PhD Position in Aquatic Biogeochemistry/ Nitrous oxide cycling in lakes

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The Stable Isotope and Aquatic Biogeochemistry Research Group at the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel ( invites applications for a PhD position as part of the SNF funded project “NoLaMa: No laughing matter – nitrous oxide cycling in lacustrine environments” investigating the regulation and seasonal/spatial variations of nitrous oxide production and consumption in a Swiss lake.

Your position

Inland waters such as lakes play a substantial role as natural source of nitrous oxide. Yet, freshwater nitrous oxide emissions and their biogeochemical controls are poorly constrained. The prime goal of the planned research is to build a thorough understanding of the controls on nitrous oxide production and consumption in lakes. This will be achieved by looking at the natural abundance isotopic composition of nitrogen and oxygen in the nitrous oxide molecule, using 15N-tracer based techniques for process measurements, and molecular methods to determine microbial abundances and the community composition of key players involved in N2O cycling.
The PhD project will involve extensive field work, laboratory experiments and analyses, applying stable isotope mass spectrometry methods (IRMS, GC-IRMS) and molecular tools (qPCR). Research is planned in collaboration with scientists from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwest Switzerland and from the Department of Geoscience at the Princeton University, USA.

Your profile

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a master’s degree in environmental sciences, geosciences, chemistry, biology, or a related discipline. Candidates are expected to have a solid background and interest in limnology, aquatic chemistry, biogeochemistry of aquatic systems, and/or aquatic microbial ecology. Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and good communication skills including fluency in English are essential. We also expect the successful candidate to be able to pursue scientific work both independently and in interdisciplinary collaboration, and to have a genuine interest in presenting and publishing scientific results. An expertise in nitrogen isotope/mass-spectrometric techniques, molecular methods and aquatic geochemistry will be an asset.

We offer you

The PhD project will be part of a research project funded for 4 years by the Swiss National Science Foundation. We offer an international, multidisciplinary work environment and excellent research infrastructure. Compensation will be according to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation ( Expected start date is 1 July 2021 or later.Application / Contact

Interested candidates should submit application documents including a letter stating their research interest and motivation for applying for the position, experience and skills, a CV, and contact details of at least two references via our online recruiting platform. Review of applications will begin 7 May 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.
We accept only online applications.

For further information please contact Dr. Claudia Frey ( or Prof. Dr. Moritz Lehmann (



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