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Durham University

Department of Geography

Jobs Headlines

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Geomorphology (ID: 20000834)

(12 January 2021)

Applications are invited for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) in Geomorphology to join the research team led by Prof. Bob Hilton as part of the European Research Council (ERC)-funded 5 year project “ROC-CO2”. The post is fixed term for 15 months.

The ROC-CO2 project (Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by Rock-derived Organic Carbon oxidation) aims to quantify the rates and controls on the CO2 release by chemical weathering of organic carbon in sedimentary rocks, which is a major component of the geological carbon cycle (see for further information). We know that erosion is major control on this flux: erosion increases the delivery of rocks to the near-surface weathering zone where they can be oxidised. However, we don’t know enough about where high erosion rates impinge on sedimentary rocks. Nor whether the inherent rock-mass properties of shales mean that these landscapes are naturally prone to very high rates of CO2 release by rock weathering.

To address this issue, the PDRA will combine quantitative geomorphology methods with lithological maps and geochemical datasets. They will use topographic metrics that reflect erosion and regolith production to examine the links between shale bedrock and sites of high erosion. These outputs will be combined with empirically-based models of oxidative weathering rates to assess regional- to global-scale patterns in the modern-day CO2 release by rock organic carbon oxidation. The PDRA will combine empirical data from published sources and ongoing research by the ROC-CO2 team. The applicant will have experience of methods in quantitative geomorphology.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1st March 2021 

How to Apply 

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Bob Hilton (, 00 44 191 33 41970). 

All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence. 

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site.

As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment referenc.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University .

Closing Date: 4th February, 2021. 11:59:00pm