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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment


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Graduate Student Position in Biogeochemistry

Funding for a Ph.D. student is available starting Summer/Fall 2017 to work on an NSF-funded project in Isotope Biogeochemistry lab at the University of South Carolina. The goals of the project are to explore how microbes survive and thrive in a warm, high pH serpentinization system, to investigate the fate of deep sea organic matter as it passes through the rocky subsurface, and to determine whether small organic molecules are formed abiotically. This research has implications for the earliest development of life on Earth and other planets, and on Earth’s carbon cycle. Field work includes a 22-day oceanographic expedition with the remotely operated vehicle Jason to the Lost City Hydrothermal Field. Stipend and tuition support are available for the length of the project in a combination of research and teaching assistantships. We are looking for a motivated, curious, problem-solver who enjoys being in the lab and field. A background in chemistry and/or isotopes, HPLC, GC, or IC is particularly welcome.

The University of South Carolina's main campus is located in the state capital, Columbia, close to mountains and coast. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has designated the University as one of only 40 public institutions with "very high research activity". The Carnegie Foundation also lists USC as having strong community engagement. The University has over 33,000 students on the main campus, more than 300 degree programs, and a nationally-ranked library system that includes one of the nation's largest public film archives. Columbia's greater metropolitan area has a population of over 800,000.

For additional information, please visit our website. Interested students can send a letter of interest, CV, and unofficial transcripts to Dr. Susan Lang at slang@geol.sc.edu and/or submit applications through the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment. Preference will be given to submission prior to January 27, 2017 but the position will remain open until filled.