Research Associate, School of Earth Sciences

Bristol, United Kingdom
£33,199 - £37,345
28 Jan 2019
End of advertisement period
24 Mar 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Division/School School of Earth Sciences
Contract type Open Ended
Working pattern Full time
Salary £33,199 - £37,345
Closing date for applications 24-Mar-2019

Modelling of volcanic eruptions generally relies on equilibrium constitutive equations, despite the fact that most eruptive processes are inherently in disequilibrium. The DisEqm project, which started in 2016, has as its core goal to create an empirically-constrained, quantitative description of disequilibrium processes in basaltic volcanism, and to apply this to key volcanological problems through a new numerical modelling framework.

The Bristol PDRA will be responsible for high-pressure and high-temperature (HPHT) experiments on basalts in our experimental petrology laboratories to develop empirically-validated constitutive models for multiphase basaltic magma undergoing disequilibrium degassing and crystallization and to identify regions of parameter space of specific interest for 4D tomographic experiments to be conducted on the Diamond Light Source (DLS) synchrotron at Harwell.

The PDRA will generate basaltic samples in our existing rapid quench TZM cold-seal apparatus and then conduct HPHT rheological experiments on in our new HPHT cold-seal rheometer (up to 250 MPa and 1300°C). The rheometer is a world-first. It has been designed at Bristol and built by our technical staff in the Earth Sciences workshop.

We are currently entering the commissioning phase. The PDRA will be able to learn from and contribute to this process. Samples will be geochemically and texturally analysed using inter alia QEMSCAN, NanoSIMS, microRaman and FEG-EMPA in collaboration with partners at Manchester. Constitutive rheological equations will be generated by extension of methods previously developed at Bristol on analogue systems.

The successful candidate will have a strong background in the physical Earth sciences to PhD level. Essential attributes: experience of experimental research and quantitative analysis of experimental data; understanding of igneous petrology; a demonstrated capacity to complete complex projects to the highest standards; and strong communication, team-working and interpersonal skills. Desirable attributes: experimental petrology, SEM/EMPA/ion probe, image analysis, fluid dynamics, rheology, phase equilibria.

The DisEqm consortium is led by the University of Manchester, and includes the Universities of Bristol, Durham, Cambridge, and Arizona State and the Diamond Light Source at Harwell. The PDRA will be fully embedded in the broader project and will be encouraged to interact with collaborators from around the world. The PDRA will be supervised by Professor Heidy Mader and Dr Richard Brooker with support from the wider project team, particularly: Prof Mike Burton and Dr Margaret Hartley (Manchester), and Dr Ed Llewellin (Durham). The PDRA will join the large and vibrant volcanology and petrology groups in the School of Earth Sciences at Bristol. The School of Earth Sciences and the University of Bristol are committed to and offer considerable opportunities for ongoing professional development and mentoring of Early Career Researchers.

For more information, please contact Professor Heidy Mader and Dr Richard Brooker and refer to the further particulars at:

The closing date for applications will be 23:59 on Sunday 24th March 2019.

We appreciate and value difference, seeking to attract, develop and retain a diverse mix of talented people that will contribute to the overall success of Bristol and help maintain our position as one of the world’s leading universities.