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Job advertisement PhD position in Microbial Geochemistry of lake sediments

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European Geosciences Union

PhD position in Microbial Geochemistry of lake sediments

PhD position in Microbial Geochemistry of lake sediments


University of Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland


Relevant divisions
Biogeosciences (BG)
Solar-Terrestrial Sciences (ST)


Student / Graduate / Internship


Preferred education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

25 July 2021

Job description

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 5-year PhD position in the Environmental Microbiogeochemistry Lab in 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 sulfur cycling and its implications for ancient earth to modern-day ecosystems.

Job information
Expected start date: 1 December 2021 or upon agreement
Contract length: 1 year, renewable 2 × 2 years, maximum 5 years
Activity rate: 80%
Workplace: Lausanne Mouline (Géopolis)

Job description
The aim of the project is to explore the extent of microbial sulfur cycling in low-sulfate ecosystems, ranging from freshwater lakes to deeply buried sediments. The candidate will take an interdisciplinary approach combing field work with laboratory experiments, borrowing techniques from chemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology. Example approaches used may include field measurements, genetic surveys, microbial cultivation, stable isotope labeling experiments, wet chemistry, and microscopy. Some teaching assistance of undergraduate courses is also expected.
We value curiosity, creativity, and the drive to discover new things. You are expected to have a strong mastery of the English language. Possible collaborations include work on international projects in Indonesia, Tibet, and the Swiss Alps.

Desired qualifications

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, or related domain.
  • Strong background in redox chemistry
  • Experience in bioinformatics or programming 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.

Contact for further information
Prof. Jasmine Berg
Your application
Deadline: 15 September 2021

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

How to apply

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

  • Cover letter specifying your interest for this position and previous related experience
  • Curriculum vitae with contact information for at least two professional references
    Only applications through the University of Lausanne website will be taken into account.