Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research fellow position to study nitrogen cycling processes in the subsurface serpentinizing system of the Samail Ophiolite (Oman), based in the Marine Biogeochemistry/ Geochemistry Groups of the School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton. The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary research team, and use a combination of state-of-the-art hydro/geochemical measurements, bioimaging and molecular analyses to determine exactly which form of nitrogen is being utilized by subsurface microbes, and how and how much nitrogen is cycled in a subsurface serpentinizing system that is analogous to that inhabited by early life on Earth, and how these processes may vary along fluid flows and geochemical gradients. 

The post will primarily involve designing and conducting a series of 15N-labeling experiments in the field in order to characterize and quantify the microbial pathways responsible for nitrogen acquisition in the subsurface biosphere, as well as the energy-yielding active nitrogen cycling processes; and subsequent stable isotopic analyses in home/UK laboratories. Prior experiences in these techniques and mass spectrometry are essential. You should have a PhD or equivalent in a relevant area of aquatic geochemistry and/or geomicrobiology. You will be expected to have sound knowledge in nitrogen cycling and microbial ecology, and ideally the ability to integrate hydro/ biogeochemical findings with molecular and bioimaging analyses in the context of microbial ecology. You will join several field campaigns (each ca. 3 weeks long), and occasionally visit project partner institutions nationally/internationally for complementary analyses. There will also be exposure and opportunities to interact with the international research community of the Oman Drilling Project. You will need to demonstrate good organizational skills, a proactive approach, ability to use own initiative and well-developed attention to detail.   You should feel comfortable to work independently whilst also being a good team player.

The position is funded by a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant, and the salary is £31,406 to £36,382 per annum, commensurate with experience. The target start date is 1st September 2022. This is a fixed-term position for 3 years.

Further details can be found at: Informal enquires are welcome, and should be directed to Dr Phyllis Lam (

Applications will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon completion of PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

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 Holly Shergold (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 5719, or email Please quote reference 1894322HN on all correspondence.

Application deadline: Open until filled
Start date: