Research Associate - Meteorite Curation And Analysis

University of Manchester

Postdoctorate Position 18 months Manchester, UK

Uploaded 4 Apr 2019

Job Description

The Lost Meteorites of Antarctica Project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust with support from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to explore new Meteorite Stranding Zones in Antarctica for meteorites that are encapsulated within ice. 

More details of the project can be found at https://ukantarcticmeteorites.com/. 

The first field season to Antarctica in December 2018-February 2019 recovered meteorites from the surface of blue ice fields in the Antarctic interior. These samples will arrive in Manchester in June 2019, where they will be preliminarily curated and classified to meet international standards. This meteorite curation and analysis position is funded by The University of Manchester, Faculty of Science and Engineering. 

Overall Purpose of the Job: 

The appointee will perform laboratory and database curation tasks, undertake preliminary characterisation and analysis of a new UK Antarctic meteorite collection, perform research studies, and publish and communicate project outcomes.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities or Duties: 

The range of duties include:

  • Perform initial characterisation and classification of recovered Antarctic meteorites and submit results to the Meteoritical Society nomenclature committee.
  • Lead record keeping in a curation database.
  • Liaise with the British Antarctic Survey geology collection curator and the Project meteorite oversight committee.
  • Analyse and interpret meteorite analytical results and write up results for scientific publications and reports.
  • Continue to update knowledge and develop skills through training.

Person Specification

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • PhD or equivalent in a relevant subject (geology / planetary science).
  • Experience working with, and undertaking analysis of, extraterrestrial samples.
  • The ability to evaluate and analyse experimental data.
  • Publication record in research journals, appropriate to academic career level.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Good time management and organisational skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to follow lab health and safety procedures.
  • Ability to meet deadlines. 

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, Experience and Qualifications:

  • Experience with curation of meteorite samples and/or geological specimens.
  • Good knowledge of meteorite groups and classification schemes.
  • Experience of optical microscopy, electron microprobe and SEM techniques.
  • Experience with micro-CT techniques and micro-CT data analysis.
  • Experience of sample curation databases.
  • Experience with preparation of geological materials (for example, thin sections, polished blocks, cutting/splitting).
  • Experience working in a clean room laboratory.
  • Ability to liaise and network with different members of the UK and international meteorite community.

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