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Postdoctoral Scholar in Earth Science

Recruitment Period

Open date: March 1st, 2019
Next review date: April 15th, 2019
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: May 1st, 2019
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California at Santa Barbara is seeking a postdoctoral scholar to carry out research on a NSF-funded project: "Using organic carbon isotopes of single microfossils to illuminate Proterozoic eukaryotic ecosystems ”. The project will be carried out at UCSB, Syracuse University, and Williams College.

Basic Qualifications: Applicants must have completed all requirements for a PhD (or equivalent) except the dissertation at the time of application.

Additional Qualifications: 1 year PhD research experience in stable isotope geochemistry and/or micropaleontology. PhD conferral at the time of appointment required.

Preferred Qualifications: Research interest and experience in studying isotopes, the habitats and metabolisms of early eukaryotes, and microfossil picking. Be able to analyze bulk, kerogen, and fossil samples that span the history of Proterozoic eukaryotes. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to work independently, under direction and also collaboratively within a multidisciplinary research teams.

Important details: The fellowship is for 2 years and also includes funds for travel to conferences. For primary consideration apply by April 15, 2019. Open until filled. Position is expected to begin on August 1, 2019.
To apply, please upload a cover letter, CV, Research Background and Interest Letter, no more than three publications (optional), and contact information for three references to: Email Susannah Porter at for any questions related to the position.

Project details: Recent advances in NanoEA-IRMS now allow us to reliably measure the carbon isotopic composition of a single organic microfossil and compare that value to the bulk δ13C. We seek to use this new technique to explore how organic carbon isotopes can illuminate two persistent unknowns in the Proterozoic Earth-life system: What were the habitats and metabolisms of early eukaryotes? What can single microfossil δ13C reveal about the controls on bulk δ13Corg in the Proterozoic stratigraphic record? We will approach these questions by analyzing bulk, kerogen, and fossil δ13Corg samples from four fossiliferous units that span the history of Proterozoic eukaryotes. The Postdoctoral Fellow will lead the research efforts, overseen by all three PIs. They will be responsible for macerating fossiliferous samples and microfossil picking, and will run many of the δ13Corg analyses (at Syracuse University). They will be a primary participant in data analysis and interpretation, manuscript preparation, and research dissemination. They will also help the PIs develop educational initiatives, and mentor undergraduate research assistants from Williams, Syracuse, and/or UCSB.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service as appropriate to the position.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Job location

UC Santa Barbara, Syracuse University, and Williams College.


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Research Background and Interests Letter

  • Publicaton #1 - Please provide no more than three publications.

  • Publicaton #2 (Optional)

  • Publication #3 (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
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