[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD-project in soil science: ‚Mechanistic understanding of soil functions by submicron scale analyses with NanoSIMS’

Erika Marín-Spiotta marinspiotta at wisc.edu
Mon Oct 27 15:29:56 MDT 2014

*PhD-project in soil science: ‚Mechanistic understanding of soil functions
by submicron scale analyses with NanoSIMS’*

We offer a 3-year PhD-position at the Chair of Soil Science of the
Technische Universität München (www.tum.de / www.soil-science.com) within a
DFG-funded project. The group of Prof. Ingrid Kögel-Knabner is located at
Freising-Weihenstephan, nearby Munich in southern Bavaria. The announced
position includes a salary according to TV-L E13 (65%), corresponding to
the German TV-L system (Tarifvertrag für den Öffentlichen Dienst der
Länder). The anticipated starting date is January or February 2015.


Soils are highly heterogeneous structures in which organic and inorganic as
well as living and non-living building blocks are interacting to form
biogeochemical interfaces. While processes at these interfaces are
occurring at the micro- or submicron-scale, they are reasoned to influence
the behaviour of soils at the global scale. Consequently, analytical
methodologies with a high resolution are required in order to investigate
these processes with the final goal to mechanistically understand BGI
formation. Among spectroscopic methodologies nano scale secondary ion mass
spectroscopy (NanoSIMS) is a relatively young technique and has only been
used in soil science during the last decade.

While NanoSIMS measurements in soils are currently providing excellent
qualitative data on various soil processes, a leap towards producing
quantitative data remains to be made. For approaching this topic we aim to
combine NanoSIMS analyses with atomic force microscopy (AFM) in order to
enable scaling to bulk scale measurements, such as C/N analyses or nuclear
magnetic resonance (NMR) data. Samples for these experiments will range
from simple laboratory microcosm systems in the beginning to soils from
field experiments in a later stage of the project.

This position gives an opportunity to use cutting edge technologies, such
as NanoSIMS and AFM, in an internationally renowned group focusing on the
fate and stabilisation of soil organic matter.


Applicants should have a M. Sc. degree in physics, chemistry, geosciences,
geoecology, biology, environmental sciences or a related discipline.
Candidates with experience in microscopic techniques like secondary ion
spectroscopy, epi-fluorescence, scanning and/or transmission electron
microscopy (SEM, TEM) are highly welcome. Experience with sample
preparation and (geo-) statistical modelling approaches will be highly
beneficial. The candidate should be highly motivated, team-oriented and
willing to work with advanced analytical techniques.

A single pdf-file including letter of motivation, a CV, the contact data of
2 referees, and a statement of research interests should be sent by email
to Dr. Christian Schurig (christian.schurig at wzw.tum.de) until November 24th
2014. Evaluation of the application will start soon after the deadline. For
questions concerning your application feel free to contact
christian.schurig at wzw.tum.de.

Dr. Christian Schurig

Chair of Soil Science
Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management
Technische Universität München

Emil-Ramann-Str. 2
D-85354 Freising-Weihenstephan

Tel: +49-(0)8161-71-4186
e-mail: christian.schurig at wzw.tum.dewww.soil-science.com/www.soil-science.com/nanosims
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