Senior Research Officer

Senior Research Officer

University of Essex


Senior Research Officer

The School of Biological Sciences

The School of Biological Sciences is looking to recruit a post-doctoral Environmental Biologist or Biogeochemist to examine key ecosystem processes and functions in urban soils on a new NERC funded project – FUSED – Functionality of Urban Soils supporting Ecosystem service Delivery. We have a global reputation for our research: two-thirds of our research was rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in REF 2014. Our academics are divided into four research groups that provide the technical support, infrastructure, intellectual engagement and collaboration to underpin the School’s research success. Our multidisciplinary research environment is central to our commitment to excellence in research-led teaching. The postholder will be a member of the Ecology and Environmental Microbiology Group which focuses on four broad themes of biodiversity, climate and environmental change, biogeochemical cycling and environmental biotechnology, across all levels of biological organisation (from genes to ecosystems) and across all taxonomic groups (from microbes to macro-organisms). Further information can be found at:

Duties of the Role

This 3-year position represents an ideal opportunity for you as a PDRA to significantly expand your research career. You will use a range of advanced analytical chemistry approaches that include GC-MS, LC-MS, ICP-MS, soil nutrient analyses, and in-field soil gas (CO~2; CH~4) flux chambers. An overall goal will be to quantify the ecosystem processes and functions behind the delivery of key ecosystem services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, waste detoxification, and primary productivity). You will network with researchers working on soil biodiversity and soil biophysical structure at Essex and partner institutes (notably Cranfield University and Abertay University) to provide a holistic understanding of how different urbanisation contexts (e.g. from industrial land to parks in residential areas) influence the functioning of urban soils.

Duties of the role also include contributing to the development and maintenance or research resources (examples of which include household surveys, databases, specialist equipment and infrastructure, software packages and computer models) used within the Department or wider user community external to the Department and to play an active and constructive role in the department and engage in activities beyond your own research team.

Skills and qualifications required

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic Environmental Biologist, Biogeochemist or Ecologist with experience in quantifying biogeochemical processes from soils or sediments. You should have, or be near to completing, a PhD in a related discipline. You should possess excellent analytical ecology skills, including previous experience with analytical chemistry approaches and soil/sediment gas flux sampling. You should have the ability to analyse resulting data and prepare results for publication in high-impact journals. Knowledge of urban soil ecosystems is an advantage, but not essential for this work. Applicants are also expected to have, or be developing, a strong publication record (relative to their career stage). We welcome applications from researchers across the environmental, ecological and biogeochemical sciences. For informal enquiries contact Dr Alex Dumbrell (

At the University of Essex internationalism is central to who we are and what we do. We are committed to being a cosmopolitan, internationally-oriented university that is welcoming to staff and students from all countries and a university where you can find the world in one place.

Please visit our website ( for a full job description, person specification and more information relating to this post. We recommend you read this information carefully before making an application. Applications should be made on-line, but if you would like advice or help in making an application, or need information in a different format, please telephone the Resourcing Team (01206 876559).

Closing date: 28 February 2019

Interviews are planned for: 14 – 15 March 2019

Salary: £32,548 per annum

Please apply via recruiter’s website.