Postdoctoral Researcher in Dynamic Deep Subsurface of High-Energy Beaches

Carl Von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences

Two postdoctoral researcher positions are available as part of the DFG-funded research unit "The Dynamic Deep Subsurface of High-Energy Beaches (DynaDeep)" at Faculty V, Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences (IBU), Research Group Hydrogeology and Landscape Hydrology.

The working group Hydrogeology and Landscape Hydrology investigates hydraulic and hydrochemical processes in the aquatic environment, in particular the interaction between surface water and groundwater, coastal hydrogeology, the role of water in ecosystems as well as the behaviour of pollutants in groundwater.

The research unit DynaDeep is a collaborative project of the University of Oldenburg (IBU and Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, ICBM) and the Alfred-Wegener-Institute - Helmholtz centre for polar and marine research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, the Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI) in Bremen, the Leibniz-Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) in Hannover, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in Hannover, and the University of Kiel. DynaDeep will investigate the hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes in subterranean estuaries, i.e. the connective zones between land and sea. These biogeochemical reactors control the material flow into the sea and exhibit a unique microbial habitat. DynaDeep will study groundwater flow patterns as a function of hydro- and morphodynamics. It will deliver rates of biotic and abiotic transformation of organic matter and investigate related redox processes. Furthermore, it will assess transformation and fractionation of trace metals and metal isotopes. Microbial interactions with organic matter will be investigated, as well as the diversity and metabolic functioning of microbial communities. Six subprojects will cooperate in joint field campaigns, shared sampling approaches as well as experimental work and use mathematical models in an integrative approach. In the first phase, the subprojects will jointly establish a Subterranean Estuary Online Observatory on the island of Spiekeroog to investigate one core site in detail, before verifying observations at other high-energy sites. Ultimately, DynaDeep will elucidate the global relevance of the dynamic deep subsurface of high-energy beaches for coastal ecosystems as well as for carbon, nutrient and trace element cycling.

The following two positions are available at the earliest possible date:

(1) Postdoctoral researcher in subproject P1 (m/f/d)

(pay grade 13 TV-L, 100% for 4 years)

Subproject P1 studies groundwater flow and transport patterns as a function of hydro- and morphodynamics. The successful candidate will investigate hydrogeological processes at the field site and support the scientific coordination of the entire research unit. Responsibilities include field work at the beach of Spiekeroog Island (e.g. supervision of infrastructure installation, sediment and water sampling campaigns), the evaluation of water level and electrical conductivity data, the application of environmental tracers as well as the development of numerical models to unravel and quantify the density-depended groundwater flow and salt transport processes in the subsurface. Investigations on beach morphology and geophysics of P1 project partners (University of Kiel and LIAG) will serve as boundary conditions and calibration constraints for the modelling. The project will deliver time-variant flow patterns, salinity distribution, dispersive mixing, and residence times within the continuum of the subterranean estuary, forming the basis for all biogeochemical investigations.

Essential requirements:

  • University degree (Master or Diploma) in earth or environmental sciences, water engineering, environmental modelling or an equivalent education with hydrological/hydrogeological components
  • PhD in environmental sciences, ideally with a focus on hydrogeology
  • A very good understanding of groundwater flow and transport processes, including numerical modelling, as well as experience with classical hydrogeological methodologies demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer-reviewed international journals
  • Ability to work under limited supervision and adapt to changing circumstances in order to prioritise and address problems in a constructive professional manner
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills and a strong interest in collaborative research

Desirable:

  • Experience with density-dependent groundwater flow modelling
  • Experience with groundwater age analysis and multi-tracer methods
  • Programming skills in scripting languages, preferably Python and/or Matlab

The University of Oldenburg strives to increase the percentage of female employees in the field of science and encourages applications from female candidates who will be preferred when equally qualified according to § 21 Abs. 3 NHG. Handicapped applicants will be given preference in case of equal qualifications.

The position is suitable for part-time work.

Please send your application with CV, list of publications and certificates via e-mail in a joint pdf-file until the 15.03.2021to Prof. Dr. Gudrun Massmann, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty V, Universität of Oldenburg, D-26111 Oldenburg: . Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Prof. Dr. Gudrun Massmann beforehand.

(2) Postdoctoral researcher in subproject P6 (m/f/d)

(pay grade 13 TV-L, 100% for 4 years)

The subproject P6 focusses on field scale reactive transport modelling. Based on biogeochemical work of the other subprojects within the research unit, a numerical model will be developed that is able to describe the coupled solute transport and hydrobiogeochemical processes in the subterranean estuary. The model will be used to test hypotheses addressing the overall system behaviour at the study site, and to develop conceptual models of STEs below high energy beaches and how they behave as a biogeochemical reactor. In close collaboration with the project partners, the successful candidate will develop and parameterize the reaction network, transfer it into a numerical model, calibrate it to measured data, and explore its behaviour in response to the highly dynamic boundary conditions. Further, the successful candidate will be in charge to support the data management of the entire research unit.

Essential requirements:

  • University degree (Master or Diplom) in earth or environmental sciences, water engineering, environmental modelling or an equivalent education with hydrological/hydrogeological components
  • A PhD in environmental sciences, ideally with a focus on hydrogeology
  • A deep understanding of coupled groundwater flow, solute transport and hydrobiogeochemical processes, as well as the ability and experience to translate these processes into numerical models and applying them to the interpretation of laboratory and field data. This is demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer-reviewed international journals
  • Ability to work under limited supervision and adapt to changing circumstances in order to prioritise and address problems in a constructive professional manner
  • Very good programming skills in scripting languages, preferably Python and/or Matlab

Desirable:

  • Experience with the application and modification of MODFLOW/MT3DMS based flow/transport codes and geochemical codes (such as PHREEQC), ideally experience with PHT3D (www.pht3d.org)
  • Experience with density-dependent groundwater flow modelling
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience with FORTRAN, C, Linux and parallel computing

The Universität of Oldenburg is dedicated to increasing the percentage of women in science. Therefore, equally qualified female candidates will be given preference. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered in case of equal qualification.

The position is suitable for part-time work.

Please send your application with CV, list of publications and certificates via e-mail in a joint pdf-file until the 15.03.2021to Dr. Janek Greskowiak, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty V, Universität of Oldenburg, D-26111 Oldenburg. For further inquiries please contact Mr. Greskowiak at .

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