Permanent Research Scientist position in gas geochemistry of the water column (H/F)

French Brittany center, city of Brest (Canton), Finistère (FR)
Based on our institute's salary scale, with good mutual health insurance
Mar 03, 2017
Mar 27, 2017
W-17-17 - 071
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

The Geochemistry Laboratory (LCG) which is one of the 3 research laboratories of the «Marine Geosciences» (GM) Research Unit at Ifremer has an international reputation of excellence in geochemistry of cold seeps and hydrothermal systems. The main research activities of LCG focus on the genesis, transport and transformations of chemical species at both cold seeps and hydrothermal systems, and for different geological settings. LCG’s research finds applications in mineral and energy resources as well as in geohazards.

In order to strengthen its expertise in oceanic methane cycle, the LCG invites applications for a permanent/tenured position in the area of gas geochemistry. The position is expected to bridge the interface between water column acoustics and the geochemistry of gas release into the oceanic water column. The successful applicant will carry out research activities to better understand the processes related to gas release, especially methane, into the water column by (1) thoroughly describing its distribution into the medium by coupling acoustic surveys and in situ geochemical measurements, (2) deciphering the geochemical processes associated with the gas transport, and (3) estimating local methane budget from numerical modeling.

General areas of responsibility (principal missions)

He/She will:
• Strengthen the current expertise of the LCG laboratory in water-column investigations using a multidisciplinary approach which include field study, laboratory analyses and numerical modeling
• Further the development of available in situ methane sensors and analyzers (methane sensor, in-situ mass spectrometer, in situ Raman spectrometer) for the investigation of methane dynamics in the water column, with the aim to get in-depth knowledge of its fate
• Be involved in projects related to methane transfer from the lithosphere to the hydrosphere at cold seeps and hydrothermal systems
• Develop, improve and validate quantitative geochemical models of transport-reaction using the collected molecular and isotopic composition data of methane and precursor/ derived products.


Main activities

He/She will:
• be in charge of the development of an in-situ mass spectrometer and the inherent analytical protocols to allow controlling, monitoring and investigation of natural gas plumes
• work in concert with experts in water column acoustics, and methane sensing and analysis
• carry out in situ methane measurements, and onboard and onshore analyses of water samples
• strengthen the numerical modeling component of the laboratory in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of methane dynamics in the water column
• show ability and willingness to (1) lead and manage collaborative research projects with both industry and the academic sector; (2) supervise students at all levels, (3) respond to scientific proposal calls

Collaborative work environment
• Internal : Build interdisciplinary collaborations with other laboratories of the Marine Geosciences Research Unit, as well as other departments and units of Ifremer such as the units of Technological Research (RDT) and Deep Ecosystem Study (EP)
• External : Build national and international collaborations with universities, industries and marine research centers


Required education and experience


  • Ph D in geochemistry or chemistry, with skills and background relevant to the position
  • Experience in gas analyses of the water column will be highly appreciated.


Knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Ph D level experience in natural gas geochemistry and protocol development for in situ instrumentations; Knowledge in molecular and isotopic analyses is highly appreciated
  • Sound knowledge in gas analyses from methane sensors, in situ mass spectrometer or in situ Raman spectrometer
  • Knowledge in transport-reaction modeling based on thermodynamics and kinetics
  • Knowledge in geochemical numerical modeling
  • Taste for analytical innovation

Human qualities:

  • Leadership and team spirit
  • Willingness to work at sea on multidisciplinary projects
  • Scientific rigor and intellectual curiosity
  • Proven capability to present and publish research results
  • Excellent English language skills