Postdoctoral Position in Environmental Geochemistry

ESPM Department, UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley, California
Closing date
Sep 26, 2021

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Job Details

Postdoctoral Researcher

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Full-time Position

About the Job

Come work at the frontier of carbon removal and ag-tech leading cutting-edge R&D at UC Berkeley to investigate verification techniques for enhanced rock weathering application in agricultural soils. The Pallud Lab combines investigate soil processes at the intersection of microbiology, geochemistry, and physics using field measurements, lab experiments, and mechanistic reactive transport modeling. This is an opportunity to conduct integrative, frontier science with real-world impact.

What we are looking for

The urgency for decarbonization and energy transformation is calling on scientists to rapidly transition insights to applications, much as scientists rapidly responded to Covid-19 with new vaccines in record time. We are looking for a geochemist/soil scientist who is grounded in theory and talented at the bench, but also wants to see the fruits of their work have an impact in the real world. In this exciting new role, you will work closely with Associate Professor Céline Pallud to investigate a verification methodology for enhanced rock weathering of engineered minerals, by conducting fundamental work in soil column experiments in lab settings. You will also work closely with a network of industry partners that Professor Pallud has established over the past year to analyze and interpret chemical and genomic results from field trials. Due to this unique academic-industry partnership, this 1-year postdoctoral research fellow will have high visibility and direct interaction with startups in the ag-tech and carbon removal space, as well as farmers and other community stakeholders. After completion of the fellowship, there is potential to transition to a full time position at a partnering carbon removal company.

What You Will Do

  • Design and conduct column experiments to evaluate kinetics and equilibrium states of mineral and organic amendments to agricultural soils.
  • Analyze soil and water chemistry, chiefly using ICP-OES or ICP-MS methods.
  • Compare empirical results against theoretical model predictions (e.g. PhreeqC)
  • Communicate results through internal lab reports.
  • Document results of work in peer-reviewed journal publications and oral presentations.

What You Bring

  • Excitement about soils, agriculture, food, and climate with a passion to change the system
  • Intuition about chemistry and biology and empirical methods to test your ideas
  • Interest in bringing your passion and energy to the world outside the university walls
  • Willingness to experiment and learn combined with a commitment to rigor that your work stands up to scrutiny
  • Initiative to work well on your own, but emotional intelligence to be part of a team

Minimum Requirements

  • Recent Ph.D. degree in Geochemistry, Soil Chemistry, or related field.
  • Experience conducting soil column experiments in bench top or field scale levels.
  • Experience analyzing metals in an ICP-OES or ICP-MS instrument.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in order to present internally and interact with industry partners externally.

Preferred candidates will have some knowledge in:

  • Silicate rock weathering processes
  • Agricultural biogeochemistry
  • Stable-isotope or trace element chemistry
  • Earth system science writ large

In our lab we don’t just accept difference – we celebrate and support it. We draw on those differences to achieve excellence in our work and care to the people it impacts. The University of California is an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, gender expression, protected veteran status, and any other characteristic protected under applicable State or Federal laws and regulations.

How to apply:

The position is open to applicants who have completed their Ph.D. For full consideration, please send, as a single PDF file, a one-page summary outlining your research interests, a current CV, and the names and contact information for three references. Review of applicants will begin immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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