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Job advertisement Technician – Breathing Oceans: understanding the organic skin that modulates the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ocean

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European Geosciences Union

Technician – Breathing Oceans: understanding the organic skin that modulates the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ocean

Technician – Breathing Oceans: understanding the organic skin that modulates the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ocean

The Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University logo

The Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University

Based at Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh Campus, Heriot-Watt University and the British Geological Survey (BGS) have joined forces to create a new research platform, the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Science and Technology to become one of Europe’s leading centres for research and expertise in the earth and marine sciences.

Jointly funded by UK and Scottish funders; Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Heriot-Watt, The Lyell Centre will promote innovative research at the core of geoscience, marine and terrestrial ecology, computing, mathematics and engineering. The Lyell Centre building project was completed in February 2016. The University is now recruiting senior academics to build research teams, supported by new state of the art analytical facilities that enable realisation of the Centre’s vision and research strategy. Together with our colleagues at BGS, the Centre aims to create a world-leading research cluster bringing science and technology together to tackle major issues of natural resource and energy supply in a responsible and sustainable way.

The new fusion of pure and applied expertise between Heriot-Watt and the BGS provides an opportunity to develop and use innovative methods and new technologies to create real-world solutions to address global challenges The Lyell Centre’s research themes are clustered in two main areas: Applied Geoscience and Ecosystems Science. New research laboratories in Biogeochemistry, Marine Sciences, and GeoEnergy are fundamental components to facilitate and catalyse advancement of research and outreach in the Lyell Centre.


Edinburgh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Relevant divisions
Biogeosciences (BG)
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Hydrological Sciences (HS)


Entry level

£26,715–£30,942 (Grade 6)

Required education
Undergraduate degree

Application deadline
6 December 2020

17 November 2020

Job description

The Carbon-Water Dynamics Group, funded by European Research Council’s Horizon 2020 programme, seeks an inquisitive and motivated technician starting 1 March 2021 for 3.3 years willing to travel internationally. Oceans are a global reservoir of greenhouse gases, estimated to account for 20–40% of the post-industrial sink for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). However, quantifying the exchange of gases such as CO2, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) between the ocean and atmosphere is a major challenge. This project will further our understanding of how the ocean’s organic skin layer modulates this exchange and is critical to estimate the intrinsic oceanic sinks and sources of these key greenhouse gases both now and in the future. Organic substances in the skin layer, known as surfactants, are critical to this process and require new analytical approaches.

You will have a pivotal role in research understanding the organic skin that modulates the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ocean. You will engage in new approaches of analytical geochemistry and overseas fieldwork. You will be competent in operating and maintaining laboratory equipment.

You will participate in fieldwork including ocean-going research cruises and tropical field campaigns; maintain field-going and laboratory equipment; install and maintain new laboratory infrastructure; develop new methods for collection and analysis of organic matter fractions using HPLC; conduct laboratory and field health and safety including risk assessment and COSHH; prepare samples (e.g. weighing, sieving, filtering, drying); act as main contact for contractors and procurement; and engage in public outreach.

You will have a relevant degree in environmental, earth and ocean sciences, including oceanography, marine (micro)biology, or biogeochemistry. You will have had hands-on experience of liquid chromatography and/or stable carbon isotope geochemistry; experience working within a field and laboratory setting and working as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

The position is available for 40 months.

How to apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 6th December. For queries contact Dr Ryan Pereira on

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment. We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

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Applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK will be considered alongside other applications. However, candidates who require sponsorship cannot be appointed if a suitably qualified, experienced and skilled EEA applicant is available due to the UK Visas & Immigration requirements. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas & Immigration website: