• Interested to work with us as a PhD student or postdoc?  contact Emmanuelle Javaux to discuss possibilities of funding (yearly deadlines in January) by the FRS-FNRS.
  • NEW!! postdoctoral and PhD positions available ! 2021
  • The project PORTAL (PhOtotrophy on Rocky habiTAble pLanets) funded by the BRAIN-BE 2.0 Research Programme of the Belgian Science Policy Office. PORTAL is a multidisciplinary project led by the University of Liège (P Cardol,  M Gillon, E Javaux, Y Lara; coordinator: Prof. E. Javaux) and the Royal Observatory of Belgium (V Dehant, T Van Hoolst), and done in collaboration with  scientists from the University of Bordeaux (F Selsis), the Observatory of Geneva (M Turbet), and the Freie Universität Berlin (L Noack). Its central objectives are to assess the physical and radiative conditions existing at the surface of the potentially habitable exoplanets in orbit around the nearby very-low-mass star TRAPPIST-1, to investigate the possibilities of various types of phototrophy in these conditions and their potential atmospheric signatures, based on microbial strategies developed on the Early Earth and in present extreme habitats.  Several postdoctoral and doctoral positions are available, positions will remain open until filled. Postdoc salary or fellowship, and PhD scholarship are competitive and allow comfortable living in Belgium. Travel grants (conferences, on site missions) and equipment (laptop or desktop computer) will be available for the applicants. Appointments for postdocs are for 1 year each, renewable once depending on results and progress. Appointment for PhD student is 4 years, with a mid-term evaluation after 2 years.
    see the job offers here . All positions are now filled.
  • NEW! 2021! In the frame of the PDR FRS-FNRS project "Life in Archean coastal environments" and the ICDP BASE project (Barberton Archean Surface Environments), a position is open for a postdoctoral researcher.
  • The 3.22 Ga Moodies Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa, is the oldest best preserved siliciclastic succession preserving coastal sediments, from marine to terrestrial environments. The recently approved International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) project BASE provides a unique opportunity to conduct geochemical and micropaleontological high-resolution studies on freshly drilled pristine core material (drilling in 2021).  Our project will explore this exceptional preservation window to characterize the diversity, taphonomy, ecology, and identity of microfossil assemblages in diverse environments and in relation with other traces of life such as widespread microbial mats preserved in silicified sandstones and non-traditional isotopic biosignatures. The expected outcomes include a better understanding of early Earth habitability and evolution of the early microbial biosphere in coastal siliciclastic ecosystems, as well as a refinement of biogenicity criteria and fossilization (taphonomic) processes.This project will also provide comparative data for the interpretation of observations on possible habitats and biosignatures on early Mars during the ESA EXOMARS 2022 mission, which will use similar instruments in a similar siliciclastic setting (Oxia planum, with Noachian bedded clay-rich sediments in channels and plain), but also for the future NASA Mars sample return mission that will allow geochemical analyzes on Earth in clean labs.
  • Candidates should have a PhD degree in sciences, preferably in geosciences and/or chemistry or in biology. The ideal candidates will show scientific curiosity, ability to work in collaboration, interests in early life evolution and astrobiology, experience in geobiology (microfossils, microbial mats); light and electron microscopy, Raman and FTIR micro-spectroscopy, experimental taphonomy, and interest in Astrobiology. Fellowship is competitive and allows comfortable living in Belgium. Appointment is for 1 year, renewable up to 2 times (3 years in total) depending on results and progress.
  • To apply, send your CV with a motivation letter clearly indicating which of the skills above you have to offer (plus 2 reference letters) in English to the coordinator of the project Emmanuelle Javaux. A first round of selection will occur in august 2021 (starting date is flexible), but the position (preferably starting in october 2021) will remain opened until being filled.


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