Applications are invited from researchers to work as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the University of Southampton’s Geochemistry Research Group ( In the School of Ocean and Earth Science at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton you will join a community of >500 researchers and support staff drawn from across the sciences, with a strong focus the marine environment, to work on a project reconstructing ocean pH change across a key climate event in the recent geological past: the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

Location: National Oceanography Centre Southampton, UK

Salary: ?34,980 to ?38,205

Full Time Fixed Term

Closing Date: Wednesday 31 January 2024

Interview Date: To be confirmed

Reference: 2569324HN

This post is funded through a multidisciplinary grant entitled “C-FORCE: Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks from Response to Carbon Emissions”, a Large Grant funded by the NERC and NSF-GEO involving 6 universities from the UK and US. The post will be line management by Prof Gavin Foster ( with regular meetings and interactions with the rest of the C-Force consortium led by Dr Sarah Greene (Birmingham;

Anthropogenic climate change has no ancient analogue but, in the last 60 million years, the hyperthermals of the early Cenozoic come the closest. Here you will apply the boron isotope pH proxy to quantify ocean acidification and CO2 change across the PETM as part of a wider effort by the C-FORCE consortium to constrain the roles of volcanic forcing and carbon cycle feedbacks as drivers of global environmental change. Unlike previous studies that used bulk measurements of foraminifera of deep-sea sediment cores, you will use laser ablation multicollector ICPMS of single specimens of benthic foraminifera collected from the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain of the US to provide a uniquely high temporal resolution view of surface ocean pH change during the PETM. The geochemical data will be combined with modelling of the sediment mixing process coupled to biogeochemical modelling (cGENIE) carried out by our collaborators in C-FORCE, to fully quantify the carbon addition that accompanied the PETM and better constrain the nature of the onset of the event itself (e.g. was the onset associated with more than one pulses of carbon).

The School of Ocean and Earth Science is committed to create an inclusive and diverse scientific community ( University of Southampton offers a range of benefits to support employee wellbeing including early career faculty mentoring at SOES, flexible working, family friendly policies, occupational health services, employee assistance programme and sport and wellbeing facilities. All qualified candidates will be considered regardless of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion as outlined in the Equality Act (2010).

A successful candidate should have:

  • A PhD (or equivalent) in the Physical Sciences in the general area of geochemistry or palaeoceanography/paleoclimatology.
  • Experience with laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry or similar.
  • Experience with working with foraminifera, or other marine carbonate, to reconstruct past climate states.
  • Be experienced combining geochemical data sets with numeric modelling.
  • Experience with scientific communication/publication.
  • Demonstrate strong drive, ambition and motivation, with the capacity to deliver on challenging tasks and to meet deadlines both individually and as part of a large team.

This post is a fixed-term appointment for approximately 2 years and 9 months and may involve a component of field work as part of an ICDP expedition. For further information about related work at Southampton follow these links:

For further enquiries please contact Professor Gavin Foster (

Applications for Research Fellow positions 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 successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.