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Research Associate in Soil Biogeochemistry

Lancaster Environment Centre
Salary:   £27,831 to £32,236
Closing Date:   Friday 15 March 2019
Interview Date:   Thursday 04 April 2019
Reference:  A2555

We are looking for an enthusiastic and effective researcher to work on a new Natural Environment Research Council ‘Highlights’ Award project ‘LOCKED UP: The role of biotic and abiotic interactions in the stabilisation and persistence of soil organic carbon’. This will be an appointment at Research Associate level for a full-time 36 month post to commence from May 1st 2019. 

There is a growing imperative to enhance soil carbon storage to mitigate climate change. To achieve this we need to improve understanding of the biotic and abiotic regulators of long-term soil organic carbon persistence and resilience.

This research will innovate advances in soil research to test the resilience and persistence of soil organic carbon to climate and management perturbations. Specific activities will include soil sampling across land use gradients (UK and international), and the design-execution of experiments to determine the resilience of soil organic matter to physical and climatic disturbances. The role will also test the effectiveness of manipulating plant inputs to build resilient soil organic matter stocks. Research will involve the use and development of a broad range of ‘state-of-the-art’ techniques and instrumentation at Lancaster University and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology including -  biochemical and biophysical analyses, physico-chemical fractionation, soil functional biometrics, greenhouse gas measurements, stable isotope 13C/15N tracer technologies.

The post will be based in the ‘Soil Plant and Landscape Systems’ research group  at Lancaster University  and will join a multi-disciplinary group of academics from the Lancaster University, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and the University of Leeds with expertise in plant-soil biogeochemical interactions, microbial ecology, soil physics and soil structural modelling. We additionally bring expertise in marine biogeochemistry, providing a unique consortium to advance understanding of the mechanistic processes that stabilise and enhance soil organic carbon. The RA will work closely with CEH scientists lead by Dr Jeanette Whitaker and researchers newly appointed at the University of Leeds.

You will hold a PhD in Soil Science or a related discipline and will have research expertise in one or more of soil ecology, biogeochemistry, biophysics, and experience of project management, fieldwork and controlled experimentation. You will be self-motivated, collaborative, hold strong communication and interpersonal skills, and enjoy new scientific challenges. Ability to work well in a team is also essential. 

Informal inquiries should be directed to Professor Nick Ostle,

We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in Higher Education and research.

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

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