PhD Position in Physics/Geoscience/Paleoclimatology or related field

PhD Position in Physics/Geoscience/Paleoclimatology or related field

Unlocking the secrets of past volcanism using polar ice cores and cryptotephra

A PhD position is available at the division of Climate and Environmental Physics (CEP) at the Physics Institute, University of Bern in Switzerland. This PhD project is part of the European Research Council Consolidator Grant, “Timing of Holocene volcanic eruptions and their radiative aerosol forcing (THERA)”.

The announced PhD position is for 4 years. The preferred starting date is April 1st, 2019.

The primary goal of the THERA project is to extract data on the timing, magnitude and source location of the major volcanic eruptions that occurred during the Holocene (i.e., the past 12,000 years). THERA is focusing on developing a state-of-the-art reconstruction of volcanic aerosol forcing on global climate since the end of the last Ice Age using novel analytical tools and an array of ice-cores from both hemispheres. Crucial to THERA is a detailed investigation of the tephra record contained within the annually resolved ice-core records from Greenland and Antarctica. The major element geochemical fingerprints of identified tephra will be correlated against published reference material from the targeted volcanic events, identifiable source eruptions or specific volcanic centers. The PhD student will integrate the developing ice-core tephrochronology into regional tephrochronological frameworks from both hemispheres allowing 1) the linking of marine and terrestrial climate proxies with the ice-core record and 2) the analysis of the climatic response following large Holocene eruptions.

Supervisor: Dr. Michael Sigl, University of Bern, +41 31 536 5944, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Qualification requirements
- strong analytical skills and a Master’s degree in physics, chemistry, geosciences (or related)
- fluent spoken and written English are prerequisites for this position
- excellent collaboration skills and ability to successfully join in academic teamwork within and across disciplines
- experience in the use of geochemical analytical techniques or tephra analyses is advantageous
- some experience in statistics, database management and programming would be beneficial

We offer
- a fully-funded position for 4 years (salary according to Swiss National Science Foundation rules)
- a professionally stimulating working environment in a small team
- the student will benefit from the support of an active, interdisciplinary research environment. The PhD students will work alongside members of the Continuous Flow Analyses (CFA) Laboratory, the Oeschger Centre of Climate Change Research (OCCR) and international project partners.

How to apply
Deadline for applications: 31st January 2019. Please apply by emailing your application as a single attached pdf file (cover letter stating your suitability and motivation, curriculum vitae including MSc degree and pdf of the master thesis as well as contact information for three references) to Dr. Michael Sigl (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please use the subject line "Application_PhD_Thera”.

More details about the project and position can be found here: