Paleonet: PhD position in Historical Geology and Palaeontology

Michael Streng michael.streng at
Fri Nov 19 12:19:00 GMT 2010

Dear all,

We are happy to announce a PhD position on the "Origins of Proterozoic-Cambrian photosynthetic microbiota" in the Palaeobiology Programme of the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.  Application deadline is January 31, 2011. For detailed information see below or follow this link (
Please feel free to pass this information on to anybody that might be interested.

The Palaeobiology Programme


Uppsala University hereby declares the following position to be open for application:

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.

The holder of a PhD-student position shall primarily devote her/his time to own research and study. Other departmental work, such as educational or administrative duties can be part of the position up to 20% of a fulltime work.

The Ph.D. position is for four years where financing for the first year will be a postgraduate study grant (Utbildningsbidrag) and during the following three years as an employee of the university as a Ph.D student.

The applicant must be eligible for PhD studies. Priority is given to those who are deemed to show the greatest aptitude for a successful completion of the graduate studies. The Uppsala University is strongly committed to the equal opportunity policy and women are especially invited to apply.

Eligibility for PhD program at Uppsala University:
“Ch.7Sec. 39 HF: Applicants are generally eligible for programs at the graduate level if they have
1. completed an advanced-level degree, 
2. Completed at least 240 academic credits worth of courses, with at least 60 academic credits at the advanced level, or 
3. Acquired the equivalent knowledge in some other manner either in Sweden or abroad.”

The rules governing this process can be found in Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen) 5 kap §§ 1-7. Local guideline at Uppsala University determine the salary.

The application shall consist of CV, copies of exams and list of courses including the grades obtained, a copy of the Master thesis (or a draft thereof), as well as names of two persons that can be used as referees.

More information can be obtained from Prof. M. Moczydlowska-Vidal, phone. +46-18-4712743,malgo.vidal at

Union representatives are Anders Grundström, Saco-rådet, phone. +46-18-4715380; Carin Söderhäll, TCO/ST, phone. +46-18-4711996, Stefan Djurström, Seko, phone. +46-18-4713315.

The application should be sent, preferably by e-mail to:registrator at, or fax +46-18-4712000, or by mail to: Registrator, Uppsala University, Box 256, 751 05 Uppsala, Sweden. In any correspondence, please use the reference number UFV-PA 2010/2871
Application deadline on 31 January, 2011.


Michael Streng
Uppsala University
Department of Earth Sciences
Palaeobiology Programme
Villavägen 16
75 236 Uppsala

Phone: +46 18 471 2579
email: michael.streng at

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