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University of Bern: Two Ph.D. positions about micro- and nanoplastics

The Soil Science Group of the Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland, is inviting applications for Two Ph.D. position about the occurrence and fate of micro- and nanoplastics in arable soils

Significant amounts of plastics end up in agricultural soils by littering, sewage sludge and compost application, the use of plastic foils, irrigation with contaminated water, atmospheric deposition and many other sources. The plastics might be already in the micro- or nano size range or disintegrate to small plastic items like microplastics (MP) or nanoplastics (NP). These MP and NP are known to have negative effects on organisms and soil properties and might affect soil ecology and fertility.

One PhD student will work 1) about the analysis of MP in soils, 2) the effects of MP on soil chemical properties and 3) the transport of MP in agricultural soils.
One PhD student will work on 1) the analysis of NP in soils, 2) the uptake of NP into plants and 3) the degredation of MP and NP in soils.

The successful candidates will have a Master in Geography, Geology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences or similar disciplines. Experience in field sampling, in lab work and in using analytical instruments is required. Specific experience with method development, MP/NP research, research about nano particles, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy, py-GCMS or STXM is an asset. The successful candidate will have good English writing and communication skills.

Further information
The salary is according to SNF guidelines, with funding guaranteed for 4 years starting from 01.09.2021 or later. Please send a single PDF including a letter of motivation, a complete CV and the names and Email of two referees to microplastic.bern@gmail.com until 04.08.2021.

For further information, please contact Dr. Moritz Bigalke, moritz.bigalke@giub.unibe.ch.



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