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Research Associate; SEACHANGE

University of York - Department of Chemistry

Location: York
Salary: £36,024 to £44,263 per year (reduced pro rata for part time working).
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 9th November 2023
Closes: 7th January 2024
Job Ref: 12786

Department

We are looking to appoint an analytical chemist / geochemist to be responsible for conducting amino acid research from modern and ancient marine shells and corals under the direction of Professor Kirsty Penkman. This position could be undertaken full-time or part-time (≥50% FTE) and is fixed term for 18 months.

The role is funded by the European Research Council under the project “SEACHANGE: Quantifying the Impact of Major Cultural Transitions on Marine Ecosystem Functioning and Biodiversity”. This 6-year ERC Synergy grant is led by Professor James Scourse at the University of Exeter with a range of global collaborators.

The Department of Chemistry at the University of York is one of the UK's leading Chemistry departments and we are renowned internationally for our research. This is combined with a commitment to teaching and outstanding student satisfaction, and we have been recognised consistently for our family-friendly policies and are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award. As a department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We aim to ensure that there is a supportive and egalitarian culture at all levels and across all staff groups. We promote good practice and a strong culture of equality in higher education. Further information can be found on our website.

The postholder will be part of the BioArCh group, which hosts a range of archaeological and environmental scientists. BioArCh is a world class facility which draws on the expertise of staff from the departments of Biology, Archaeology, Environment and Chemistry.

Role

This post will be based in Chemistry where you will conduct amino acid analysis from ancient and modern marine organisms. You will conduct research into the proteins, peptides and amino acids in biominerals; this will help develop the chronology for the material and to determine endogeneity of the organic matter, enabling other members of the project to use stable isotope analysis to track food web functioning across the different cultural transitions. All the required instrumentation for the project (RP-HPLC, UHPLC & MS, microscopy) is housed at the university, including the NERC-recognised amino acid facility, the Technology Facility and the Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry (CoEMS).

You will work collaboratively with the larger SEACHANGE team of over 30 scientists. The project will apply a structured and systematic approach to the reconstruction of marine ecosystem baselines and quantify the impact of cultural transitions on marine ecosystems, investigating five key cultural transitions.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • First degree and PhD in Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Biology, Archaeological Science, or related subject.
  • Knowledge of chemistry and its application to ancient samples.
  • Experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research in a relevant subject area.
  • Experience of working with chromatography and / or mass spectrometry.

Interview date: To be confirmed.

For informal enquiries: please contact Professor Kirsty Penkman (kirsty.penkman@york.ac.uk).

The University strives to be diverse and inclusive – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University.

We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

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