Post-Doc Position: Stable Isotope Ecology, University of Utah

The stable isotope ecology and biogeochemistry group at the University of Utah is soliciting applications for new postdoctoral research associates; positions are immediately available to work with our interdisciplinary team. We are looking for creative, independently motivated scientists who would contribute to projects in one or more of the following areas:

1) Nitrogen balance within mixed-use catchments. Wildland catchments are commonly observed to act as buffers in the cycling of nitrogen, exporting limited nitrogen loads even in areas where anthropogenic activity has led to high levels of atmospheric deposition. This project will build on regional monitoring data and site-based mechanistic studies to develop nitrogen budgets for catchments draining the Wasatch Mountains (Utah) into the Jordan River Valley.  Research will focus on identifying mechanisms linking anthropogenic deposition in the wildland headwaters with catchment biogeochemistry, from the headwaters through the highly urbanized tailwaters of these streams.

2) Analyses of the isotopic composition of CO2 in urban and wildland
ecosystems. Long-term observations of CO2 concentrations and isotopic composition reveal significant CO2 sources from heterogoenous landscapes as well as changes in ecosystem carbon dynamics over time. Complementing these observations are highly resolved spatial and temporal urban emissions data (Hestia). This project will build on a local flask sampling network, decadal-scale observations of CO2 concentrations, and real-time, high resolution measurements of the isotopic composition of CO2 from both
stationary measurements and vehicular sampling.  This dense network of CO2 observations has enormous potential for advancing our mechanistic understanding of
carbon dynamics along urban to rural gradients.

3) Integration of landscape-level heterogeneity in the H and O isotopic composition of heterotroph tissues. Field studies designed to develop the application of H and/or O isotopes in migration research routinely reveal large ranges of isotopic variation among individuals, and despite its significant contribution to uncertainty in migration applications our understanding of the origin of this variation is limited. This study will leverage modeling and regional field sampling to identify processes that control inter-individual variance in the light stable isotope composition of consumers, advancing migration research applications and improving our understanding of H and O flow and isotopic fractionation within food webs.

Each project will benefit from partnerships and infrastructure available through the iUTAH EPSCoR program and the Interuniversity Training for Continental-scale Ecology Macrosystems biology project. The newly recruited researchers will have access to world-class aquatic and atmospheric biogeochemistry and isotope geochemistry laboratory facilities at the University of Utah.

Deadline: Review of applications will begin immediately and the positions will remain open until filled.

For More Information: If you have any questions about the announcement feel free to contact Rebecca Barnes ( or Gabe Bowen (

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in its workforce. In compliance with applicable federal and state laws, University of Utah policy of equal employment opportunity prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, veteran’s status, status as a qualified person with a disability, or genetic information. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Veteran’s preference is extended to applicants, consistent with University policy and Utah state law.

The University of Utah is a comprehensive and diverse Research I public institution located in the Wasatch Front urban corridor with easy access to research and recreational opportunities in the Rocky Mountains, Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau. Salt Lake City is a dynamic, high-tech and bike-friendly metropolitan area with high-quality cultural and entertainment amenities, an extensive public transit system, and a sunny, dry four-season climate and ‘the Greatest Snow on Earth’.

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