The Plant and Soil Science Department at the University of Kentucky (UK) is recruiting a highly motivated Ph.D. graduate student in the Environmental Soil Chemistry/Mineralogy Lab available as soon as Fall 2021. The candidate will engage in an interdisciplinary research project funded by the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative associated with abiotic and biological transformations of ammonium in diverse soils using a combination of wet chemical and advanced imaging/spectroscopic techniques (X-ray diffraction, Attenuated total reflection-Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy-in collaboration with UK Microscopy Center, and NanoSIMS-in collaboration with EMSL at Richland, WA) to better understand the cycling of nitrogen. This project will involve elements of surface and solution chemistry, mineralogy, and microbiology. The research assistantship includes a tuition waiver, health insurance, and an annual stipend of $22,000.
The applicant must have a B.S. and/or M.S. degree in soil science, chemistry, geological science, biology, environmental science, or a related field. Preference will be given to candidates with research experience, strong academic performance, and excellent written communication skills. The student will be expected to publish findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals and participate in professional meetings. There is also the opportunity to gain teaching experience as a teaching assistant. Interested applicants should send their CV, cover letter, and contact information for two or three references to Dr. Chris Matocha (firstname.lastname@example.org). Screening will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.