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Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science

Florida State University

Postdoctoral Fellowships
in the
Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences

Job Number 39607


The Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science (EOAS) at Florida State University invites applications for Postdoctoral Fellowships in the fields of solid Earth dynamics, isotope geochemistry, and arctic carbon cycling. Candidates should have completed their Ph.D. within the last four years or should expect to complete their degree requirements by time of appointment.

Researchers at EOAS work to understand the dynamics of the Earth’s chemical, physical and biological systems, from the core to the upper atmosphere, including Earth’s interactions with human society. Our scientists lead research in the fields of solid Earth, ocean, and atmospheric systems.

Applicants are sought for two-year fellowship positions to conduct supervised research and teaching duties. Fellows will work under direction of FSU faculty to support funded research programs (see below). Additionally, they will develop classroom teaching skills during one semester of each year, first under supervision and, during the second year, as instructors of record for an undergraduate class (see below). Research programs and instructional mentors seeking fellows include the following:

•                Insights into the volatile budget in the Earth’s interior using high pressure experiments, geochemical analysis, and numerical simulations. (see online info).

•                Applying novel geochemical methods (e.g. novel stable metal isotopes) to the sedimentary record to trace the redox evolution throughout Earth history (see online info).

•                Researching carbon storage and flux in arctic permafrost soils (see online info).

Eligible candidates must hold a PhD in any of the three areas of interest described above at the time of appointment. Salary is $45,000 per annum.  Health insurance is provided at no cost to the fellow. A computer allowance of $1,500 is provided. The Florida State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities, are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants should send a CV, a statement of interest that addresses both research and teaching plans, and the names and contact information for three professional references through application via the OMNI system (see below). Review of applications will begin February 26, 2016.

To apply, please read instructions below and click the “Apply for Fellowship” button.



Florida State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action - Race/Gender/Disability/Veterans Employer


Instructions for Applicants: Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science PostDoctoral Fellowships, 2016 - 18


1.              Deadline:  The deadline for submitting application materials is February 26, 2016. 

2.              Application website:  Applications must be submitted on the Florida State University online application system (OMNI). After reading all the instructions, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the “Apply for Fellowship” button, which will take you to the OMNI website to submit your application.

3.              Application materials:  Applicants must submit a CV, including a list of publications; a research proposal; a statement of teaching interests; and a list with the contact information for three referees.

4.              Primary area of research:  On the OMNI website, you will be asked to select one of three areas of research: solid Earth dynamics; isotope geochemistry; or carbon cycling. If your areas of interest span more than one of these fields, select the one that most closely matches your research proposal. If none of these areas apply, select “Other/None of the above.”

5.              Statement of teaching interests: should describe the courses you feel competent to teach in EOAS, as well as your general teaching philosophy and past teaching experience.

6.              Contacting EOAS scientists prior to applying:  Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential mentors at EOAS to discuss the possibility of working with them. Contact information for EOAS scientists is available on the EOAS website

7.              Selection criteria: The principal selection criteria are based on the applicant’s potential to fulfill the objectives of the Arts & Sciences Fellows, including contributions to scientific excellence, gender and ethnic diversity, and departmental teaching needs.

8.              Number of fellowships: The number of fellowships awarded will be 2.

9.           Fellowship details: Fellowships are supported institutionally for 24 months and currently provide an annual salary of $45,000 and a one-time computer allowance of $1,500.

10.           Expected start date: The expected start date should be in the fall semester of 2016.

11.           Contact: Applicants can send additional questions to

Click the link below to apply for the EOAS Postdoctoral Fellowship



To apply, access the FSU employment page at and browse for

Position Number 39607




Jeremy Owens - Geology


The post-doctoral fellow will be involved in high quality and innovative research using cutting-edge research techniques. Their research they will be advised and mentored by Dr. Jeremy Owens in the Coastal and Marine Biogeochemistry Group. The ideal candidate will bring a skill set that will enhance our current geochemical stable isotope group developing and calibrating new geochemical proxies in the modern ocean, applications of current proxies in the sedimentary record, or testing diagentic alteration of geochemical proxies. Importantly, Dr. Owens has recently developed several new geochemical proxies (vanadium and thallium isotopes) with an eye-toward applying these methods to the geologic record. Using elemental concentrations and isotopes to better understand perturbations and evolution of the global ocean are encouraged to apply. The ideal candidate will interface with other researchers in the Geology and Chemical Oceanography groups within the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science as Dr. Owens looks to strengthen ties with these groups.


It is expected that the post-doctoral fellow will teach Geology 2100 – Historical Geology. This class is a major’s required course for all Geology and Environmental Science. This class is meant to be broad class that will allow flexibility for the instructor to emphasize their expertise. Importantly, this will allow the fellow to develop a class that will is widely taught and thus can used elsewhere during their career. This class is currently taught by Dr. William Parker, who will provide the incoming post-doctoral fellow all the current teaching materials and will help to oversee the teaching component.


