PhD Student Position in Paleolimnology

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instituto geologyObjectives: The PhD position is part of the CRC project C3, which aims at the reconstruction of the climatic history on the western Iberian Peninsula (IP) during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 3 and 2. Special emphasis is put on short-term Heinrich (HE) and Daansgard/Oeschger (DO) events. The results shall be compared with existing palaeoenvironmental records from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula as well as marine records from the Atlantic off Portugal and from the Mediterranean Sea of Alborán, and put into context with the settlement history of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, investigated by by other CRC projects. For this purpose, sediment cores will be taken from lake sediments and other relevant archives on the wet southern Iberian Peninsula, in particular in Portugal. Laboratory work on the sediment sequences will comprise high-resolution sedimentological, geochemical, and geophysical analyses, including Multi-Sensor Core Logging, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) scanning, and organic geochemistry. The age models will be based on radiocarbon, luminescence, and palaeomagnetic dating, carried out in cooperation with other CRC projects. The PhD thesis is closely related to a second PhD thesis within project C3, which will focus on the more dry southern Iberian Peninsula, in particular southern Spain, employing comparable analyses on lacustrine and lagoonal sediment records.

Position: The successful candidate will (i) participate in the field campaigns on the Iberian Peninsula (ii) conduct the laboratory analyses on the sediment sequences retrieved, (iii) play a leading role in the interpretation of the data obtained, and (iv) contribute to the publication of the results in collaboration with other CRC members that have provided significant input. The PhD will to some extent be supported by student assistants. The thesis can be submitted in German or English, both as a monograph or as a collection of peer-reviewed papers, which are merged by an extended introduction and synthesis.

Qualifications: We are looking for highly motivated, team-oriented candidates with a profound background in paleolimnology, sedimentology, and/or Quaternary geology. Candidates should hold a Diploma or M.Sc. in a related field (e.g., Geosciences, Geology, Physical Geography). Analytical experience and the willingness to learn and apply advanced instrumental analytical techniques is essential. We expect good English language skills. Applicants with limited knowledge of German will be supported to develop proficiency in the language within the first year.

Conditions: The position is funded for 3 years, starting January 1, 2014. Salary and benefits will be according to German Public Service Sector salary group TV-L 13, 60 %. The University of Cologne is an equal opportunity employer in compliance with the German disability laws. Applications of women and disabled persons are particularly welcome.

Application: Please send your application (one pdf file), including motivation, CV, and copies of certificates by email to Prof. Dr. Martin Melles ( by September 30, 2013.

Further information about the working group at the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy can be found at

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