[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD student position in Chemistry with focus on Mercury Biogeochemistry at Umeå University, Sweden

Anne Soerensen Anne.Soerensen at aces.su.se
Mon Feb 2 08:46:01 MST 2015

PhD in Chemistry with focus on Mercury Biogeochemistry

Teknisk-naturvetenskaplig fakultet, Kemiska institutionen
Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. We offer a wide variety of courses and programmes, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. More than 4 000 employees and 36 000 students have already chosen Umeå University. We welcome your application!

Today, there are about 200 employees at the Department of Chemistry (www.chemistry.umu.se<http://www.chemistry.umu.se/>), which offers a stimulating educational and research environment. We educate for Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees that are attractive education for both industry and for academic careers.

Project Description
Mercury (Hg) accumulates in aquatic biota as methylmercury (MeHg) and remains at high levels worldwide. In the Baltic Sea, Hg is ranked the second most hazardous contaminant in biota. Present concentrations are generally below the limit set for human consumption, but 95% of fish samples exceed environmental target values. We hypothesize that regional climate change will cause large increases in MeHg levels in biota and threat fishery as an ecosystem service of the Baltic Sea. The PhD project will be part of a larger project financed by the research council Formas (project 2014-1088) with scientists from Umeå University, Stockholm University and University of Pau in France. We aim to improve the understanding of key molecular and ecosystem processes in control of MeHg bioaccumulation and biomagnification in pelagic biota, and to predict the impact of climate change on MeHg levels in biota for the Baltic Sea region.

Work tasks
We will combine new analytical methods and novel approaches for micro and mesocosm laboratory experiments, field studies and ecosystem modeling. A key feature of the project is an innovative coupling of molecular and ecosystem level models based on a fundamental understanding of the underlying mechanisms and processes parameterized in the models. The PhD education will be focused on advanced experiments combining biogeochemistry and ecology, and on the use of analytical methods and modeling approaches to determine the chemical speciation of mercury. The student will work with small scale laboratory experiments, larger so called mesocosm experiments and to some extent field studies. The work will be performed in a multi-disciplinary environment involving collaborators in chemistry and ecology. Ecosystem modeling will not be part of the PhD project but will be done by colleagues at Stockholm University.

Admission requirements
To be eligible to graduate position requires either i) 240 credits of graduate education in which 60 credits must be at the advanced level in chemistry or ii) 120 points, corresponding to 180 credits in higher university education which is completed before 1/7 2007 or equivalent skills. To meet the requirement of special requirements for admission to graduate programs in chemistry, the applicant must have a bachelor degree of at least 90 credits in chemistry and other subjects deemed directly relevant to the focus. One or more courses of 15 credits at advanced level in focus, (i) - (iii) below, or equivalent, shall be included.

Higher education in the subjects of (i) inorganic, aquatic or biogeochemistry, (ii) analytical chemistry and (iii) environmental chemistry is considered meritorious. It is also an advantage if the applicant has practical experience in analysis or modeling of mercury compounds and of independent laboratory work. Fluency in English is required.


The application should contain a CV, including academic grades and relevant documentation, and a personal letter describing yourself and your reasons for applying to this position. Contact information of at least two references, familiar with the applicant's qualifications, should be provided.


For further information, contact Assoc. Prof. Erik Björn, e-mail: erik.bjorn at chem.umu.se

We look forward to receiving your application.
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