Thursday, August 29, 2019

Postdoc in phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses- University of Sheffield

The Department of Animal & Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, UK has a new Postdoctoral Research Position in phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses. This position is funded by a NERC Standard Grant ‘Excavating the roots of the tree of life: revealing a billion year record for the euglenids’ lead by Professor Charles Wellman. The project involves a study of the fossil record of the protist group euglenids that occupy a critical phylogenetic position at the base of the eukaryotes. The PDRA role is to take these fossil data and link them to characters of living euglenids (morphological and molecular) in phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses of the euglenids and eukaryotes in general. This will shed light on the nature and timing of the primary adaptive radiation of the eukaryotes.

The project involves an extensive research team of academics from the UK and overseas, including: Professor Brian Leander (an expert on extant euglenids) and Dr Pascal-Antoine Christin (an expert in phylogenetic methods and trait evolution). The PDRA will work closely with the above academics in; (i) developing a database of euglenid characters (notably pellicle wall characters) and incorporating this into phylogenetic analyses; (ii) developing a database of eukaryote first appearances in the fossil record and incorporating this into molecular clock analyses of eukaryote diversification.

PERSON SPECIFICATIONYou should provide evidence in your application that you meet the following criteria:-
- Have a Ph.D. in a relevant subject area.
- Proven experience in research on advanced methods of phylogenetic analyses and trait evolution.
- Proven experience in research on advanced methods of molecular clock analyses (including the implementation of fossil calibrations).


This is a one-year fixed term postdoctoral position to work under the direction of Professor Charles Wellman on a NERC Standard grant ‘Excavating the roots of the tree of life: revealing a billion year record for the euglenids’. The PDRA will work in collaboration with a team of academics and be responsible for:-
- Creating a database of euglenid pellicle characters for extant and fossil forms. The former will be derived from Project Partner Leander’s published and unpublished material. The latter will be derived from wall ultrastructure work on newly discovered fossils recently conducted by team members Wellman, Strother and Taylor.
- Incorporating the above database into phylogenetic analyses of the euglenids. This will involve manipulation of previous analyses based on morphological and molecular characters.
- Analysing the results from above in the context of trait evolution of characters of the highly complex euglenid pellicle.
- Creating a database of first appearances in the fossil record of the main eukaryote groups.
- Incorporating the above database into molecular clock analyses of the eukaryotes in order to shed light on their primary adaptive radiation and the integral position of the euglenids.
- Collaborating with the project team to write and publish the results of the above.

You will make a full and active contribution to the principles of the ‘Sheffield Academic’. These include the achievement of excellence in applied teaching and research, and scholarly pursuits to make a genuine difference in the subject area and to the University’s achievements as a whole. 

Reward packageTerms and conditions of employment: Will be those for Grade 7 staff.
Salary for this grade: £31,302 - £32,236 per annum.
This post is fixed-term for 12 months with a start date between 1/10/2019 - 1/11/2019.

For more information on our application and recruitment processes visit

Informal enquiriesFor informal enquiries about this job and the recruiting department, contact: Professor Charles Wellman on or on 0114 222 3689. For administration queries and details on the application process, contact the lead recruiter: Maddie Couzner on or on 0114 222 4773. For all online application system queries and support, visit:

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Digital Atlas of Ancient Life - Free 3D models of fossil and modern organisms

As part of the NSF-supported Digital Atlas of Ancient Life project (, the Paleontological Research Institution's (PRI) has developed some free online teaching and outreach resources that you might find useful this academic year.

First, they have developed a large Virtual Collection of over 450 interactive 3D digital models of fossil and modern specimens made using photogrammetry. These models allow students to explore fossil specimens outside of a classroom setting in an interactive way, and some include annotations of key features. We anticipate that they will be useful for online courses, for those at institutions that lack a large physical collection, or as a supplement to help students study. They are also useful for in-class presentations when projected at full-screen size. All of the models may be freely downloaded from Sketchfab and can be 3D printed. Virtual Collections are organized by major categories of organisms and may be accessed at:

Second, PRI continues to make progress on building the Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life (DEAL), an online, open-access paleontology textbook. Chapters go online as they are finished and substantial content has already been shared. Most images on the DEAL are new and have Creative Commons licensing, allowing you to use them for educational purposes as you see fit. To see what is currently available, please visit the table of contents for DEAL at

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Postdoctoral position in medical geochemistry (USC Earth Sciences)

The University of Southern California's Department of Earth Sciences invites applications for a postdoctoral position studying the application of stable isotopes in medical research. The candidate will explore a variety of isotope systems including δ13C, δ15N, δ33S, δ65Cu, δ56Fe, and δ66Zn. Analysis of fluid and tissue samples will be used to investigate how these new stable isotope tracers might be applied to medical problems. Our current focus is on cancer diagnosis and prognosis, though we are also interested in the fundamental understanding of isotope behavior in the medical context with other potential applications. This interdisciplinary work requires a candidate with an ability to communicate clearly across a wide range of subject areas, and with a passion for analytical excellence applied to new scientific goals. Experience in isotope geochemistry and ICPMS desired. Capability to explore large datasets, including medical metadata, would also be a strength.

