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PhD position in Environmental Chemistry, Germany

The Department of Analytical Environmental Chemistry (AUC) at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) is offering a PhD student (m/f) position in Leipzig/Germany for 3 years (TVöD, 13 (50%)) starting on December 1, 2010 or later.

Job Description:This PhD work “Elucidating bioaccumulation of emerging organic contaminants based on their molecular properties” will be carried out in cooperation with the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA). Currently, partitioning of organic pollutants into environmental matrices as well as bioaccumulation into biota are estimated from simple regression models that use the octanol-water partitioning coefficient (KOW), aqueous solubility, or vapor pressure. However, limitations of such methods have been frequently addressed, such as large uncertainty in experimental values of KOW etc. and least extrapolatability of the regression equation toward new types of compounds. The latter is extremely crucial for emerging contaminants, as they are often out of the application domain of the model.
This project aims to study, in details, the partitioning properties of emerging organic contaminants to biological phases. The work will start with experimental determination of partitioning coefficients to simple phases (e.g., polymers, solvents) to elucidate general partitioning properties of new types of chemicals. Column and batch experiments will be performed for this purpose. Chemicals to be studied include brominated flame retardants, organosiloxanes, heterocyclic aromatic compounds, and highly polar chemicals. Empirical and theoretical models will be evaluated for estimating the partitioning coefficients. Experimental and modeling efforts will be extended to complex environmental materials including biological tissues.

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Prerequisites for candidates
Strong motivation to complete PhD in the fields of environmental chemistry, high interest in both theory and application, and scientific enthusiasm are key prerequisites. Expected backgrounds are: master/diploma degree in chemistry-related subjects; excellent knowledge on physical chemistry and environmental chemistry; lab experience, preferably in organic chemical trace analysis; good English proficiency; willing to work in an international groupWe offer excellent supervision in a motivated team that works on new concepts for a better understanding of the environmental fate of organic chemicals.

The Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) is an equal opportunity employer. We seek to increase the number of women in research and particularly encourage qualified women to apply.

For more information please contact
Prof Dr. Kai-Uwe Goss, telephone 0341/235-1411, email kai-uwe.goss-at-ufz.de or
Dr. Satoshi Endo, telephone 0341/235-1818, email satoshi.end-at-ufz.de

Please send your application before November 1, 2010 to: Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Personnel Department, Kennziffer 94/2010, Permoserstraße 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany.

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