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Harvard University POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW ORGANIC GEOCHEMISTRY in Cambridge, Massachusetts



School Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department/Area Human Evolutionary Biology

Position Description

The Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University located in Cambridge, Ma, invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow position in the Uno Terrestrial Paleoecology Lab. The position will focus on applying biomarker approaches to reconstructing ecosystem and fire history in the Plio-Pleistocene of Africa with a particular focus on Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania and the middle Pleistocene to present in north Africa. The work will involve (1) sampling, analysis, and interpretation of plant waxes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) data extracted from wide range of sediments, including those from fluvial-lacustrine drill cores and outcrops, (2) statistical analysis of plant waxes and PAHs to differentiate pyrogenic from petrogenic sources, and 3) integration of this data with existing vegetation and hydroclimate data. Candidates with prior experience in these lab skills or analytical approaches, including spectral analysis, are strongly preferred. Past and ongoing work on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts in STEM , Paleoanthropology, or the Earth Sciences is also preferred. The candidate will be expected to work collaboratively with members of the lab group and colleagues at other institutions.

Candidates should have completed or be nearing completion of a PhD in organic geochemistry or a related earth science field at the time of application. Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills and ability to use independent judgment required. Evidence of the ability to conduct and publish high quality research is required.

Appointment will be for 1-year, with continuation pending progress.

The search will remain open for at least 30 days after the ad appears and will continue until the position is filled.

The desired start date for this position is on or around September 1, 2023.

Basic Qualifications

Doctorate in human evolutionary biology or related discipline required by the time the appointment begins.

Additional Qualifications

Proficiency with organic geochemical methods, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and compound specific isotope ratio mass spectrometry.

Special Instructions

Please submit the following materials through the ARIeS portal ( Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.

1 Cover letter, including a description of teaching/advising experience and philosophy and comments on any efforts to encourage diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

  1. Curriculum Vitae

  2. Names and contact information of three to five referees, who will be asked by a system-generated email to upload a letter of recommendation once the candidate’s application has been reviewed. Three letters of recommendation are required, and the application is considered complete only when at least three letters have been received.

    Contact Information

Professor Kevin Uno

Contact Email

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.

Minimum Number of References Required 3

Maximum Number of References Allowed 5


biomarker, isotope, human evolution, PAH , paleofire

Supplemental Questions