Boron Isotope Proxy of Seawater pH for Coralline Algae postdoc, Northeastern University

Postdoc Research Opportunity – Boron Isotope Proxy of Seawater pH for Coralline Algae, Northeastern University

The Ries Lab ( in the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center (MSC) and the Williams Lab ( at W.M. Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, and Scripps College seek a postdoctoral researcher interested in conducting federally funded research focused on the calibration and application of the boron isotope proxy of seawater pH for coralline algae, to begin fall 2016.

Research will include calibrating the boron isotope seawater pH proxy for crustose coralline algae and applying these calibrations to the millennial scale reconstruction of seawater pH from long-lived algae obtained from high latitude waters—for which we are presently lacking high-resolution records of seawater pH. This opportunity affords access to newly acquired state-of-the-art analytical equipment at the MSC, including a laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer for trace element analysis, a powder x-ray diffractometer for mineralogical characterization, and a scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive spectrometry and electron backscatter diffraction for micro-imaging and elemental/mineralogical mapping of skeletal ultrastructure, and a 72-tank array for conducting ocean acidification experiments. The selected postdoc will receive interdisciplinary training in ocean acidification research, carbonate geochemistry, coralline algal biomineralization, boron isotope analysis (via multi-collector ICPMS), and paleo-pH reconstruction.

The postdoc will be based at Northeastern University’s MSC (, located on the shores of Massachusetts Bay on the Nahant tombolo (13 miles north of downtown Boston). The renovated MSC features a state-of-the-art flow through seawater facility, direct access to classic New England rocky shore intertidal study sites, an in-house SCUBA program, and small-craft research vessels. There will be opportunities for travel to the Claremont Colleges and Southampton University for lab work.

Applicants should be highly motivated and creative, possess strong writing and analytical skills, and have a solid foundation in both theoretical and applied isotope geochemistry (preferably focused on boron isotope systematics in carbonates). Funding for a postdoctoral fellow is available for one year with the option of renewal, pending funding availability. Interested individuals should contact Prof. Justin Ries ( and Prof. Branwen Williams (