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Postdoc position: "To investigate nitrogen cycle dynamics in marine upwelling regions”

Netherlands, Noord-Holland, TexelMarine Microbiology & Biogeochemistry (MMB)

Job description

For our project on Paleo-perspectives on the nitrogen cycle in marine upwelling regions (PaleoNiMUR), we are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with a background in paleoceanography.


The Benguela upwelling system is an Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (EBUS) that plays an important role in understanding the impact of climate change on ocean life, marine productivity, water column oxygenation, and atmosphere-ocean greenhouse gas exchange. The region is characterized by strong upwelling of subsurface waters associated with alongshore winds and concomitant enhanced primary productivity in surface waters. Increased organic matter production and degradation result in oxygen depletion in the subsurface waters. In this complex system, nitrogen plays an important role often being the limiting element for the primary producers. Nitrogen is also released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas under oxygen-limited conditions. Thus, understanding the N-cycle in the marine upwelling systems in relation to the ongoing climate change is crucial for future predictions.

In this ENW/NWO project, we investigate nitrogen cycle dynamics using lipid biomarkers and N isotopic composition of organic matter in sediment cores collected from the BUS in 2019. These sediment cores vary in length allowing us to reconstruct paleo-environmental conditions at different resolutions and times. The primary focus of this project is a long sediment piston core that covers the last 160kyr BP, allowing us to investigate the last two glacial-interglacial transitions.

This project is a collaboration between the department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB) and Ocean Systems (OCS) at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ, Texel) allowing us to do a comprehensive study using both organic and inorganic geochemistry. In this position, you will be applying novel proxies using state-of-art techniques. This will provide a first-hand overview for comparison with the other EBUS, since this will be the first time such a downcore application is conveyed.

Job requirements


You are the ideal candidate for this Post-doctoral research position if:

  • You have recently acquired a PhD in paleoceanography, marine geology, (organic) geochemistry or aim to submit your PhD thesis for assessment by early summer 2022;
  • You have proven abilities to publish and present at a high international level;
  • You are a team player, are well organized, are ambitious, and have excellent written and oral communication skills.

We highly encourage applicants from all members of our community and of diverse background, including LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.


We are offering a 20 months full-time Postdoc position. Employment of this position at Royal NIOZ is by NWOI (The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). The salary is compliant to the CAO-OI (Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Research Institutes) scale 10 or 11 depending on relevant experience. Furthermore NIOZ offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8,3% of the gross annual salary, flexible work arrangements and 42 days of holiday leave (fulltime position).

You may expect attractive secondary employment conditions. We offer generous relocation expenses for employees coming from abroad and support with finding accommodation.

Royal NIOZ is located on the beautiful island of Texel in the World Heritage Wadden Sea. Texel offers sun, wind and beach, and a diverse but moderate level of facilities, including a thriving tourist industry, shops, sports facilities, primary schools and a high school. It is connected to the main land by an hourly to half-hourly ferry service, with crossings taking 20 minutes. The Royal NIOZ is situated next to the ferry terminal.


Please apply online at and apply for this job by submitting a motivation letter with your CV and the names and contact details of three references. Closing date for applications is 28 September 2022. Job interviews are foreseen mid October 2022.

For additional information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Darci Rush For additional information about the procedure, please contact Mylène Lormans, senior HR advisor.


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