The postdoc will join an exciting collaborative effort led by geochemist Prof. Seth John, working closely with Profs. Will Berelson and Josh West. We have established a relationship with researchers at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and have begun working with them on samples from cancer patients. We are looking to build on this collaboration and extend it in new directions in the medical field. Top candidates will have the drive and initiative to strengthen our existing collaborations as well as forge new ones. 

To apply, contact Profs Seth John (, Josh West (, and Will Berelson ( with a CV and a cover letter making special note of any background or interests in medical applications of geochemistry.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Analytical Paleobiology Workshop Materials available now online!

The organizers of the Analytical Paleobiology Workshop are pleased to announce that the course materials for the 2018 edition of the workshop are now freely accessible online at Please click on ‘course materials’ tab to access the materials.

The 2018 Analytical Paleobiology Workshop, dedicated to analytical training of graduate students in paleobiology, was motivated by the success of the Fossilworks Intensive Workshop in Analytical Palaeobiology ( developed and coordinated by John Alroy (Macquarie University).

The 2018 workshop, hosted by the Florida Museum of Natural History (University of Florida), was made possible thanks to generous support of the Paleontological Society, NSF Sedimentary Geology & Paleobiology Program, NSF-Funded Research Coordination Network (Earth Rates), and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The materials posted at, provided by 2018 instructors and other contributors, offer diverse materials: lectures, R-tutorials, and exercises. These materials introduce common analytical methods used in paleontological research. Instructors have posted by now most of the course materials. However, not all instructors uploaded all their files. Additional materials will be forthcoming in the near future.

The course materials for the 2019 edition (June - July 2019, UC Riverside) will be posted on the same website in the next several months.

Thanks to the teachers and organizers for making these materials available!
Organizers: Shanan Peters, Seth Finnegan (chairs, 2019), Wolfgang Kiessling,  Rowan Lockwood, Charles Marshall, Alycia Stigall, & Michal Kowalewski. 
Teachers: Gene Hunt, Jessica Blois, Katrina Jones, David Polly, April Wright, Phil Novack-Gottshall, Steve Holland

Thursday, August 15, 2019

NSF- Updated report from the Geomicrobiology and Microbial Geochemistry Workshop

Below is a link to an updated report from the Geomicrobiology and Microbial Geochemistry Workshop sponsored by the Geobiology and Low Temperature Geochemistry program at the NSF.  This update was prepared for the NAS decadal review of the Earth Sciences Division “Catalyzing Opportunities for Research in the Earth Sciences” (CORES).  The Geobiology Society has kindly offered to host the pdf file of the report and we are distributing the link to the community.  We welcome your comments and feedback and look forward to hearing from you.

Enriqueta Barrera and Philip Bennett
Program Directors, Geobiology and Low Temperature Geochemistry
Division of Earth Sciences, National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, VA 22314

Thursday, August 8, 2019

W2 Professorship for Systems Palaeobiology (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg)

The Faculty of Sciences at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) invites applications for a W2 Professorship for Systems Palaeobiology (Associate Professor) at the Department of Geography and Geosciences, GeoZentrum Nordbayern. The professorship is a full-time and permanent position to be filled by the earliest possible starting date.

We seek to appoint an expert who will develop an internationally visible research and teaching profile in Systems Palaeobiology. Applicants will have a strong background and an international reputation in Palaeobiology. The research should conceptually bridge palaeontological and geological, especially palaeoclimatological information and should address global processes using modelling approaches. A focus on macroevolution (including phylogeny) or macroecology considering the impact of climate change is desired. We expect the appointed professor to actively participate in interdisciplinary collaboration and become involved in establishing joint research projects within GeoZentrum Nordbayern, the Department, the Faculty of Sciences, and the University. The duties of the successful candidate include active participation in the degree programmes (particularly the ‘Palaeobiology’ and ‘Earth Systems Research Lab’ areas of specialisation in the international Master’s degree programme).

For further information and the application guidelines please see

Please submit your complete application documents (CV, list of publications, list of lectures and courses taught, copies of certificates and degrees, list of third-party funding, research and teaching statements) online at by September 15th 2019 (15.09.2019), addressed to the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences. Please contact with any questions.

