PhD Scholarship Position in Geochemistry

Siderophore production and function in the geosphere: experimental studies and field measurements of mineral weathering and biomineralization.

Microorganisms are known to affect mineral weathering rates and the mobilization of essential and toxic metals in the environment. They can release strong organic complex chelators, so-called siderophores, which have a high affinity for metals. These low-molecular mass dissolved organic molecules are often specific for certain microorganisms or plants and allow them to gain a selective growth advantage in environments, where the availability of metal nutrients is limited. Siderophores can have a critical role in regulating biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial and marine systems, but the details of the molecular-scale processes and their effect on macroscale biogeochemical cycling are not well established. This study aims at understanding the relationships between siderophore production and function and their influence on biochemically induced weathering and biomineralisation of iron-bearing minerals like magnetite in terrestrial and marine environments. Field and experimental studies will be conducted to determine siderophore composition and concentration, and their relationship to microbial community composition and activity.

This is a fully funded four year PhD position under the joint supervision of Sara Holmström, Volker Brüchert, and Nils Holm. The successful applicant will study the interactions of microbes with the global earth with focus on the production and the role of biogenic siderophores in biogeochemical processes. Related activities include both laboratory and field work.

Stockholm University Requirements: Applicants must have completed a research degree (e.g. Masters) or university study of 240 p (4 years), with at least 60 p (1 year) at the advanced (research) level. Department Requirements: undergraduate courses: at least 90 p in Earth Science and 30 p chemistry, and at least a 30 p independent project at the advanced level in geology, geochemistry, biogeochemistry or any chemistry-enriched natural science subject.

Selection criteria
The basis for selection is the applicant’s ability to succeed at research training.
Stockholm University is an equal opportunity employer. Appointment regulations for research training at Stockholm University are available in Swedish at Official Website. and the Higher Education Board’s handbook for PhD students in both Swedish and English at Official Website.

For more information contact Dr. Sara Holmström at or telephone +46-(0)8-16 4751, Dr. Volker Brüchert at or telephone +46-(0)8-16 4755 and Prof. Nils Holm at or telephone+46- (0)8-16 4743.

Union representatives are Bo Ekengren (SACO), Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST), telephone +46-(0)8-16 2000 (switch board), and Birgitta Carlén (SEKO), telephone +46-(0)8-16 2000 (switch board).

Applications should include
Cover letter, completed form SU 9012 , CV, copies of examination certificates and/or other proof of eligibility and the contact details of two referees.

Please send your application, marked with referene number SU 464-13-0007-11, no later than March 26, 2011 to:
Stockholm University
The Department of Geological Sciences
Elisabeth Däcker
Svante Arrhenius väg 8


or by e-mail:

Application Deadline : 26 March 2011

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