Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Planetary Atmospheres

Astrophysics, University of Oxford
Oxford, Oxfordshire (GB)
GBP 40,927 with a discretionary range up to GBP 44,706 dependent on experience
Closing date
Oct 9, 2022

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Atmospheric Sciences, Planetary Sciences
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This post is advertised with a fixed-term duration of 30 months.  There is a strong possibility of extension to 36 months, based on available funding.

The holder of the post will join the team of Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, Halley Professor of Physics, as a result of Science and Technology Facilities Council funding for ‘Astrophysics at Oxford 2022 -2025’.  The goal of the project is to develop models of the deep carbon cycle governing atmospheric carbon dioxide content, and determine the effects of the cycle on planetary habitability.

The post holder will join other members of Prof. Pierrehumbert’s research group in developing and analyzing a coupled model of the long-term evolution of the carbon dioxide content of the atmospheres of rocky planets, including exoplanets. This deep carbon cycle determines the boundaries of the conventional habitable zone, and the lifespan of habitability.  The component processes include mantle dynamics and geochemistry (mainly in 1D) governing outgassing, silicate weathering at the surface and the required driving by planetary climate, and mechanisms of carbonate recycling.  An allied goal of the work is to develop strategies for testing predictions of the modelling effort against astronomical observations of carbon dioxide content or other aspects of planetary atmospheres.  The particular role of the post holder in this effort will depend on the candidate’s expertise and interests.

Applicants should possess or should be close to obtaining a PhD/DPhil in physics, astrophysics, geophysics or other disciplines relevant to the behavior of planetary atmospheres.

Experience with modeling dynamical or geochemical processes in planetary interiors, or other aspects related to the deep carbon cycle, is desirable, but candidates with primary expertise in atmospheric modeling or surface weathering processes will also be considered.

A demonstrated ability to initiate and conduct independent research is essential, as is a high degree of experience with programming techniques for simulations in the physical sciences.

The post holder will have an opportunity to teach.

Only applications for this vacancy which have been submitted through the University's online recruitment system can be considered. For more details please see the link provided.

Closing Date: 12pm (UK) 21st October

Please direct enquiries about the role to Professor Raymond T. Pierrehumbert (


Supporting Documents for Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Planetary Atmospheres

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