Post-doctoral position in Atmospheric Geochemistry
As part of the French Regional Program CLIMIBIO(Planning Agreement between the national and regional governments 2015-2020, the “University of the Littoral Opal Coast” in the north of France is looking for a post-doctoral researcher to contribute to a Project in Atmospheric Geochemistry.
Trace elements including iron (Fe) serve as essential micronutrients in surface ocean waters. Iron in atmospheric deposition represents the main source of bioavailable Fe to High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll ocean regions (e.g. the Southern Ocean). While natural emissions (e.g. mineral dust) are considered the most important sources of atmospheric Fe, the aqueous solubility of natural Fe –bearing particles is very limited. Conversely, anthropogenic Fe-rich particles including fly ash (combustion aerosols) display a higher solubility. How human activities impact the transport of bioavailable Fe to the oceans remains a fundamental question being addressed in atmospheric and oceanographic studies.
With the recent advances in mass spectrometry, it is now possible to measure precisely small differences in Fe isotopic compositions as they occur in many physical, geochemical and biological processes. While the isotopic signature of radiogenic isotopes such as lead has been widely used to assess the contribution of pollution aerosols to transport and deposition fluxes in the low troposphere, the use of non-traditional heavy stable isotopes such as Fe is still rare in atmospheric process studies. The reported values for Fe isotope compositions of natural aerosols (mineral dust: δ56Fe ≈+0.08‰/IRMM-014) are close to those of igneous rocks. However, our previous work has shown δ56Fe reaching +0.14‰ in urban aerosols influenced by industrial emissions. This project will tentatively assess the isotopic imprint of atmospheric transport on anthropogenic and natural Fe by simulating cloud processing of industrial and urban Fe-bearing particles. Isotopic analysis will be conducted in collaboration with the GTIME laboratory on the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium).
To investigate the mechanisms controlling the isotope fractionation at the molecular scale, first-principles calculations based on the density functional theory (DFT) will be performed on Fe minerals mimicking studied anthropogenic Fe-bearing particles (e.g. goethite).
This project is funded by the “Université du Littoral-Côte d’Opale”, the Region «Hauts de France» and the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research (CPER “Climibio”).
The ideal applicant will have :
- A PhD in Analytical Chemistry or Geochemistry
- Experience with isotope and/or trace metal analysis under clean conditions
- Experience with advanced analytical instrumentation, such as mass spectrometry
- Experience of field studies and, if possible, quantum chemistry
- Enthusiasm and diligence in laboratory work
- Knowledge of security rules in the lab and in the field
- Interest in presenting results at conferences and writing papers for peer-reviewed journals
- Ability to communicate and work with multiple students and scientists
- Ability to travel to field studies and to the different regional partners’ site (about 120km from Dunkirk): Driver’s license for private car
- Some knowledge of/willingness to learn basic French
Dunkerque (Dunkirk) – North of France
12 months, starting no later than 1st January 2018
Monthly Take-home Pay:
Holiday Allowance :
- A Curriculum Vitae, including a publication list
- A motivation letter
- A selection of 2-3 publications in PDF
- The name and contact information of 2references
Deadline for applications:
October 20th 2017
Date d'expiration :
20 octobre 2017
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