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Job advertisement Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biogeochemistry

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European Geosciences Union

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biogeochemistry

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biogeochemistry

Eötvös Loránd University logo

Eötvös Loránd University

The Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography provides excellent working conditions and a friendly atmosphere. The Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest carries out research of an internationally high standard. The university has regularly been ranked among Europe’s top 900 universities on worldwide ranking lists of research universities.
Research activities at the eight faculties of Eötvös Loránd University are exceptionally diverse, covering nearly all scientific fields. With regard to the main branches of science, its research and unique products make Eötvös Loránd University present in the spheres of physical and life sciences, informatics, humanities, educational sciences and jurisprudence, as well as the social sciences.
Wide variety of doctoral programmes: 16 doctoral schools with 126 doctoral programmes
Highly qualified teaching staff:
75% of the faculty has a higher academic degree
Wolf Prize winner in the faculty
Kyoto Prize winner in the faculty
Large research output:
Approximately 7,000 publications in Web of Science database over the last five years
Half of them published in Q1 journals
High research impact: The category normalized citation impact of these publications is as high as 1.5
Extensive research collaboration: 60% of publications have at least one international co-author
Large number of research groups:
30 research groups in collaboration with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS)
14 Momentum (‘Lendület’) research groups
16 Horizon research groups


Budapest, Hungary


Relevant divisions
Biogeosciences (BG)
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology (GMPV)

Full time

Entry level

25200 € / Year

Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

26 March 2024

Job description

The Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest is searching a

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER (in lipid biomarker analysis)

to take part in the project “Tracking changes in climate at the collapse of Neolithic lifestyle in Eastern-Central and South-East Europe (DOMINO-CLIMATE)”

The position is financed by the Hungarian National Science Fund and is a subproject of a Frontline advanced grant called “The Domino Effect: Tracking changes in climate, environment and subsistence economy at the collapse of Neolithic lifestyle in Eastern-Central and South-East Europe (DOMINO-CLIMATE)”, awarded to professor Enikő Magyari. The research group includes 4 postdocs and several part-time employed PhD students and departmental members.

Project description:

The project will investigate the complex interface between the environmental, anthropogenic, climatic, and cultural factors that shaped the decline of Neolithic Civilizations in Eastern-Central and South-Eastern Europe. That process proceeded in Europe along a spatial gradient, i.e. from East to West and North to South. The DOMINO-CLIMATE project aims to track the decline and fall of Neolithic Civilizations from a multi-proxy perspective to identify the causes of the tell site abandonments at 4250-4550 cal yr BC in the region, which was followed by their decline over 1200 years (4550-3300 BC). The geographical distribution of the decline at different times suggests a ‘Domino Effect’, where one collapse triggers a chain of events. Our aim is to examine whether rapid climate change events and consequent ecosystem changes show a similar time-transient pattern along the examined N-S (from the North Carpathian Basin to Southern Serbia and Bulgaria) and E-W transect (from the Pontic steppe to the Iron Gates). Even though a deterministic approach is unlikely to explain the Neolithic Civilizations decline, it serves as a basis for understanding better the proposed explanations that involve both external and internal stimuli. To reach this aim, within the project we will analyse wood charcoal, seed and bone assemblages in addition to eDNA samples from Late Neolithic and Copper Age archaeological sites. We will also study the best terrestrial climate archives from the region (alpine and lowland lake sediments) and apply well established (pollen, chironomid and 18ODIAT based climate reconstruction) and novel methods (lipid biomarker, branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (so-called brGDGTs)). This multiproxy approach will be at the basis of an annual temperature reconstruction in order to shed light on the course of climate change during the Neolithic Civilizations decline.

In scope of this project the postdoctoral fellow will specifically have to analyze lipid biomarkers (brGDGT) from 3 Holocene alpine lake sediment cores (South Carpathians, Pirin Mts, Durmitor Mts) and carry out high resolution (centennial) quantitative annual temperature reconstructions over the 4000-8500 cal yr BP interval. He/She will work in a team, whose other members work on the same sediment cores using other methods. Team members are expected to interpret and publish their results in close collaboration.

The candidate will be supervised by Professors Cindy De Jonge (Zürich) and Enikő Magyari (Budapest) and is expected to be based at ELTE in Budapest and in the Earth Ecosystem Dynamics group at ETH Zürich.

Terms of employment: The duration of the contract will be 2 years. The starting monthly salary will be 2100 Euro. The position is a full-time research position, including some commitment for teaching or departmental responsibilities. The start date of the employment is flexible, but ideally starts in September 2024. The first research stay in Zürich is scheduled for November 2024.

Qualifications: The candidate is expected to have a PhD or equal in earth sciences (geology, geography) or geochemistry or any relevant chemical and biological sciences. The candidate is expected to have a good idea of the main methods, issues, and concepts of palaeoclimatology, including relevant fieldwork and laboratory work, and basic skills of computing, including basic GIS techniques and ability or potential to learn to use the quantitative climate reconstruction packages in C2 and the R program. The candidate must be motivated, committed and internationally oriented. The project will include fieldwork in the study region in SE Europe.

How to apply

Applications must include a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a brief letter explaining the motivation for applying for the position (maximum 2 pages), as well as a description of future career goals. Please include name and contact information of two referee persons in the application and send your application to both e-mail addresses and, with “DOMINO-CLIMATE application-Surname-FirstName” in the subject line. The deadline for applications is 30.04.2024 at 4.00 pm local time.

For further information, contact: Enikő Magyari, professor in Earth Science, scientific advisor, head of department, Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography (phone: +36-1-411-6500/1738, e-mail:, or Cindy De Jonge , SNSF Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich (phone: +41 44 632 21 84, e-mail: