Researcher position: Mercury transformations in peatland soil

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
July 11, 2024
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Department of Forest Ecology and Management

We announce a 3-month researcher position in mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry at the Department of Forest Ecology and Management.

Mercury is a globally spread pollutant having severe negative consequences on wildlife and human populations. Important biogeochemical processes are the transformation of inorganic Hg(II) to the bio-accumulating form of methyl mercury (MeHg) and its reduction to Hg(0). This is very critical reaction because it controls the cycling of Hg between land and atmosphere.

The position aims to investigate Hg transformations in peatlands of different age. The current perception is that the rate of Hg(II) reduction is controlled by the electron donation and chemical complexation related to natural organic matter (NOM) functional groups. The project is a collaboration between Prof. Kevin Bishop (Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment), and Prof. U Skyllberg (Department of Forest Ecology and Management).

About the position

The researcher will analyze peat core data to determine rates of Hg(II) accumulation and transformation with the help of natural abundance Hg isotopes so that Hg(II) reduction in peat soils can be better understood and quantified. In addition, the researcher is expected to participate in scientific discussions taking place during regular meetings within the collaborating research group community covering different aspects of Hg biogeochemistry in different environments such as lakes, sediments and peatland soils

Your profile

Successful candidates must have a PhD in (bio)geochemistry, preferably with a focus on the environmental fate of mercury, or closely related fields. Valuable merits are 1) Scientific experience with analysis of natural abundance mercury isotopes, 2) Development of labortatory protocols for analyzing natural abundance mercury isotopes, 3) documented skills in use of natural abundance mercury isotopes to infer mercury redox transformation processes. An additional merit would be expertise in dating peat cores. We require documented capability of autonomous scientific research work and skills in writing scientific publications and reports in English. Very good command of the English language, both written and spoken, is required.

About us

The department includes about 115 people of which 9 are professors. Our mission is to advance the understanding of forest ecosystems and how these should be managed today and in the future.

For more information: https:// www. slu.se/en/departments/forest-ecology- management/

Read more about our benefits and working at SLU by visiting: https: // www. slu.se/en/about-slu/work-at-slu/

Location:

Umeå

Form of employment:

Temporary employment 3 months

Scope:

100%

Start date:

November 1 2024

Application:

Please submit your application before deadline July 11 2024. You can submit your application by clicking the button below.

Your application should include: (1) Cover letter summarizing your research accomplishments and how your skills would be a benefit for the research project, (2) Curriculum Vitae, (3) Publication list, (4) Transcripts of relevant degree certificates and publications, and (5) Contact details of 2-3 references.

Union representatives:

https: // internt.slu.se/en/my-employment/employee-associations/kontaktpersoner- vid-rekrytering/

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Contact person

Ulf Skyllberg

[email protected]

Kevin Bishop

[email protected]

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