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Research positions

University of East Anglia

Faculty of Science

School of Environmental Sciences

Senior Research Associate in Isotope Geochemistry of Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases

Ref: RA2056

£35,333 to £42,155 per annum

Full-Time, Fixed Term 

Applications are invited for a Senior Research Associate (SRA) to undertake studies of the isotopic composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and the kinetic isotope fractionation during atmospheric methane (CH4) removal reactions. The SRA will work with Professor Jan Kaiser and a team of scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA), as part of the POLYGRAM ("POLYisotopologues of GReenhouse gases: Analysis and Modelling") consortium, a UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Highlight Topic project. CO2 and CH4 are the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases, but important questions remain unresolved about their geochemical cycling between atmosphere and Earth's surface, e.g., source-sink partitioning. The aim of POLYGRAM is to push the frontiers for both CO2 and CH4 polyisotopologue measurement capabilities in order to better constrain their global budgets.

The SRA has three key responsibilities:

  1. Method development for collecting and purifying CO2 from atmospheric and biospheric air samples and subsequent analysis for clumped isotopic species (13C16O18O/12C18O2) by isotope ratio mass spectrometry.
  2. Use of laser spectroscopy for quasi-continuous measurements of 13C/12C, 18O/16O and 17O/16O in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  3. Lab-based studies of isotopic fractionation in 13C/12C, 2H/1H and clumped methane species (13CDH3 and 12CD2H2) during atmospheric removal reactions by hydroxyl (OH) and chlorine (Cl) radicals.

The first two components involve fieldwork at the UEA-led greenhouse gas measurement station Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory, which is part of the European Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), ecosystem exchange in a UK research forest, regular atmospheric monitoring from volunteer observing ships, as well as sampling at polluted urban and industrial sites (e.g., cement factories).

The SRA will write up their research for publication in international, peer-reviewed science journals and present the work at national and international conferences, and to stakeholders and policymakers. They are expected to work with partners across the POLYGRAM consortium, including modellers, contribute their own ideas and insights to the project and, where appropriate, help with the supervision of postgraduate and undergraduate students within the research group.

This full-time post is available from 1 February 2023, for a fixed term period of up to 21 months.

Closing Date: Tuesday 10 January 2023

For more details see:

For further information about the position, please contact Jan (

Polygram studentships

PhD Studentships - please get in touch with any of the team to enquire about studentship possibilities



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