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Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow in Palaeoclimate

Southampton, United Kingdom
Landscape Dynamics and Ecology
Location: Highfield Campus
Salary: £31,406 to £44,706 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term for 24 months
Closing Date: Wednesday 04 May 2022
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Reference: 1767722WR

Start Date from August 1st 2022

The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world Universities and one of the UK’s top 10 research-intensive universities. We have an international reputation for research, teaching and enterprise activities.

Looking for a researcher who will undertake scientific research on Tropical Pacific palaeoclimate as part of the three-year NERC funded project PROMS (Pacific Rainfall over Millennial Scales). The project aims to transform our understanding of multidecadal precipitation variability in the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) by testing theories on the roles of modes of variability (e.g., Atlantic multidecadal variability (AMV), Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), South Westerly Winds (SWW)) against a set of new, quantitative palaeo-precipitation records. The palaeoclimate work will be led from the University of Southampton, while the climate modelling work will be led from the University of East Anglia (UEA), in collaboration with Northumbria University. You will have the opportunity to spend time working with project partners Prof Julian Sachs (University of Washington Seattle), and with Dr Nemiah Ladd (University Basel) as well as Co-I Dr Gordon Inglis (School of Ocean and Earth Science, UoS) – leaders in organic geochemistry. In addition, and subject to starting date and travel restrictions, there will be fieldwork opportunities in French Polynesia in the first year.
This is a 2 year full time post (24 months) and will work with the wider PROMS community on three main tasks: (i) undertake laboratory work to generate new palaeoclimate records from a range of lake and swamp cores from different locations in the SPCZ, (ii) assemble existing palaeoclimate and palaeo-ocean datasets from the tropical Pacific and SPCZ region, and undertake geospatial analyses on these data, and (iii) work with the UEA researchers (Prof. Manoj Joshi, Prof. Tim Osborn CRU, Prof. Adrian Matthews) and Dr Will Roberts (UoNorthumbria), to develop empirical scenarios of SPCZ hydroclimate and modes of variability for informing a series of Global Climate Model (GCM) experiments. As such, the project requires someone with skills and experience in the use of a range of laboratory methods including the application of lipid biomarkers, compound-specific isotope analyses, and/or peat/swamp proxies (e.g., humification, testate amoebae etc.) for reconstructing climate from Holocene sediments. The candidate should also have experience and skill in the statistical analysis of time series and the use of multiproxy data.

Project management will be overseen by PI Prof. David Sear and Co-I Prof. Pete Langdon with regular guidance and advice provided by the wider project team. The team is friendly, collaborative, and inclusive and any candidate will be welcomed as an equal member of the scientific community that is PROMS.

We invite applications from candidates who have a keen interest in this project and will appoint either a Research Fellow or Senior Research Fellow based on qualifications, skills and experience.
• Work within the PROMS project to contribute to work package 1 (proxy dataset reconstruction) and work package 2 (reconstructing modes of variability) objectives.

• Take a leading role in laboratory proxy development, including liaising with partner laboratories (notably Universities of Washington and Basel).

• Work with project investigators at UEA to identify empirical associations with the proxy data, modes of variability, and other spatial drivers.

• Co-ordinate and collaborate with colleagues in partner institutions, notably the other research fellow (modelling focused) who will start in project year 2.

• Lead the preparation of research publications for submission to peer-reviewed academic journals based on the research undertaken.

• Present papers at conferences, public meetings or seminars.

• Contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and project data.
Hold, or have submitted a relevant PhD*/DPhil, together with experience or interest in Quaternary science and palaeoclimatology

Possess strong numerical skills, including experience on working with and analysing large datasets, preferably using R or similar platforms

Possess experience of developing proxy data from sediment archives, with some knowledge of lipid biomarkers, compound-specific isotope analyses, or other peat/swamp/lake proxies.

Be able to manage your time effectively and be willing to be part of a collaborative team.

Possess excellent written and oral communication skills
You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Nash (HR Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 4043 or email Please quote reference 1767722WR on all correspondence.
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