Research Associate in Marine Micropalaentology – Neogene Foraminifers

University of Bristol - School of Earth Sciences

The Bristol Paleobiology group in the School of Earth Sciences at Bristol (in close collaboration with the Universities of Southampton, Leeds and University College London) is inviting applications for a Research Associate to work on the NERC funded PISTON project. PISTON is an interdisciplinary research consortium investigating the overarching question: Does developmental plasticity influence speciation? Our transdisciplinary approach to fill this key knowledge gap in contemporary evolutionary ecology, fuses computer vision, micro-tomography, systematics and geochemistry. It will include regular research visits to the other project partners, as well as provide ample networking opportunities within the (inter)national network of the project. The position will start Spring 2018, and funding is available for 36 months.

The Research Associate will generate trait data, specifically size and shape, to inform ecosystem function of planktic foraminifers in the Neogene to inform if speciation and extinction alter community-level biomass and morphological stability (temporal, spatial, phenotypic). She/he will identify changes in abundance of the major trait groups in the samples over the last 6 Ma. She/he will be required to liaise with all project partners and stakeholders and coordinate synergies with partners across the program.  The Research Associate will undertake regular research visits to project partners Southampton,Leeds and London, and will have opportunities to present the research at international conferences and mentor postgraduate researchers.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in geoscience, bioscience, environmental sciences, marine sciences (or related fields), will have extensive experience in micropalaeontology, specifically planktic foraminifers and strong numerical skills. She/he will be author of publications in top-ranked international journals. We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate excellent communication skills, experience in working as part of a research project, and proven ability to work independently with the ability to take initiative, develop research methodologies and methods of data analysis. 

For informal enquiries please contact Prof. Daniela Schmidt (;

Please note that interviews for this position will take place in February 2018.

The University is committed to creating and sustaining a fully inclusive culture.  We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities.

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South West England