Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Organic and Inorganic Geochemistry at the NASA Johnson Space Center
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, Texas, part of the Universities Space Research Association, invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher to conduct NASA-supported work in research at the interface of organic and inorganic geochemistry.
The successful candidate should have expertise in the analysis of organic molecules and their inorganic host phases for multiple research projects and will work with Drs. Eve Berger and Aaron Burton on two projects. Project one involves characterizing changes in organic and mineralogical composition of organic-bearing asteroidal and cometary simulant materials after hydrothermal and impact processing. Project two involves characterizing the interactions of chiral ligands with a variety of cations to determine if chirality has an effect on the resulting complex, to explore whether this could be a viable route for prebiotic evolution leading to homochirality.
The position requires a Ph. D. in geochemistry or inorganic chemistry, and the successful candidate must have expertise in scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and solution-phase coordination chemistry, as well as experience processing insoluble organic material such as kerogen for analysis. Experience with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry is a strong plus. The positions will be offered for an initial period of two years, with a possible extension to a maximum of three years. Candidates must be able to pass a detailed government background investigation. And due to security issues, citizens of U.S. State Department Designated Countries (see link under “ECP Notices” at http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/nasaecp/) are not eligible. Interested applicants should apply to the posting at https://usracareers.silkroad.com/ and must submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae with list of publications, a two- to three-page statement of research interests and plans, and a list of at least three professional references. For general information about LPI please go to https://www.lpi.usra.edu/.