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A&S Postdoctoral Fellow Application (Spencer/Chanton)

Assistant Professor Robert Spencer and Professor Jeff Chanton propose to co-sponsor a postdoctoral fellow who would examine carbon storage in arctic permafrost soils and peatlands from the arctic to the tropics.  These soils represent a large carbon liability in the face of a warming climate, which will particularly affect high-latitudes, mobilizing long stored carbon in soils into the contemporary carbon cycle. Current estimates state that Arctic permafrost soils alone contain vast quantities of ancient organic carbon (twice as much carbon as currently in the atmosphere, and over three times as much carbon as in all forests globally).  These reservoirs may be released as permafrost thaws, or as peatlands dry or warm, fueling a positive feedback loop and exacerbating warming.  The postdoctoral fellow would examine the question, “what geochemical similarities do stored soil carbon stores share?”, and allow an assessment of the degree to which organic matter quality in soils is the driver of carbon stability. As Spencer and Chanton’s research efforts currently span a large range of carbon stores across the arctic to the tropics, a wide variety of samples are readily available to answer this question.  Current instrumentation available to the postdoctoral fellow at FSU and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory includes GC/IRMS, FTICR-MS, FT-Infrared spectroscopy, NMR, and radiocarbon preparation lines. The postdoctoral fellow would be mentored by both Faculty.  With regard to teaching, Chanton would mentor the postdoctoral fellow on the course Current Issues in Environmental Science, OCE 4017-5018. This class generally attracts ~120 upper level undergraduates and 3-5 graduate students. The students are highly motivated and very engaged. It is an excellent class for a beginner in terms of student involvement and responsibility. In year 1, the postdoc would shadow Chanton, give a limited number of lectures and lead a discussion session independently. In year 2, under Chanton’s supervision, the postdoctoral fellow would lead the class solo. 


The required 50% match would be split 50:50 by Spencer and Chanton from start-up, perk and SRAD funds currently in place.


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Mainak Mookherjee


One of the most distinguishing features of the Earth is its surface water, which is a crucial component in making it a habitable planet. While some models of the early Earth evolution suggest that the water might have been delivered to the Earth via meteorites and asteroids, there are parallel models for the early Earth suggesting that the source of this water might have been the mantle via volcanic eruptions. Based on recent research, it seems very likely that the interior continues to be a major reservoir of water, H2O, and carbon dioxide, CO2. Given the massive size of the Earth, even if the mantle contains only 0.01-­‐ 0.03 percent water, H2O by weight, it would hold the equivalent of all the water in the modern oceans. Upwelling mantle material at the mid-­‐ocean  ridges appears to contain about similar amounts of H2O by weight. If this is representative of the entire crust and mantle, at present the Earths interior has at least one oceans worth of water (1.4 x 1021 kg). How much more it might have and how this amount has changed over the Earth’s history are questions that remain unaddressed till date. We do not yet know whether the Earth has always had the present amount of water at its surface. But the answers to these questions have implications for a variety of processes, including sea level changes.

A key observation is the near constancy of continental freeboard through geological time. Does this imply a steady budget of surface water relative to water stored in the mantle? Are the rates of water degassing at ridges proportional to the concentration of water in the crust and upper mantle? Is the transition zone capable of containing significantly more water than the upper and the lower mantle? Does the Core-­‐Mantle Boundary (CMB) layer also contain significant amounts of water/volatiles? To address these fundamental questions pertaining to the Earth’s deep water-­‐budget, we need a thorough understanding of where and how the water is stored in the crust, the mantle, and the Earth’s Core. In the Earth’s interior, water or hydrogen could be efficiently stored in several distinct forms, including hydrous phases where the hydrogen atoms are stored in well defined crystallographic sites, nominally anhydrous phases where the hydrogen atoms/ions occur as defects in otherwise dry minerals, aqueous fluids, silicate melts, metallic alloys, and melts.


My research interest includes, but are not limited to, constraining the following-­‐

  • thermoelastic and transport properties of hydrous and nominally anhydrous phases  and  relating  them  to  geophysical  observables  and  getting  better constraints on the mantle hydration
  • thermodynamics  of  hydrous  phases  and  the  role  of  chemistry  in  enhancing the stability fields
  • solubility of water (i.e., hydrogen defects) in major mantle phases including aluminous phases that are likely to be dominant in the deeply subducted oceanic crust
  • thermoelastic properties of iron alloys, to put better constraints on the deep volatile budget and density deficit in the Earth’s core
  • thermodynamics of mineral-­‐fluid interactions at conditions relevant to lower crust   and   subduction   zone,   to   better   understand   how   aqueous   fluids transition to a hydrous silicate melt and how that  influences the element partitioning abilities of the aqueous fluid
  • thermoelastic and transport properties of water bearing melts and relating them to geophysical observables.


To address these issues, I often use a combination of tools that include high pressure experiments using hydrothermal diamond anvil cell, multi-­‐anvil experiments, X-­‐ray and neutron diffraction at national facilities, sound velocity measurements, spectroscopic methods including, in house Raman, infrared and complementary spectroscopic methods, nuclear in-­‐elastic scattering methods, geochemical analysis. The experimental studies are often complemented with first principles simulation based on density functional theory.


The post-­‐doctoral candidate will receive training in the above-­mentioned technique/s. A background in Experimental Solid Earth Sciences, Physics and/or Material Science will be appropriate. Experience in high-­‐pressure experiments and synchrotron related work will be very useful for the position.


In addition to research experience, the post-­‐doctoral candidate will have the opportunity to teach and play important role in designing and developing undergraduate/graduate level course. The topics may range from Mineralogy and Petrology, Solid Earth Geophysics, Mineral Physics, Experimental and analytical methods in Solid Earth Sciences, Thermodynamics of Earth and Planetary methods, or candidate may suggest course aligned with their specific expertise.

My research website:


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