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Research Fellow

University of Southampton - Geochemistry

Location: Southampton
Salary: £32,348 to £35,333 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 2nd December 2022
Closes: 5th January 2023
Job Ref: 2086022HN
 

Full Time Fixed Term for 16 months

Closing Date: Thursday 05 January 2023

Interview Date: To be confirmed

Applications are invited from researchers to work as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the University of Southampton’s World-leading Geochemistry Research Group (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/research/groups/geochemistry). 

This post is funded through a grant entitled “CoralChem – The mechanics of coral calcification revealed by a novel electrochemical toolkit” funded by the BBSRC. The line management will be shared between Prof Gavin Foster (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/about/staff/glf1u08.page), Dr Guy Denuault (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/people/5wyh7m/doctor-guy-denuault) and Prof Peter Smith (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/people/5x8c6f/professor-peter-smith).

Stony corals, and the vibrant coral reefs they support, are under threat from a multitude of anthropogenic stressors from ocean warming and ocean acidification to pollution and over-fishing.  The calcium carbonate skeleton of stony corals is constructed within a micro-sized extracellular space sandwiched between the animal tissue and the existing skeleton.  To go beyond our current empirical understanding and to better predict the fate of these important ecosystem engineers requires a mechanistic understanding of the biomineralization process.  This is however currently lacking due to the difficulty of reliably and accurately determining the carbonate chemistry (i.e. the pH) of the space where skeleton construction occurs.  

We will overcome this challenge here by i) developing a durable solid state dual O2/pH sensor, and ii) addressing the fundamental issue of positional feedback to maintain a constant position of a sensor inserted within the calcifying space of a mobile living organism, ensuring that the sensor is not destroyed during measurement through collision with the hard skeleton.

A successful candidate should have:

  • A PhD (or equivalent) in the Physical Sciences in the general area of electrochemistry or electronics and instrumentation.  
  • Experience in the development of scanning probe techniques would be a strong advantage.
  • Experience with electrochemical methods would also be advantageous but not essential.
  • Skills in hypothesis-testing, experiment design, analysis of data sets and writing scientific manuscripts and reports.
  • Demonstrate strong drive, ambition and motivation, with the capacity to deliver on challenging tasks and to meet deadlines both individually and as part of a team.  
  • Express a desire to apply cutting edge electrochemical tools and approaches to the environmental sciences to help tackle the multifaceted anthropogenic threats faced by tropical coral reefs – one of the most important but endangered ecosystems on the planet.

This post is a fixed-term appointment for approximately 16 months.  For further information about related work at Southampton follow these links:

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/research/groups/geochemistry.page

www.thefosterlab.org

http://www.thefosterlab.org/microns2reefs

For further enquiries please contact Professor Gavin Foster (gavin.foster@noc.soton.ac.uk)

Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at https://jobs.soton.ac.uk. The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. References are requested along with your application. This reference system is automated so please ensure you provide the correct email address and allow time for these to be received, prior to the close date, to assist the department with shortlisting. If you need any assistance, please contact Michelle (HR Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2750 or email recruitment@soton.ac.uk  Please quote reference 2086022HN on all correspondence. 

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