Two PhD positions in Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry
University of Tuebingen and University of Bayreuth
We are seeking 2 PhD students (geomicrobiologist or geochemist) to investigate the formation of pyrite (FeS2) as a joint project between the University of Tuebingen and the University of Bayreuth. Pyrite is a key mineral in the biogeochemical cycling of iron (Fe), sulfur (S), carbon, nutrients and trace metals. Its formation is mediated by microbial biomineralization, with implications to biosignatures and Earth’s redox evolution. Despite the minerals’ importance, most lab experiments have failed to form pyrite at comparable precipitation rates and morphology (i.e., framboids) to those observed in nature. Elucidating key steps of (bio)pyrite formation and the reactivity of the mineral will better link lab-based insights to processes in the environment.
PhD student 1 will be based at the University of Tuebingen and will work primarily on microbial pyrite formation, testing different microbes with various metabolisms and different sources of S and Fe. PhD student 2 will be based at the University of Bayreuth and will work primarily on studying the influence of environmental redox fluctuations on the kinetics and pathway of abiotic pyrite formation, using techniques such as flow-through reactors, synchrotron analysis and in situ spectroscopy. Both students are expected to work closely together and will have access to various mineralogical analytical techniques such as XRD, Raman, Mössbauer and electron microscopy. The candidates will be given many opportunities to be creative and innovative, to apply various geochemical analyses, microbial physiological studies, and microscopic techniques, and to work on a challenging and fascinating topic within a large network of (inter)national collaborators.
Please send a CV, motivation letter and overview of techniques and previously-used methods by email before Nov 3rd, 2022 to: Dr. Muammar Mansor (firstname.lastname@example.org), Prof. Dr. Andreas Kappler (email@example.com), Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Prof. Dr. Martin Obst (email@example.com). In your email, please state the location/position that you are applying to (Tuebingen-Geomicrobiology or Bayreuth-Biogeochemistry).