PhD Position in Paleoclimatology and Geochemistry
University of Basel Department of Environmental Sciences

PhD Position in Paleoclimatology and Geochemistry

100% / 1 Oktober 2021

The Quaternary Geology Research Group at the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel ( invites applications for a PhD position in the field of speleothem-based paleoclimate reconstruction in Turkey. The student will be part of a project that uses speleothems from various caves in Turkey to develop precisely-dated and highly-resolved climate reconstructions extending back to approximately 700,000 years before present. 

Your position

The characterizations of variations in the hydrological cycle on a regional scale is an important task of current paleoclimate research. However, spatial and temporal gaps of high-quality reconstructions exist in almost all regions of the Middle East. The main objective of the PhD-project is to use stalagmites from several caves in northern Turkey to reconstruct fluctuations in rainfall and temperature. To do so, the PhD-student will focus mainly on Uranium-series dated stalagmites from Sofular and Ovacik Caves in the Black Sea region to develop a continuous paleoclimate record for the last 700,000 years, making it one of the longest continental time series in the entire Middle East. The PhD-student will focus on rainfall and temperature shifts associated with glacial-interglacial transitions (Terminations) and multi-centennial climate variability (e.g., Dansgaard-Oeschger-like events). The reconstruction will also deliver further information on the hydrological history of the Black Sea. The project involves stable isotope analysis (hydrogen, oxygen and carbon) of speleothem calcite and fluid inclusion water, the analytical work will be performed in the state-off-the-art stable isotope laboratory of the Quaternary Geology group. Furthermore, the PhD-student will also participate in fieldtrips in Turkey and will collaborate closely with project partners. 

Your profile

We are looking for a highly-motivated and proactive candidate with a master's degree in geosciences, environmental sciences or a closely related discipline. Suitable candidates should have a solid background and profound interest in paleoclimatology, geochemistry and meteorology. Expertise in speleothem-based paleoclimate reconstructions, in particular on stable isotope measurements on calcites and fluid inclusions and Uranium-series dating will be an advantage. Good analytical skills in state-off-the-art isotope labs is a great advantage as this PhD-project is very much based on laboratory work. The ability to work both independently and within our team, as well as good communication skills including fluency in English are essential.

We offer you

The PhD project (100%) will be funded for 4 years. We offer an international, multidisciplinary and vibrant work environment and superb infrastructure. The project has an envisioned start date of 1st October 2021.

Application / Contact

Please submit your complete application documents, including (i) a letter of your research interests and motivation for applying for the position, your experience and skills, (ii) a CV, (iii) contact details of two references (one of them should be the main advisor of your master's thesis, and (iv) transcripts and diplomas of your bachelor's and master's degrees (if available) via our online recruiting platform. We accept only online applications.

For further information and enquiries, please contact Prof. Dr. Dominik Fleitmann ( Reviews of applications will begin on the 1st of August and will continue until the position is filled.

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