Wednesday, November 25, 2020

PhD opportunities – Organic Geochemistry Group at CU Boulder

The Organic Geochemistry Group in the Department of Geological Sciences and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado Boulder is seeking for prospective students interested in pursuing a PhD in Geosciences in the fields of (1) paleoceanography and (2) ocean biogeochemistry.

1. Evaluating Climate Change and Kill Mechanisms Associated with the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction: A Model-Data Comparison Approach. This PhD project aims to tests hypotheses about the relationship between dramatic climate change, marine ecology, and carbon cycling across the Cretaceous/Paleogene mass extinction event. Research includes laboratory and analytical activities examining lipid biomarkers and their stable isotope composition using samples from ocean and continental drilling, which will be incorporated into climate and biogeochemical models.  

2. Microbial Lipidomics in Changing Oceans. This PhD project aims to tests hypotheses about lipid remodeling in marine microbes as a physiological adaptation to multiple environmental stressors using observational (cruises) and experimental (microcosm and mesocosm experiments) approaches. Research includes laboratory and analytical activities examining intact polar lipids (IPLs) and their degradation products (core lipids), which will be incorporated into larger dataset of metagenomics, metatranscriptomic, and geochemistry.

Applications from students with a robust foundation in Earth sciences, or related disciplines, and from diverse backgrounds and traditionally marginalized groups in STEM fields, are particularly encouraged to apply. Familiarity with organic and/or stable isotope geochemistry, paleoenvironmental sciences, oceanography, and data analysis is desired, but not essential. Interested candidates should contact Dr. Julio Sepúlveda (, including a brief interest statement and a CV/resume as a single PDF file.

The Organic Geochemistry Group is a diverse group of researchers from different backgrounds and nationalities that welcomes and embraces diversity. We are part of the Organic Geochemistry Lab, a state of-the-art analytical facility equipped with instrumentation in gas and liquid chromatography, low- and high-resolution mass spectrometry, and stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry, with an active network of collaborators. As the flagship university of the state of Colorado, CU Boulder is a dynamic community of scholars and learners with a proud tradition of academic excellence situated on one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. Collectively, CU Boulder researchers produce more papers in the geosciences—and generate more citations to those papers—than those at any other university in the world.

For more information about the Department of Geological Sciences Graduate Program*, INSTAAR, and our university, please visit: Department of Geological Sciences, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder 

*GEOL graduate program deadlines: International students (12/01); Domestic students (12/15)

Monday, November 23, 2020

Winners of the GSA GBGM Division Student Presentation Awards

Dear Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division Members,

It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the GSA 2020 student presentation awards. We were all so impressed with the quality of presentations by our student members, especially given that for many of us, this was our first time attending and presenting at a virtual conference.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our members who judged this year's competition. Without your feedback and support, this endeavor would not be possible. There were many interesting talks and posters at this year's GSA Meeting, so thank you to everyone who participated.

To all of our students, congratulations on presenting at GSA this year. All of the excellent entries from you all truly made choosing winners difficult, but here are the students who will receive an award this year:

Best oral presentation winners:
  • Gwen Antell - "Thermal Niches of Planktonic Foraminifera are Static Throughout Glacial-Interglacial Climate Change"
  • Jack Shaw - "Methodological Advances in Inferring Ancient Food Webs"
Best poster presentation winners:
  • Yu Kai Tan - "Freshwater Mussels in North America: Museum Collections and Pre-Industrial Biogeography"
  • Amelia Lindsay Kaufman - "Two Novel Biomineralized Tubular Fossils from the Terminal Ediacaran, Central Iran"
Honorable mentions:
  • Erica Scarpitti (oral presentation) - "Association Between Tympanic Bulla Morphology and Locomotion in Rodents: Application to the Fossil Record"
  • Katie Maloney (oral presentation) - "Possible Multicellular Green Algae in Early Tonian Marine Environments"
  • Tian Gan (poster presentation) - "Paleo-Speleothems as Evidence for Widespread Karstification in the Aftermath of the Marinoan Deglaciation (635 Ma) in South China"
As with previous years, we will be handing out prizes to our award winners at GBGM awards luncheon next year at GSA 2021.

We'd like to thank all of the students who contacted us and put their names forward for consideration. It was a real privilege to see and hear about the work you've been doing, and we encourage you to enter again next year. Recognizing the excellent work of our members is the most important aspect of the GBGM division, so please stay in touch. It is wonderful to see the faces of the student population of GSA GBGM and there is a bright future ahead for this group!

Thank you,
Alison Cribb and the GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Tenure Track position at Penn State in a field broadly related to sedimentary processes and the evolution of Earth's surface

The Department of Geosciences at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in a field broadly related to sedimentary processes and the evolution of Earth's surface. We seek creative colleagues working to understand connections between Earth’s surface dynamics and deep-Earth, ocean, climate, and/or biological systems. We are especially interested in applicants whose research, teaching, and diversity efforts would complement existing departmental strengths in geobiology, geochemistry, and geophysics.

The Department of Geosciences is part of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, which houses research programs spanning a broad range of Earth and planetary science, including the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and the Energy Institute. Successful applicants will be expected to engage with our community by developing vigorous, externally funded research programs, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, and working to advance diversity in geosciences. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in geosciences or related field at the time of appointment. 

We anticipate filling the position at the rank of Assistant Professor, although in exceptional cases more senior candidates will be considered. The appointment could begin as early as July 1, 2021. Review of applications will begin on January 4, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

Applications should be submitted online and include: (i) cover letter; (ii) curriculum vitae; (iii) statement of research plans and vision; (iv) statement of teaching philosophy and interests; (v) a separate diversity statement that demonstrates a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and an inclusive environment in their department/workplace and (vi) names and contact information for four references. Questions about the position should be directed to Peter J. Heaney, Search Committee Chair, at

The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences relies on the expertise, sensitivity and commitment of an inclusive faculty to enhance diversity, seek equity, and create a welcoming environment within our community. We are committed to nurturing a learning and working environment that respects differences in culture, age, gender, race, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation. In welcoming every candidate, we strive to meet the needs of professional families by actively assisting with partner-placement needs.

Full Ad here:

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

We have a winner!

 The GBGM community has spoken and we have a clear winner for our new logo:

We need to make a few small tweaks (so the design follows GSA rules), but we will unveil the official new GBGM logo soon!

Congratulations to logo designer Ichiko Sugiyama for her beautiful artwork! Check out Ichiko's science (as well as her other artwork) here:

Over 100 GBGM members voted on the new logo! The winning design received almost half of the "first choice" votes and there was a close race for second between designs #5 and #3 (the ammonite-DNA-stromatolite and ammonite-in-a-cell designs). The Division Officers would like to send a huge thank you to all the finalists for their hard work and beautiful designs (designers should keep an eye on their inbox for a prize follow-up).

Remember, merchandise with these six logo finalists will only be available for the next two months: Get them while you can!