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Open positions

Please find below open research and job positions related to peatlands and peat. We kindly ask you to contact these organisations directly.

Offers will be regularly removed some time after the application deadline or on request of the person that has submitted the announcement to us. If you want to see your offer here, please post all details (linked if possible) to ips (at) peatsociety.org.

Post-doctoral opportunity in peat geochemistry and Holocene palaeoenvironment (23 September 2011)

EcoLab, Toulouse (France) offers a post-doc position within the framework of the PARAD project (PeAt bog Records of Atmospheric Dust fluxes in Southern South America). The main objectives of PARAD are: 1) to provide high resolution continuous records of natural atmospheric dust using the elemental and isotopic signature of peat cores in Tierra del Fuego, and 2) to assess the linkage between dust fluxes and climate.

The first task of the post-doctoral fellow will consist in a multi-elemental geochemical characterization of inorganic particles in peat. The second task will be to fingerprint dust sources using radiogenic isotopes. Additionally, the post-doctoral fellow will interact with an international team of scientists completing our multiproxy approach. EcoLab is an environment and functional ecology laboratory. It is a mixed research unit between CNRS and the University of Toulouse. It houses clean lab facilities as well as an ICP-OES. State of the art geochemical equipment (ICP-MS, HR-ICP-MS, TIMS, MC-ICP-MS) is available through the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, a federative research unit including EcoLab.


- The applicant should have completed his/her PhD in geochemistry, environmental sciences or related fields less than 2 years before the beginning of the employment

- Experience in elemental and isotopic geochemistry is essential as well as expertise in clean lab and mass spectrometry techniques

- Fluency in spoken and written English as well as proficiency in French and Spanish would be appreciated.

Application process

Applications as well as further inquiries should be addressed to François De Vleeschouwer (francois.devleeshouwer@ensat.fr). An application will consist in a motivation letter, a full CV, two significant publications, as well as the name and contact details of three referees.


François De Vleeschouwer
Chargé de recherche CNRS
EcoLab /CampusEnsat
Avenue de l’Agrobiopole
BP 32607, Auzeville tolosane
31326 Castanet-Tolosan, FRANCE

Postdoctoral research fellow in peatland science (30 July 2011)

The School of Geography, University of Leeds, is looking to appoint a postdoctoral research fellow in peatland science on a 2 year project: http://tinyurl.com/3ggx37o

Closing date 12 August. Please contact j.holden@leeds.ac.uk if you have informal enquiries.

Graduate Research Opportunity in Ecosystem Ecology (12 May 2011)

We are inviting applications for a graduate research position (M.Sc. preferred) in the Plant Ecology Lab at Florida Atlantic University (www.science.fau.edu/biology/faculty_staff/benscoter.htm). We are seeking a highly motivated student for a Joint Fire Sciences Program-funded research project with broad focal areas in forestry, fire ecology, wetland ecology, remote sensing, soil science, and biogeochemistry. This research is part of a collaborative project by researchers at FAU, Michigan Technological University, US Forest Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service investigating fire dynamics in wetland ecosystems.

Research will focus on examining spatial patterns of wetland soil conditions and fuel moisture influence on soil combustion using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, prescribed burning, and remote sensing. The project will be based at Seney National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), located in the east-central portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (www.fws.gov/midwest/seney/about_us.html ). The Refuge encompasses 95,238 acres of wetland and upland forest ecosystems, including the Seney Wilderness Area and the Strangmoor Bog National Natural Landmark.  Opportunities exist for synergistic activities with other current research programs in Michigan, western Canada (www.uoguelph.ca/peatfire/Peat_Fire/Home.html), Alaska (www.uoguelph.ca/Apex/APEX/Home.html), and the Everglades.

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in ecology, forestry, or a related field. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for this position. Successful candidates must demonstrate the ability to work independently and conduct rigorous fieldwork in remote settings, as well as willingness to travel and work for extended periods at the research sites, occasionally under adverse weather conditions. A valid U.S. driver’s license and good driving record is preferred, as is prior experience in field research or prescribed burning.

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program at FAU in Dr. Benscoter’s lab on the FAU-Davie campus. Student support includes monthly stipend and tuition as well as travel and accommodations at research sites and scientific meetings. The Biology and Environmental Science programs at FAU have partnerships with a number of research institutions, including Max Planck, Scripps, USGS, and Everglades National Park. Visit the FAU Environmental Science Program website for information on the graduate program and application requirements (www.science.fau.edu/biology/envirosci/).

Consideration of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled, with a target enrollment date of January 2012. Interested applicants should send a copy of their CV or resume, a written statement of research background and interest, and names and contact information for two references via email to Dr. Brian Benscoter (Brian.Benscoter@FAU.edu).

