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Lecturer in sedimentary ancient DNA

Landscape Dynamics and Ecology

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £42,155 to £53,353 Per Annum
Full Time Permanent
Closing Date:  Tuesday 11 April 2023
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  2183223WR

Lecturer in sedimentary ancient DNA

Post will be based in the School of Geography & Environmental Science within the Landscape Dynamics and Ecology research theme. In addition there will be opportunities to work with molecular focused colleagues in the School of Biological Sciences and School of Ocean and Earth Sciences.

Southampton is in the top 1% of world Universities and one of the UK’s top 10 research-intensive universities, with an international reputation for leading research, teaching, and enterprise activities. The School of Geography of Environmental Science was ranked fifth among all UK universities in the 2022 subject league table published by The Guardian, and our REF 2021 (research excellence framework) result ranked the School =3rd nationally as measured by GPA. 

The School of Geography & Environmental Science is now seeking to appoint a Lecturer focused on developing sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) research within the School. 

This appointment will support the strategic development of Southampton’s excellence in palaeoenvironmental research by moving it into the molecular era. Current palaeo research within the School is based on analyses of recent and ancient sediments (lakes, peats, soils, archaeological contexts) and focused across a range of areas, including past climate reconstruction, human-environmental interactions, ecosystem resilience (terrestrial/floral and aquatic), and biological resource use in archaeological settings. Increasingly research is focused on addressing current global challenges, including evolving needs for nature-based solutions to anthropogenic environmental problems, carbon (and biogeochemical) cycling, biodiversity, geographic and temporal tracking of invasive species, and locating cryptic species. We aim to recruit someone who works with sedaDNA to compliment and develop these and other research foci. 

The School already has ultra-clean facilities for extraction (one of only a few such facilities in the UK), that allows us to extract low-concentration DNA and process samples for further analysis from soil, peat, sediment (e.g., terrestrial and aquatic, and associated with archaeological sites). Currently, further analysis takes place at facilities elsewhere in the University, via cross-school collaboration, or it is done off-site, and opportunities are available for the successful applicant to develop our own laboratories appropriately in order to deliver world-class research. 

We welcome applications from scholars with a PhD (or equivalent professional qualification and/or experience) whose research engages with disciplinary specialities such as (but not limited to) limnology, biogeochemistry, freshwater and/or terrestrial ecosystems, spatial ecology, global environmental change, palaeoclimatology and Quaternary research. Methodological approaches of particular relevance include molecular approaches whereby applicants have expertise in sedaDNA, or molecular expertise that could be applied to, or compliment, sedaDNA (e.g. eDNA, bioinformatics, molecular markers, biomarkers etc). We especially welcome applicants with an emerging track record of research excellence and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively across (sub)disciplines.

Teaching activities for this post will be at undergraduate and/or postgraduate-taught (MSc) level, conducted through lectures, tutorials, practicals, seminars, and/or fieldwork. Teaching responsibilities will involve co-teaching on core programme modules and/or field courses, with scope for developing new modules in specialist disciplinary areas. There is wide potential in these posts for developing and contributing innovative modes of teaching and learning. We welcome applications from scholars with an interest in, and/or previous experience with decolonising and diversifying curricula, as well as wider experiences of equality/justice work in STEM. Experience with undergraduate and/or postgraduate teaching is preferred, but training towards a Post-graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) qualification will be provided as appropriate. The School and University also offers mentorship support and an variety of opportunities for skill-building and professional development.

The post is tenable from summer 2023.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Justin Sheffield (Head of School; or Professor Pete Langdon (Palaeo lead; 

The School of Geography and Environmental Science is committed to fostering a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion. We welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates, and particularly encourage applications from candidates belonging to groups who are under-represented within academic posts at the University, including, but not limited to: people from Black and minority ethnic groups; and disabled people. The School holds a bronze Athena SWAN award and are committed to providing equal opportunities for all and offer a range of family friendly policies, flexi-time and flexible working. We are a Disability Confident employer and if you are a candidate with a disability we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process, and will make reasonable adjustments to support the interview process. If you have had periods of leave that may have impacted your research you may wish to disclose this in your application so the selection panel can consider your circumstances.  We are also acutely aware that the Covid-19 pandemic has had differential impacts on your research trajectory, so encourage you to disclose this if you wish. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion | University of Southampton

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Anjali Mavi (HR Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 4043 or email  Please quote reference 2183223WR on all correspondence.

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