2016.

The College is committed to equality and diversity, and encourages applications from all sections of the community.

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