Research Associate/Senior Research Associate - School of Earth Sciences

United Kingdom
£33,797 - £38,017 per annum (Grade I) £38,017 - £42,792 per annum (Grade J)
Sep 27, 2020
Oct 26, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol seeks a post-doctoral research associate/senior research associate (PDRA) to investigate tectonic controls on porphyry copper formation. Porphyry copper deposits (PCDs) supply most of the world's copper, a critical metal in global efforts to transition to a greener low-carbon economy, and yet finding PCDs is becoming increasingly difficult as they are rarely exposed at the surface. This project will explore the apparent relationship between PCD formation and orogenic stress, focusing on the Laramide PCD belt in the southwestern USA (primarily Arizona) and northern Mexico. The PDRA will be responsible for four primary tasks:
  • Create an ArcGIS spatial-temporal database of magmatism, crustal thickening, crustal relaxation/extension, magma fertility, and mineralisation across the southwestern USA and northern Mexico PCD provinces.
  • Conduct field mapping and structural analysis of key field sites and identify and sample critical structures for kinematic analysis and dating.
  • Combine whole rock and zircon trace-element analysis with U-Pb dating to track magma fertility in the build up to, during, and after peak compression.
  • Work with experts in plate modelling to put the results into a broader tectonic context.

The project is fully funded for 2 years and 9 months by the global mining company, BHP, and is a collaborative venture between the University of Bristol and the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth, Australia. The PDRA will be based in Bristol but will travel to Perth to carry out relevant geochronological and geochemical analytical work. An ideal start date is 1 January 2021 but a later start date will be considered in exceptional circumstances.

The successful candidate will have a PhD (or equivalent) in Earth Sciences and a proven track record for research excellence, particularly involving fieldwork. Essential attributes include experience in at least two of: tectonics, structural geology, field mapping, geochronology, thermochronology, trace-element or whole rock geochemistry, and ore deposits. Desirable attributes include experience in geographical information systems (e.g. ArcGIS) and plate modelling.

For more information regarding the position, please contact Dr Frances Cooper at Bristol ( ), or Dr Tony Kemp ( ) and Dr Bob Loucks ( ) at UWA.

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

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