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Job advertisement Postdoctoral Researcher In Microbial Geochemistry

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European Geosciences Union

Postdoctoral Researcher In Microbial Geochemistry

Postdoctoral Researcher In Microbial Geochemistry


University of Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland


Relevant division
Biogeosciences (BG)

Full time


salary is based on the University of Lausanne pay scale

Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

14 July 2021

Job description

Postdoctoral Researcher in Microbial Geochemistry

The University of Lausanne is a leading international teaching and research institution, with over 5,000 employees and 17,000 students split between its Dorigny campus, CHUV and Epalinges. As an employer, UNIL encourages excellence, individual recognition, and responsibility.

We invite applications for a 2-year post-doctoral position in the Microbiogeochemistry Lab at the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics (IDYST) at the University of Lausanne. The newly launched research group headed by Prof. Berg specializes in the application of interdisciplinary approaches – borrowing methods from the fields of biology, geology, and chemistry – to solve complex environmental questions related to biogeochemical cycling. Steady-state concentrations of certain redox species may arise from the balance between continuous oxidation and reduction reactions, and although concentration changes cannot be measured, their rapid turnover can play a key role in the environment and sustain highly active and diverse microbial communities. This project will focus on hidden or “cryptic” microbial processes and their impact on Fe, S, and O cycling on ancient earth to modern-day ecosystems.

Job information
Expected start date: 1 November 2021 or upon agreement
Contract length: 2 years
Activity rate: 100%
Workplace: Lausanne Mouline (Géopolis)

Job description
The aim of the project is to uncover thus-far overlooked microscale “cryptic”, or hidden, microbial processes and evaluate their impact on ecosystem functioning and the global element cycles of Fe, S, and O. The candidate will take an interdisciplinary approach combing field work with laboratory experiments, borrowing techniques from chemistry, geology, biology, and molecular biology. Example, approaches used may include mining of genes from public databases, anaerobic microbial cultivation, stable isotope analyses, wet chemistry, spectroscopy, and microscopy. The candidate will also be involved with setting up a microbial stromatolite aquarium.
The successful candidate is expected to have a strong mastery of the English language in order to disseminate results through scientific publications and conferences and to contribute to an inclusive research environment by actively working with local and international collaborators and technical staff. Possible collaborations include work on international projects in Indonesia, France, and the Swiss Alps.

Desired qualifications

  • PhD degree in environmental microbiology, geobiology, biogeochemistry, or a related domain.
  • Strong background in redox chemistry, particularly knowledge of the Fe, S, and/or O cycles
  • Capable of designing and setting-up microbial cultivation experiments.
  • Familiar with or willingness to learn field and laboratory techniques in geochemistry
  • Experience in bioinformatics is a plus.
  • Excellent written and spoken English skills. French in an asset, but not required.
  • Able to work both independently and collaboratively in an international, interdisciplinary environment

What the position offers you
We offer a stimulating position in a highly international and interdisciplinary environment. Our lab is located on the University of Lausanne campus, with immediate access to lake and mountains and a rich cultural life.

How to apply

Contact for further information
Prof. Jasmine Berg
Your application
Deadline: 20 August 2021

We look forward to receiving your online application in PDF format including the following documents:

Additional information
UNIL is committed to equal opportunities and diversity.
UNIL supports early career researchers.