Research Technician: Palaeomagnetic Dating and Environmental Magnetic Signatures, Lake Challa Quaternary Sediment Record

Lancaster University - Lancaster Environment Centre

Project title: Testing the 'megadrought' hypothesis: the timing, cause and impacts of climate change in equatorial Africa (DeepCHALLA-UK)

An exciting opportunity exists for a research technician to work with Professor Maher to use palaeomagnetic and environmental magnetic techniques to date and identify palaeoclimatic changes for a highly-resolved, Quaternary lake sediment record, obtained from Lake Challa.

This NERC-funded multi-institutional research grant, involving researchers at Lancaster University, British Geological Survey, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, and Queen’s University, Belfast. DeepCHALLA-UK is part of the wider “DeepCHALLA” project of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme ( The project aims to reconstruct East African climate change and environmental history over the past 250,000 years, from a ~214 m lake sediment core retrieved from Lake Challa, on the Kenyan-Tanzanian border.

The major elements of this post are to carry out detailed palaeomagnetic and environmental magnetic analyses of the core, using Lancaster’s new, 2G RAPID cryogenic magnetometry system, and other, independent and complementary analyses (e.g. geochemical analyses, electron microscopy), as required. The aims are to: contribute to building a precise and accurate age model for the sediment record, by contributing a high-resolution magnetostratigraphy for this unique core; and to use changes in sediment magnetic properties to identify palaeoclimatic/palaeoenvironmental changes from changes in sediment source and/or post-depositional processes.  

You will hold a PhD in a palaeomagnetism-focused area, and will have research expertise using magnetic instrumentation, associated data analysis software, and ideally some additional experience in geochemistry or similar disciplines. They will be self-motivated, collaborative and hold strong communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to work independently is essential.

Informal inquiries may be directed to Barbara Maher (

We particularly welcome applications from women for this role in order to increase our staff diversity in this part of the University

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Northern England