Three postdoctoral research positions in accelerated carbonation of ultramafic mine wastes

Vancouver, British Columbia; Peterborough, Ontario; Edmonton, Alberta
Dec 15, 2017
Jan 14, 2018
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The Opportunity:

We invite applications for three postdoctoral positions in environmental geochemistry/biogeochemistry at the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta and Trent University. The successful applicants will conduct laboratory technology demonstrations leading to field pilot projects for carbonation of ultramafic mine tailings. The ultimate goal is to pave the way for carbon neutral mining.

We are seeking motivated and creative postdoctoral researchers to characterize the extent of passive CO2 sequestration (carbon mineralization) that has already occurred in mine tailings, to assess the potential for further CO2 emissions offsets, and to develop laboratory- and field-based trials for accelerated carbonation of ultramafic mine tailings.

Successful candidates will have opportunities to conduct fieldwork and experiments at operating mines. The postdoctoral researchers will become part of a dynamic research network that spans three Canadian universities (University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, Trent University) and two Australian universities (University of Queensland, Bond University), with opportunities for inter-laboratory collaboration and exchanges.

Institutional information:

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world.  Research in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences ( spans studies of the Earth's deep interior, near-surface geology, the environment, Earth's oceans & atmosphere, and other terrestrial planets. Rich collaborations, both internal and external to the department, study the complex interactions in Earth systems and provide access to outstanding instrumentation and expertise. 

The University of Alberta is located in Edmonton, Canada near the Rocky Mountains. It is one of Canada’s largest post-secondary institutions, and the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (EAS), with more than 55 faculty, is one of its largest and highest impact Earth Science departments. Geobiology, biogeochemistry and resource geology are signature strengths in EAS, which has superb in-house analytical facilities for research in these fields (

Trent University is in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Trent possesses extensive facilities for field- and laboratory-based research in environmental geoscience including the Trent Water Quality Centre ( that is one of the most advanced analytical laboratories in Canada, with a comprehensive array of mass spectrometry facilities. The School of the Environment is one of Canada’s largest environmental sciences/studies departments and hosts over 25 faculty conducting research to solve society’s most pressing environmental challenges.


Each successful candidate will have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Earth sciences or a closely allied field. They will be independent, creative thinkers, and team players who can work across fields, campuses and with industry partners as part of a large, interdisciplinary group. Fluent English is required for the position and a full driver’s licence is beneficial. The candidates must be technically capable in the laboratory and have experience doing fieldwork in mining environments and/or remote localities. Experience conducting field-based experiments is advantageous.

Candidates should have superior skills in one or more of: clay mineralogy, quantitative X-ray diffraction, isotope geochemistry, aqueous geochemistry, electron and X-ray imaging techniques including synchrotron-based techniques, soil geochemistry including field-based monitoring, carbonate sedimentology, geomicrobiology, resource geochemistry, mine site remediation, and carbon mineralization.

Trent: The position at Trent University will be based in the Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory ( with Dr. Ian Power, Canada Research Chair Tier II in Environmental Geoscience, in the Trent School of the Environment.  The successful applicant for this position will have excellent laboratory skills in experimental aqueous geochemistry, experience in field-based experiments and characterization of Earth materials, and an outstanding publication record.

Alberta: The position at the University of Alberta will be based in Dr. Siobhan (Sasha) Wilson’s laboratory. Applicants for this position should have superior skills in environmental mineralogy, including clay mineralogy, and X-ray analytical techniques. Experience with synchrotron experiments, field-based experiments and environmental monitoring is beneficial.

UBC: The position at UBC will be based in the lab of Prof. Greg Dipple and will join a team of graduate and undergraduate students and postdocs integrating field, experimental, and reactive transport modelling of carbon mineralization. Specialization in low-temperature geochemistry, mineralogy, and isotope geochemistry is sought.                                                                                                            

Terms of appointment:

The initial appointments will be for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of renewal based on performance and funding availability. Salary is dependent on experience of the candidate and cost of living in the city of appointment. Healthcare benefits are provided as part of the terms of employment.

Commitment to diversity:

Alberta: The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.

Trent: Trent University is actively committed to creating a diverse and inclusive campus community and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Trent University offers accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment processes. If you require accommodation during the recruitment process or require an accessible version of a document/publication, please contact

UBC: Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

How to apply:

Review of applications will begin on 15 January 2018 until the positions are filled. Successful candidates will be expected to commence work by March 2018 or thereabouts. Applications should consist of (1) a short cover letter addressed to the hiring committee that outlines how the candidate fulfills the requirements of the position, (2) a full CV, (3) a 1–2 page letter of research interests that aligns with the project, and (4) a list of contact information for no less than 3 referees. Applications should be sent as a single PDF to Queries about this opportunity should be sent to the same email address.