Brian W. Benscoter, MSc PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
3200 College Ave
Davie, FL 33314 USA

Office: DW437  Lab: DW434
Tel: 954.236.1141  Fax: 954.236.1099
Email: Brian.Benscoter@FAU.edu

PhD in Plant Biology, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
Modelling plant communities in abandoned and restored peatlands (27 April 2011)

Project of the NSERC industrial research Chair in peatland management (http://www.gret-perg.ulaval.ca)

Start : April or September 2011


We are looking for a PhD candidate in Plant Biology, Université Laval. The project is related to numerical ecology and peatland restoration. It aims mainly at developing criteria for evaluating restoration success and at understanding the factors (anthropogenic, abiotic, biotic or climatic) favoring the regeneration after abandonment of peat extraction activities. The project will benefit from a large data base (1994). The first objective will be to study vegetation in abandoned sites which were mined by hand (block cut harvesting) or industrially (vacuum mining) to identify the role of local and landscape factors in recolonisation processes. The second objective will be to study peatlands that have been restored during the last 20 years and to isolate factors responsible of a good restoration success. The results will be used to establish criteria allowing to identify rapidly which sites are on the good trajectory toward the reference ecosystem and which sites would need new restoration actions.

The candidate will:
-    have completed a master degree in biology, environmental sciences, mathematic or computer sciences (or in a relevant field);
-    show great aptitudes for numerical ecology and have a good experience with multivariate analyses in this field;
-    have a good experience in research including the writing of scientific papers;
-    be dynamic and show great aptitudes for developing original research ideas;
-    be both autonomous and able to work with people;


Grant of 25 000$/year from the NSERC industrial Chair in peatland management. Possibility of a supplement of 12 000$ from the academic funds (in total for the whole program duration).

People interested must send 1) their c.v., 2) a motivation letter, and 3) a copy of academic bulletin (bachelor and MSc) to Line Rochefort or Monique Poulin from Université Laval (Québec) at: line.rochefort@fsaa.ulaval.ca; monique.poulin@fsaa.ulaval.ca


The person appointed will work in The ?Environmental Geochemistry group of the BioEMCo lab (University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris), which has a widely recognized expertise in organic geochemistry, particularly on the characterization at the molecular level of organic matter from various natural environments (soil, continental water, sediment and meteorite). The position will be commencing in October 2011. Interested applicants should send a CV and names of two referees to Sylvie Derenne (sylvie.derenne (at) upmc.fr) and Arnaud Huguet (arnaud.huguet (at) upmc.fr). A description of the PhD project is can is attached.

/positions/PhD_GDGTs_Paris.doc PhD_GDGTs_Paris.doc 37.50 KB 

Dr. Arnaud Huguet
Chargé de recherche CNRS
Equipe "Géochimie Organique et Minérale de l'Environnement"
UPMC Case courrier 120
Tour 56/66, 4ème étage
4 place Jussieu
75252 Paris Cedex 05
Email: arnaud.huguet@upmc.fr

Two Biology Master’s Degree positions at Villanova University: Nitrogen Cycling in Boreal Peatland Ecosystems (9 March 2011)

Applications are invited for two graduate students in the Department of Biology at Villanova University. Both projects are multi-investigator, and focus on the effects of enhanced nitrogen and sulfur deposition from Oil Sands Mining on various aspects of peatland ecosystem function in northern Alberta, Canada. The successful candidate will work with researchers from university and government, industry partners, research technicians, undergraduate and other graduate students to help oversee a comprehensive field research program involving monitoring of ecological and biogeochemical processes in boreal bogs, as well as a field manipulation experiment to understand the impact of nitrogen deposition on the biogeochemical aspects of peatland ecosystem functioning. Setting critical loads for nitrogen deposition will be a key component of both projects. Specific research focus within this framework is flexible, but interest in peatland biogeochemical processes such as nutrient (carbon, nitrogen, sulfur) cycling, greenhouse gas production and and/or hydrologic nutrient export would be an asset. A Bachelors degree is required.

For more information about the position contact Dr. Kelman Wieder (kelman.wieder@villanova.edu) or Dr. Melanie Vile (mvile@villanova.edu).
Applications will be accepted until April 15, 2011 or until the position is filled. To apply, please forward evidence of completion of Bachelor Degree requirements and CV to Kimberli Scott (Kimberli.Scott@villanova.edu).or James Quinn (james.quinn@villanova.edu) by email.

