One or more postdoctoral positions are available for research projects on the origin, residence times and geochemical signatures of deep crustal fluids and the subsurface microbial communities that are sustained by water-rock reactions in the deep Earth. Field, laboratory and modeling opportunities are available to extend the existing program to explore the implications of our work on Earth analogs to the search for life on the rocky bodies and ocean worlds of our solar system. Applicants with a PhD in geochemistry, geobiology, chemistry or related disciplines are encouraged to apply.
Summary of Current Research Program: Research on fracture fluids 1-3 km deep in Precambrian Shield rocks across Canada, Fennoscandian, South Africa and Brazil has revealed that such subsurface fluids rich in dissolved substrates such as hydrogen and methane sustain subsurface microbiology communities akin to those discovered at the hydrothermal vents (Sherwood Lollar et al., 2002 Nature; Sherwood Lollar et al., 2006 Chemical Geology, Sherwood Lollar et al., 2014 Nature; Li et al., 2016 Nature Communications). New collaborations in clumped methane isotope analysis are providing innovative models for delineating biotic and abiotic sources of methane (Etiope & Sherwood Lollar, 2013, Wang et al., 2015, Young et al., 2017; Giunta et al., 2018). By incorporating novel stable isotope techniques with conservative noble gas tracers, the extreme antiquity of these hydrogeologically ancient fracture waters has been demonstrated - with residence times ranging from tens of millions of years in the Witwatersrand basin (Lippmann-Pipke et al., 2011 Chemical Geology) to billions of years in the Timmins mine in Northern Ontario Canada (Holland et al., 2013 Nature, Warr et al., 2018 GCA). A diverse team of researchers at the Stable Isotope Lab, University of Toronto along with international collaborators are extending these findings through interdisciplinary studies across the breadth of geoscience, geobiology and planetary science and astrobiology.
If the excitement of subsurface exploration for deep fluids and subsurface life appeals to you, do apply to join our team!
Applicants please send a detailed CV, statement of research interests and potential fit to the team, along with 3 letters of recommendation directly to:
Dr. B. Sherwood Lollar, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto , 22 Russell Street , Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B1
Canada Tel: 416-978-0770
Due Date: Position is open immediately and will remain open until the position(s) are filled.