Nicholls Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Royal Tyrrell Museum

The Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society, in collaboration with the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, invites applications for the position of Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Nicholls Postdoctoral Fellow. The Nicholls Postdoctoral Fellowship, established in 2005 by the Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society, supports research from a wide range of disciplines in palaeontology.

We are seeking qualified applicants with expertise in the fields of invertebrate palaeontology, palaeobotany, or marine reptiles. This is a two-year position with the opportunity for a one-year extension. Prospective applicants should assess their qualifications and interests against the following information before applying:

Fossil invertebrate collections: The Museum houses significant collections of fossil invertebrates, with the bulk of the collection comprising Cretaceous ammonites and gastropods, and Late Cretaceous and early Palaeogene freshwater and terrestrial gastropods and bivalves. We seek an individual with interests in any of these areas, with expertise that can include taxonomy, systematics, and biostratigraphy.

Palaeobotanical collections: The palaeobotanical collections at the Museum include large collections from the Late Cretaceous (e.g., Horseshoe Canyon Formation) and early Palaeogene (e.g., various early-late Palaeocene localities from south-central Alberta). Applicants with interests in macrobotany, with expertise that can include morphology and systematics, evolutionary ecology, and palaeoclimate reconstruction, are encouraged to apply.

Fossil marine reptiles collections: The collection of fossil marine reptiles at the Museum is recognized globally as being among the largest and most spectacular. Our collection includes significant mosasaur and plesiosaur specimens from the Late Cretaceous of southern Alberta, as well as plesiosaur and ichthyosaur specimens from the Early Cretaceous of northeastern Alberta. We seek applicants with interests in any of these areas, with expertise that can include taxonomy, systematics, and functional morphology.

Setting: The Royal Tyrrell Museum is situated in Midland Provincial Park in southeastern Alberta, in the badlands of the lower Horseshoe Canyon Formation and the Red Deer River Valley. We are within a day’s drive of Dinosaur Provincial Park, Dry Island Buffalo Jump, and several significant exposures of Cretaceous and early Palaeogene age in southern Alberta.

To apply, applicants must:
Be legally able to work in Canada
• Have completed within the past five years a Ph.D. in a field relevant to palaeontological research
• Show a track record of high-quality peer-reviewed publications

The successful applicant for this position will:• Work within the guidelines of the Province of Alberta Historical Resources Act, the legislation that governs palaeontological resources (
• Undertake fieldwork in support of research goals (if necessary)
• Work in cooperation with members of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology research, preparation, and collections teams
• Contribute to exhibit, communications, and educational programs of the Museum
• Publish scientific papers on the results of research
• Present research results at scientific meetings and other venues
• Be able to work independently and demonstrate evidence of excellence in research

• $50,000 annual salary
• Competitive benefit package
• Professional development, travel, and research budget

The Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society is strongly committed to an inclusive and diverse workplace and welcomes all applicants who may contribute to the further advancement of the field of palaeontology.

Interested individuals should email their curriculum vitae, a research proposal (two pages maximum) detailing their interests, expertise, and prospective research project, and the names and contact information of three references, no later than 4:30 p.m. on September 16, 2019 to:
Patty Ralrick
Business Manager
Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society
Phone : 403-821-2117
Fax: 403-820-6288
Mail: P.O. Box 7500, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0

Please note that only applicants who are chosen for the next stage of this selection process will be contacted. Shortlisted applicants will be expected to deliver a one-hour presentation to the public as part of the interview process.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Postdoc in Statistical Chronostratigraphy- Durham University

Durham University is seeking applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Statistical Chronostratigraphy, with a particular emphasis on Bayesian approaches to correlation on geological time scales. The Research Associate will join a research programme led by Martin Smith (PI, Earth Sciences), Andrew Millard (Archaeology) and Tom Nye (Statistics, Newcastle University). Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, this research project will develop new quantitative tools to infer evolutionary processes from the geological record, with a particular focus on the origin of complex animal ecosystems in the ‘Cambrian explosion’.

The successful applicant will develop, implement and test an objective Bayesian model for chronostratigraphic correlation, to be applied to geological and palaeontological datasets. A coherent statistical technique for synthesizing all available data will generate precise stratigraphic correlations between independent geological sections, allowing simultaneous analysis of geochemical, ichnological, biostratigraphic and sequence stratigraphic information, and the integration of absolute radiometric age estimates. A Bayesian approach will allow uncertainties to propagate between data types, giving accurate age estimates with well-constrained error margins.

This post is full time & fixed term for 36 months. Applications close midday 30-Aug-2019. More details are available at: