Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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Postdoctoral Fellow in Arctic Ocean methane oxidation
Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm University
  • Postdoctoral Researcher

Project description
The shallow shelf seas north of Siberia show hotspots of high methane concentrations in bottom waters that might stem from ongoing organic matter decomposition, or from preformed deposits including methane hydrates and deeper thermogenic pools. In addition, increasing inflow of warm Atlantic water might destabilize methane hydrates along the slopes. How much of this methane reaches the atmosphere depends on the efficiency of methane oxidation in sediments and the water column by aerobic or anaerobic microbial processes. Rates of methane oxidation in this area are largely unknown, limiting projections of current and future methane emissions from this important hot spot region.
The aim of this post doc position is to provide observational constraints on methane oxidation rates in the Siberian Arctic Ocean, using samples and data from previous Arctic Ocean expeditions that are already available in Stockholm. These include a growing dataset on concentrations, 13C- and D-isotopic composition of methane across the water column and sediment pore water at hot spot and background locations, surface sediment samples, and sediment cores from decadal to glacial/interglacial age.
Potential approaches might include the use of gradients in methane isotopic composition with distance from source, sediment incubations, biomarker approaches etc. Applicants are asked to provide a research plan as part of their application. The advertized position is part of the FORMAS project OASIS (Ocean Acidification in the SIberian Seas: The impact of permafrost thaw and methane; PI Birgit Wild), and is connected to a VR Distinguished Professor Grant (collaboration partner Örjan Gustafsson).

Main responsibilities
The postdoctoral fellow will be responsible for leading efforts to quantify methane oxidation on the Siberian Arctic Ocean shelves. This might include aerobic and/or anaerobic methane oxidation; sediment and/or water column processes; current, past and/or future conditions; and it might focus on selected areas of high interest. The post doc will be in charge of developing a research plan, executing laboratory work and data processing, writing publications as lead author and supporting publications as co-author, and coordinating the communication with international partners. For more information on the possible research, please contact Ass. Prof. Dr. Birgit Wild (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


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