Postdoctoral position at University of Calgary: Climate change impacts on peatland ecosystem function
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary investigating effects of drought and warming on a peatland ecosystem in northern Alberta.  The successful candidate will work with researchers from university and government, industry partners and undergraduate and graduate students to help oversee a field research program involving monitoring of ecological, hydrological and biogeochemical processes in a boreal bog.  Specific research focus within this framework is flexible, but interest and expertise in soil processes such as soil physics, biogenic gas production and entrapment and/or hydrologic carbon export would be an asset. A PhD degree, or completion of all degree requirements, is required.
The University of Calgary is a comprehensive research university, ranked one of Canada’s top seven research universities and a member of the 13 most research intensive universities in Canada (the G13), combining the best of long-established university traditions with the city of Calgary’s vibrant energy and diversity.  Calgary, located within 1-hour drive of the Rocky Mountains, offers numerous recreational opportunities both within the city and in surrounding provincial and national parks.
For more information about the position contact Dr. Maria Strack at mstrack@ucalgary.ca.  Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2011 or until the position is filled. To apply, please forward evidence of completion of PhD requirements and CV to Dr. Strack by email or to the address below:
Maria Strack
Department of Geography, University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4

The Peatland Ecology Group at the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Forest Research Institute seeks a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on Plant-soil processes in peatlands under a warming climate (8 March 2011)
We are seeking a talented and highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher for a three year position (2011-2014). The position will be based at the Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. The appointee will participate full-time in a project funded by the Academy of Finland and entitled “Plant-soil processes in peatlands under a warming climate". This project will investigate the impacts of warming and water table level drawdown on:

- Carbon gas exchange between ecosystem and atmosphere;
- Above- and below-ground carbon inputs into the soil (quantity and chemical quality);
- Organic matter decomposition; and
- Allocation of carbon within the system.
The project includes a considerable amount of field work.
The applicants should:
- Have a PhD with research experience in ecology or comparable fields (e.g., biology, forest sciences, biogeochemistry);
- Have knowledge of vegetation, carbon gas dynamics and northern ecosystems;
- Be motivated to carry out field studies
- Have experience in analysing complex data;
- Have desire and proven ability to prepare manuscripts for peer-review in a timely manner.

Additionally we would appreciate:

- Understanding in process modelling;
- Understanding in organic chemistry;
- Experience in labelling experiments.

The position is based on the Forest Research Institute salary level 9 (2845 €/month), with a personal results based addition up to 50%. Candidates should send a curriculum vitae, brief statement of research interests, and the names and contact information of three references to Finnish Forest Research Institute, Box 18/Jokiniemenkuja, 01301 Vantaa, Finland.

The code 400-41-11 should be mentioned in the cover letter. Application deadline is Friday, 1 April, 2011. The preferred start date is in April-May 2011.

For further information, you may contact:
Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Phone: +358-9-19158147
E-mail: eevastiina.tuittila@helsinki.fi
Kari Minkkinen
E-mail: kari.minkkinen@helsinki.fi
Hannu Fritze
E-mail hannu.fritze@metla.fi
Raija Laiho
E-mail raija.laiho@helsinki.fi

Wetlands Geology Specialist
Illinois State Geological Survey, Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This position is based at our 1817 South Neil Street, Suite 103, Champaign, Illinois, location.

We are seeking an individual(s) (up to three, depending on pool of applicants and programmatic need) to assist with hydrogeologic studies of wetlands, wetland mitigation sites, and other natural areas. Install and service field instrumentation, collect hydrogeologic and geochemical measurements, and collect, upload, and manage data with minimal supervision as directed. Assist with reports and prepare products for reports as directed.

Responsibilities: Conduct field work, including installing wells and instruments, surveying, and field testing. Assist project participants with field work. Download and maintain various field instruments. Measure surface and ground water levels. Maintain field equipment and vehicles. Enter and upload field data and perform quality control checks. Collect, review, and evaluate field and file data. Contribute to hydrogeologic characterization site reports.

Qualifications: Required: Bachelor’s degree in geology, physical geography, or related discipline with 2 years related experience. Familiarity with reading and interpreting aerial photographs and geologic and topographic maps. Ability to accurately collect, analyze, and interpret data from various information sources. Ability to write comprehensive technical reports. Ability to prioritize, organize, and handle heavy workloads with multiple deadlines. Ability to use sound judgment in decision-making. Strong interpersonal skills to develop good working relationships. Ability and willingness to effectively contribute and lead as part of a team. Proficiency in word processing and spreadsheet software. Must be able to conduct field work alone in wetlands in both rural and urban settings, some of which may be under adverse conditions (e.g. inclement weather, remoteness, and moderate physical exertion).

Ability to travel overnight for up to one work week at a time. Must have a valid driver’s license. Must be able to lift and manipulate field equipment and other items weighing up to 50 pounds over uneven terrain. Preferred: Master’s degree in geology, physical geography, or related discipline. Coursework in geomorphology, glacial geology, soil science, and/or sedimentology. Knowledge of the wetlands regulation process. Experience with field techniques and equipment. Experience with surveying and/or basic hand and power tools. Experience with graphics, geographic information systems, relational databases, and/or geodatabases.

This is a regular full-time 12-month position. The starting date is negotiable after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience.

Applications must be received by March 18, 2011. To apply, all candidates must submit an online profile through jobs.illinois.edu by the close of the posting period. Qualified candidates must upload a letter of application which details qualifications noted above, résumé, working e-mail address, and the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three professional references. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete information will not be reviewed. For further information please contact Lori Walston, Human Resources, Illinois State Geological Survey, 217-244-2401.

The University of Illinois is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu)