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Postdoctoral Scholar, Marine Organic Geochemistry

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar, Marine Organic Geochemistry
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. The posted UCSC salary scales set the minimum pay based on the individual’s Experience Level, which is determined by the number of months of postdoctoral service at any institution. See the salary scale titled, Postdoctoral Scholar-Employee /Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow / Postdoctoral Scholar-Paid Direct -Fiscal Year. A reasonable estimate for this position is $60,000- $64, 522.
Percent time: Full-time (100%)
Anticipated start: As soon as possible after initial review of the applications. Ph.D. must be in hand at time of the initial appointment.
Position duration: Maximum Duration of Service in a Postdoctoral Title Postdoctoral Scholar appointments are full-time; the initial appointment is for a minimum of two years, with the possibility of reappointment. The total duration of an individual’s postdoctoral service may not exceed five years, including postdoctoral service at any institution.

Application Window

Open March 23, 2023 through Sunday, Dec 31, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)

Position description

The Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applications for a postdoctoral scholar to conduct research in marine organic geochemistry under the direction of Professor Matthew McCarthy. The appointee will be expected to conduct original research as part of an NSF-funded project focused on marine dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) microbial sources and subsequent transformation and cycling. The overall project involves both field and lab work, and is focused on novel biomarker approaches to understanding bacterial N sources and the formation of refractory DON, including new D-AA, compound-specific AA stable isotopes, and individual-molecule 14C measurements. The project also may offer the opportunity to explore position-specific AA isotope approaches, using a new gas-phase Orbitrap high resolution MS in UCSC’s light stable isotope facility. The successful applicant will be expected to assist in developing original research directions within the overall project goals and framework, based in part on their specific background and interests.

Because the position bridges organic geochemistry methods, biogeochemical cycling of marine dissolved organics, as well as microbial loop processes, a strong background and/or interests crossing these areas is highly desirable. Possible areas of experience include, but are not limited to: compound-specific isotope approaches, experience with hydrolysis, isolation and purification of organic biomarkers, molecular-level 14C analyses, Orbitrap applications, and lab culturing/ bacterial degradation approaches. The successful applicant should possess strong organizational, technical and interpersonal skills, and will be expected to work closely with a laboratory manager as well as both graduate and undergraduate students. Excellent communications skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with individuals having diverse skill sets and backgrounds are therefore also critical.

All documents and materials must be submitted as PDFs and should be forwarded to Please address any correspondence to Matthew McCarthy.

Required Documents/Materials

  • Research statement that briefly summarizes your relevant experience and research interests within the framework of the project described above.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Statement of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion: Statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented groups and your past and/or future contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through teaching and professional or public service. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements before preparing their application.
  • Three to five non-confidential letters of recommendation.

Full consideration will be given to applications completed by June 15, 2023. Applications received after this date will be considered only if the position has not been filled.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Ph.D. (or equivalent foreign degree) in oceanography, geochemistry, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or a related field.

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About UC Santa Cruz

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

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Job location

Santa Cruz, California