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Postdoc in Arctic coastal erosion

Permafrost coasts, covering about 65% of the total Arctic Ocean shorelines, are in the hotspot of change. They experience both warming and increased physical …

3 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2790 - € 4402 per maand


Permafrost coasts, covering about 65% of the total Arctic Ocean shorelines, are in the hotspot of change. They experience both warming and increased physical forcing from waves, storms, and tides due to diminishing sea ice. The massive organic carbon pool stored in permafrost is therefore increasingly exposed to thaw and mobilization in aquatic systems. Here it can be degraded into greenhouse gases, strengthening climate warming, or buried into sediments, attenuating climate warming.

To what extent this flux of permafrost carbon will affect future climate is poorly understood but we know that it depends on the degree of degradation after thaw and during transport across continental shelves.

This project, part of a prestigious VIDI grant by Associate Prof Jorien Vonk, will help to determine the fate of permafrost carbon in the marine system which will enable us to improve quantification of the impact of permafrost thaw on climate. You will join Vonk's Arctic Biogeochemistry research group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam along with a parallel hired PhD student on the VIDI project. The other team members work on related topics funded through an ERC starting grant THAWSOME, the large EU consortium Nunataryuk, as well as the Dutch excellence program Netherlands Earth System Science Center (NESSC).

Your duties

• Collect samples at eroding coastal sites in the Canadian and Alaskan Beaufort Sea, and join/help coordinate a ship-based expedition in this region
• Perform hydrodynamic fractionation of collected samples according to their density, settling velocity and size, in collaboration with the VIDI PhD student
• Set-up and test a settling velocity apparatus in the laboratory
• Perform molecular and biogeochemical analyses on the sample fractions
• Present results at conferences and in peer-reviewed publications
• Play a role in supervising MSc and BSc students and/or our Hydrology and Earth Science teaching programmes
• Contribute with your own unique character to our dynamic group


• PhD in Earth sciences or related disciplines
• Field experience in remote locations, ability to work independently in challenging conditions
• Laboratory experience, e.g. organic/isotope (geo)chemistry, sedimentology
• Hands-on personality, problem-solving attitude
• Excellent ability to communicate in spoken and written English
• Drivers licence


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2790 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.9 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension with another 1.5 to 2 years. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter along with the names of two references until January 20, 2021. The job interviews are planned for February, starting date would be April 1st at the latest. Covid-19 restrictions will be taken into account for traveling, both during the interview stage as well as during the start of the project.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions

If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Associate Professor Jorien Vonk
E-mail: j.e.vonk@vu.nl

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