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Research Associate in Biogeochemistry

University of Bristol
United Kingdom (GB)
£35,333 - £39,745 per annum
Closing date
Jan 31, 2023

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Research Associate in Biogeochemistry

Job Number: ACAD106548

Contract Type/Work Pattern: Open ended/Full time

Salary: £35,333 - £39,745 per annum

The role

A unique opportunity exists for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) in Biogeochemistry to join a multidisciplinary consortium of researchers working on the UKRI Freshwaters Programme QUANTUM project, which will be Quantifying the nutrient enrichment, pathogenic, ecotoxicological impacts of livestock farming on UK rivers. This offers an exciting prospect for a suitably qualified applicant to develop their research skills in a suite of cutting-edge research techniques for freshwater biogeochemistry developed at the University of Bristol and collaborating institutions, while also feeding in their own experience derived from their prior research work at PhD or PDRA level.

What will you be doing?

The PDRA will:

  • Conduct field experiments and monitoring, collect samples and apply analytical approaches to determine the nutrient concentrations in river water samples using automatic sampling and sensor equipment in two key experimental sites in the Conwy and the Bristol Avon catchments.
  • Help design, set up and conduct experiments to evaluate the changing composition of the nutrient pool and in particular the organic matter component as it moves from land to stream and downstream under different livestock management regimes.
  • Run a sequence of isotope dosing experiments to investigate how livestock-derived organic matter is taken up and processed by stream biota.
  • Conduct research in a further 50 UK catchments draining livestock farming regions to explore the generality of findings from the targeted field experiments.
  • Lead the writing and publication of a suite of journal articles reporting the outcomes from the nutrient workstream of the programme, in collaboration with the QUANTUM staff across all institutions, and will collaborate with other members of the research team on multidisciplinary publications on the combined programme outcomes.
  • Work closely with a dedicated Biogeochemistry Research Technician to deliver the analytical outcomes from this element of the programme, and they will be required to worth with a wide stakeholder community to explore opportunities for knowledge exchange with both academic and non-academic audiences.

You should apply if

You will have a degree in a relevant subject (environmental science, environmental chemistry, environmental biology or related subject) and a PhD in biogeochemistry or environmental chemistry.

Experience in isotope analyses in environmental media, experimental design and data analysis techniques is also welcomed.

We are a team who publish extensively and the writing of articles for high impact academic journals to publish the outcomes from this programme is a key element of this role. If you have clear and concise writing skills, and are keen to publish your work, you will fit our needs well.

We will also be looking for an excellent communicator with strong interpersonal and teamwork skills, as we will be collaborating with 4 other project groups under the Freshwater Programme, and we have 7 key stakeholder groups supporting QUANTUM, with whom the PDRA will be working.

An ability to work flexibly according to the requirement of the role is also key, as is a full UK driving licence.

For informal enquiries, please contact: Professor Penny Johnes (

Available documents

The University of Bristol aims to be a place where everyone feels able to be themselves and do their best in an inclusive working environment where all colleagues can thrive and reach their full potential. We want to attract, develop, and retain individuals with different experiences, backgrounds and perspectives – particularly people of colour, LGBT+ and disabled people - because diversity of people and ideas remains integral to our excellence as a global civic institution.

Closing date: 31st January 2023.

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