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PhD student position in Historical Geology and Palaentology

PhD student position in Historical Geology and Palaentology At the Department of Earth Sciences
Origins of Proterozoic-Cambrian photosynthetic microbiota
Starting date: Open from the closing date for applications.

Unicellular, organic-walled photosynthetic microbiota (prokaryotes and eukaryotes) diversified at an increasing rate through the Proterozoic and in the Cambrian explosion. Their phylogenetic relationships are still poorly understood because their morphology is not always sufficient to infer their systematic position. Studies of phenotypical features, combined with cell wall ultrastructure, biogeochemistry and biomarkers may help to unravel their biological affinities. More precise placement within a geologic time frame will allow the cause-effect relationships between evolving photosynthesing (primary producers) and forthcoming heterotrophic biota (consumers) versus global environmental change to be better understood.

The PhD student will collaborate with researchers at Uppsala and in foreign universities working with the palaeobiology, systematics, ultrastructure and biogeochemistry of cell wall, and the evolution of organic-walled microbiota. The aim of the project is to elucidate the biological affiliations and relationships to extant microbiota of selected microfossils (acritarchs), with emphasis on their life cycle, reproduction and environmental adaptations. The study will be based on analyses of phenotypical features and the cell wall ultrastructure, biogeochemistry and biomarkers by new microscopic, spectroscopic and tomographic techniques. This interdisciplinary approach between Palaeobiology, Earth Sciences and Astrobiology encourages a strongly motivated candidate to develop collaboration with scientists from different disciplines and across the fields of studies.

The applicant should have a university degree with a background in micropalaeontology, palynology, biology and/or geology, and a keen interest in palaeobiology, evolution and biogeochemistry. Applicants with skills in microscopy, laboratory techniques and image analyses are especially welcomed. The abilities to work in a team, to share experiences and knowledge, and be open to the application of new methods of research are essential. Because of a strong international character of the research, applicant is expected to have a good knowledge (spoken and written) of the English language. Acquisition of a (basic) knowledge of Swedish is strongly recommended to facilitate departmental communication and activity, but this is not a requirement for recruitment.
Original post by http://www.personalavd.uu.se/ledigaplatser/2871PhDEng.html

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