Job advertisement PhD Position in Evaporites Stable Isotope Geochemistry at ETH Zurich

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European Geosciences Union

PhD Position in Evaporites Stable Isotope Geochemistry at ETH Zurich

PhD Position in Evaporites Stable Isotope Geochemistry at ETH Zurich


Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology, Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich


Zurich, Switzerland


Relevant divisions
Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology (GMPV)
Ocean Sciences (OS)
Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology (SSP)

Full time

Student / Graduate / Internship


Required education

Application deadline
21 December 2019

1 November 2019

Job description

The Isotope Geochemistry Group of the Institute for Geochemistry and Petrology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, invites applications for a PhD position to explore the Mg and Sr stable isotope signature in evaporitic sequences.

The project includes a study of modern and ancient evaporites via experiments, fieldwork, and laboratory analyses of natural samples. It is aimed at developing new archives for seawater isotope composition of Mg and stable-Sr and at using these archives to reconstruct past variations in these isotope compositions of the ocean.

Project background
In recent years, the oceanic balance of Mg and stable-Sr isotopes (as δ26Mg and δ88/86Sr values) has been investigated, demonstrating their potential to trace past variations in the oceanic inputs and outputs of these elements. However, the scarcity of past seawater δ26Mg and δ88/86Sr record data, and differences between existing data-sets (all based on Ca-carbonate archives), currently limit this approach. In this project, we will explore and develop new evaporitic (non-Ca-carbonate) archives for seawater δ26Mg and δ88/86Sr values and use them to reconstruct past variations in seawater composition. In that framework, we will also study the environmental conditions related to the formation of these evaporitic sequences as well as their post-depositional preservation.

Job description
The position is funded for four years by the Swiss National Science Foundation. It includes mainly geochemistry laboratory work as well as two field trips for sampling (in Italy and Israel), sedimentary and petrological study of the sequences, data analysis and modeling and outcomes communication (in conferences and papers). The position offers the student an excellent training in a world-leading Earth’s surface group and laboratory as well as collaborations with geoscientists from different countries.

Your profile
We seek an excellent team-oriented candidate with an MSc or equivalent degree in Earth science or in other related natural sciences (e.g., oceanography, chemistry), and a strong motivation to work in the laboratory. Very good communication and writing skills in English are required. Experience in geochemical laboratories and/or mass spectrometry and/or with evaporitic systems will be of advantage.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents: CV, motivation letter, course grades and transcripts, and the names and email addresses of 1-2 referees. An online interview may be required in later stages. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Isotope Geochemistry Group can be found on our website