Paleonet: PhD position in marine palynology and biogeochemistry - Ghent University

Stephen Louwye stephen.louwye at
Tue Nov 23 15:43:55 GMT 2010

PhD position in marine palynology and biogeochemistry

Research Unit of Palaeontology

Ghent University

Miocene climate variations --- the marine and terrestrial biotic 
response during key periods

Research subject --- A stepwise, global cooling of the climate occurred 
during Miocene times. These punctuated cooling events are known as the 
Mi-events and lasted only for a few 100 k.y. The Mi-events had a drastic 
effect on marine primary producers and on terrestrial ecosystems. The 
proposed research intends to elucidate on a very detailed level the 
tempo and mode of the effects of the global cooling events on an 
important marine primary producer such as dinoflagellates, and to assess 
to what degree the biotic responses in the terrestrial and marine realm 
are or are not in phase. The study areas are the Porcupine Basin (IODP 
Leg 307) off southwestern Ireland and the Ceara Rise off Brazil (ODP Leg 
154). A very high sample resolution (10 k.y. and less) is intended. The 
micropaleontological data will be validated against biogeochemical 
proxies such as the TEX86 and the unsaturation index UK'37 (pro­xies for 
paleotemperatures) and the BIT index (a proxy for the relative amount of 
soil and marine organic matter input in the depositional area).

Profile --- We are looking for a highly motivated individual with an MSc 
(or equivalent degree) in geology, geobiology or biology, and with a 
strong interest in the Neogene. Research activities will include 
microscopy and biogeochemical analyses. A background in palynology, 
micropalaeontology and/or biogeochemistry is an advantage. Fluency in 
spoken and written English is required. Candidates should be able to 
work independently and in a team.

The successful candidate will be offered a full-time Ph.D. position for 
four years in a research project. The applicant must be eligible for PhD 
studies and will enrol in the Doctoral Schools Program of Ghent 
University. The candidate shall devote his/her time primarily to their 
own research studies.

The palynological analysis will be carried out at the Research Unit of 
Palaeontology at Ghent University. Expertise in pollen analysis will be 
acquired in collaboration with Dr. T. Donders at TNO in Utrecht (The 
Netherlands). Biogeochemical analysis will be carried out at the Royal 
NIOZ (Texel, The Netherlands) in collaboration with Dr. S. Schouten.

How to apply --- Please send a description of your past work, a 
statement of your research interests, a curriculum vitae (including 
grades, courses followed, the title of your master thesis and a list of 
any publications) as well as mail and e-mail addresses of two referees. 
Send these by email to stephen.louwye at

Applications are accepted until the position is filled, but the 
applications should be received before February 1st, 2011. Students 
currently finishing their MSc are also invited to apply. The research 
project must commence during 2011.

For further informal enquiries on the position please contact:

Prof. Dr. Stephen Louwye

Research Unit Palaeontology -- WE13

Krijgslaan 281/S8

9000 Gent


+32.(0)9.264 46 11

stephen.louwye at


Short postal address:

Stephen Louwye

Research Unit Palaeontology - WE13

Krijgslaan 281/S8

B-9000 Gent


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