Speleothem reconstructions of eastern Asian climate and linkages to human evolution: Postdoctoral Fellow position

  • Employer: IBS Center for Climate Physics, Busan, South Korea
  • Salary: 50-60 million KRW/year (~40,000-45,000 USD/year)
  • Term: Full Time, 2 years, with possibility for renewal
  • Start time:  March-April 2024

Applicants for this position should have a PhD in Earth sciences, Geology, Geochemistry, Geography, Quaternary science, or a related field. Candidates are expected to have a strong publication record, a high level of independence, curiosity, and creativity, and an interest in working in an international and interdisciplinary research environment. Fluency in English is required. Experience with geochemical analyses in carbonates or sediments (e.g., IR-MS, LA-ICP-MS) is desirable.

The successful candidate will work with Dr. Jiaoyang Ruan (IBS Young Scientist Fellow) and Prof. Axel Timmermann to develop paleoclimate records using dozens of stalagmite samples from SW China, covering the last 200 thousand years. The study area is one of the hotspot regions for the dispersal of Denisovans and Homo sapiens in eastern Asia, as documented by regional fossil data and latest model simulations (Ruan et al. 2023, Science). More specifically, the candidate will reconstruct temperature variations by analyses of stalagmite clumped isotopes and TEX86. Besides, the candidate will infer changes in large-scale monsoon circulation and local hydroclimate by measuring stable oxygen isotopes of carbonate and fluid inclusions, carbon isotopes, and trace elemental compositions in stalagmites. This project will involve existing collaborations with paleoclimate leading experts at the Max Planck Institutes in Germany and Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. Integrating these new proxy data with the recently completed simulations of past climate and hominin habitats in the center (Timmermann et al. 2022, Nature, Zeller et al. 2023, Science, Yun et al. 2023, CP), this project will provide a unique case study in linking past climate change with human evolution in Asia.

The IBS Center for Climate Physics (ICCP, http://ibsclimate.org), directed by Dr. Axel Timmermann, is dedicated to advancing the understanding of natural climate variability, man-made climate change and their impacts on the life of the Earth. The ICCP is generously funded through the Institute for Basic Science (https://ibs.re.kr). 

The ICCP is located in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea. Busan has diverse natural landscape with beautiful coasts and mountains. From designer cafes, international movie and art festivals, award-winning restaurants to temples at the end of hiking trails, Busan has many to offer for everyone. 

Review of applications will start on Dec. 10th, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. Please submit a cover letter, a short statement of research interest, curriculum vitae, the name of 2 references, and up to three publications to Ms. Jenny Choi (hahadaye@pusan.ac.kr). If you have any further questions about this position, please feel free to contact Dr. Jiaoyang Ruan (jiaoyangruan@pusan.ac.kr).