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at Plymouth University Plymouth in Plymouth (Published at 17-11-2020)

Two Postdoctoral Research Fellows are required to work at the University of Plymouth (UoP) on this large multidisciplinary NERC funded project Biodegradable Plastics ? Assessing Environmental Risk (BIO- PLASTIC ? RISK). The project is led by Prof. Richard Thompson working together with researchers at the University of Bath (Dr Antoine Buchard and colleagues) and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (Prof Pennie Lindeque, and colleagues) and external collaborators in industry and policy. Both posts will be based in the International Marine Litter Research Unit, Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Plymouth.




You will work alongside another fellow (Post 1, Environmental Biology- see A7560 for details) as part of a larger team at UoP including: Dr Mick Hanley, Dr Anne Plessis, Dr George Littlejohn, Dr Michael Cunliffe, Prof Richard Handy and Dr Lee Durndell and technical staff.




Primary responsibilities:



  • To develop a methodology for the analysis of biodegradable bioplastics by pyrolysis-GCMS, including a set of markers for the detection of those in the environment

  • To assist with the installation and optimisation of a pyrolysis unit on the GC-FID, GC-MS and GCxGC-TOFMS instrumentation in our research laboratory

  • To characterise biodegradable plastics, fragments and leachates

  • To assist the team in ascertaining the kinetics of degradation for biodegradable plastics in air, soil and water.

  • To work with the Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Environmental Biology (Post 1) and other team members

  • To assist with coordination of the project in general

  • To analyse and present the project and its outcomes to the research team, stakeholders, scientific and public audiences.

  • To engage with relevant national and international stakeholders and organisations

  • To write research reports and manuscripts for publication

You will join a leading international team examining the effects of plastic debris in the environment. Led by Prof Richard Thompson (a marine biologist based in the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre) this team were the first to describe the accumulation of microplastic in the ocean and have since been working to establish the environmental consequences of this debris. The team have an excellent reputation for their work with papers in Science, Nature, Current Biology, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal society and many other leading scientific journals. Their work has directly informed industry and policy in the UK, EU and internationally.




You will be based at the University of Plymouth and will work as part of a wider team of academic and technical staff as well as research fellows at collaborating institutions. It is anticipated there will be especially close working with colleagues, at the nearby Plymouth Marine Laboratory where work will be coordinated by Prof Pennie Lindeque.




You will have:



  • Appropriate postgraduate academic qualification in a relevant field, usually a doctorate or recognised equivalent including professional accreditations and qualifications, for example BSc, MSc, PhD in Analytical Chemistry, Organic Geochemistry, Polymer science, or related disciplines.

  • Knowledge of methods of analysis of organic compounds to establish and enable innovative and novel methods in the analysis of bioplastics and additives: for example gas chromatography, or liquid chromatography.

  • Track-record of published research at the appropriate level and of contributing to and/or developing collaborative research and stakeholder networks.

  • Ability to plan, manage, organise and assess own research contributions.



For an informal discussion please contact Lee Durndell, Lecturer in Chemistry Richard Thompson or Professor of Marine Biology - e-mail [email protected] / [email protected]




Please enclose your CV, including details of any publications together with your completed application form.




Interviews are likely to take place on 7th January 2021.




Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the University is currently implementing a number of safety measures as per Government advice therefore the successful applicant may be required to work from home in the first instance.




Flexible working options including job share will be considered.




The University of Plymouth is committed to equality of opportunity, promoting a diverse and inclusive culture, demonstrated through our commitment to the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and as a Stonewall diversity champion. All applications will be judged solely on merit, however, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently under-represented in the workforce, for example black and minority ethnic groups.




University of Plymouth holds a TEF (Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework) Silver by the Office for Students.




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