PhD position, paleoceanography/sediment geochemistry - Lausanne, Switzerland

A PhD position in Southern Ocean paleoceanography/sediment geochemistry is available at the Institute of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


Expected start date is 1 January 2021 or upon mutual agreement.

Contract length is one year, renewable two + one years, maximum four years.

The full-time, open position is fully funded within the framework of the Horizon 2020 ERC project SCrIPT.

The project will be conducted in close collaboration with Dr. David Janssen (University of Bern) and will entail frequent trips to Bern during the first year.


The Marine and Sediment Biogeochemistry Group (to be constituted in the course of the summer) at the University of Lausanne opens a position for a PhD student to help develop a novel tracer to better constrain carbon export from the productive surface ocean into the ocean interior.

The approach, based on the stable isotopic composition of transition metal Chromium (Cr), may help better quantifying the strength of the marine biological carbon pump (BCP) both under present conditions and the recent geological past.

This PhD project aims to reconstruct the stable Cr isotopic composition of seawater in the present and distant past, using marine sediments.

In particular, the project aims to (i) unravel the role of the BCP in shaping the Earth’s climate evolution since the warm Pliocene and (ii) investigate to which degree the strength of the global BCP weakened during warm intervals of the past.

The project entails developing a leaching method to robustly extract the Cr isotopic composition of seawater from marine sediments and apply the procedure downcore.


- Successful candidate should have a strong background in isotope geochemistry and/or paleoceanography/sedimentology, and hold a Master's degree in Earth/Climate Sciences or any related discipline.
- Motivated, independent candidate familiar with trace-metal clean techniques and/or sediment geochemistry.
- Experience with double-spike isotopic methods and MC-ICP-MS analytical procedures are an asset.


- 100% of the engagement will be dedicated to research.
- 15% of the engagement (optional) will be dedicated to teaching assistance in relation to Bachelors and Masters courses in sedimentology or related fields.


The deadline for applications is 30 August 2020.

Please send the following documents in PDF format: (i) a cover letter clarifying your overall motivation for entering a PhD program; (ii) your CV; (iii) transcripts of grades obtained in the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees; and (iv) the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least two referees.

Apply here:

Applications will only be accepted via the link above.

Further information

Questions can be emailed to Prof. Samuel Jaccard: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.