Meine Leidenschaft. Mein Beruf. Mein Verband.

PhD Position in evolution of the intramountain basins of the Dinarides

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)


The General Geology research group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany,
announces 1 PhD position associated with a new Weave (DFG-FWF)-funded project (“Did the Dinaric
Alps force an arid climate and speciation during Miocene Climatic Optimum?”)

It is a collaborative effort of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Natural History Museum in Vienna that aims to derive
a timeline of the evolution of the intramountain basins across the Dinarides, which is pivotal for
understanding the mechanisms controlling the mountain growth and its interactions with the climate and
fauna. Candidates with interests in sedimentary basin dynamics, stratigraphy, radiometric dating,
tectonics and paleoclimate should apply.

Project Summary
Causal links between the rise of large mountain ranges such as the Andes and Himalayas
and climate have been demonstrated. There, a significant uplift provokes climate change
leading to contrasting depositional environments and fauna speciation across the range.
Considering the sedimentary and paleontological records we test the hypothesis that this
relationship exists and affects deposition and speciation to a similar degree in the lower
mountain ranges such as the Dinaric Alps (Dinarides) in SE Europe.

Sedimentological and paleontological data suggest that the topographic uplift of the Dinarides played an important
role in the development of the regional contrasting, i.e. arid vs humid conditions and fauna
distribution across the Dinarides during the Miocene Climatic Optimum (MCO). However, the
analysis of causal relations is greatly hampered by the uncertainty about whether the basins
across the mountain range were coeval or not. This uncertainty lies in very poor age constraints
of the sedimentary successions in the internal part of the Dinarides.

In this study, we will test the hypothesis that the growth of the Dinarides influenced contrasting climatic conditions
leading to contrasting depositional environments and fauna speciation in the basins across theDinarides during the MCO.

This hypothesis will be tested by a systematic dating of the basins
located in the internal part of the Dinarides using U-Pb dating of tuff layers and carbonate
sediments. Furthermore, this will be supported by the revision of the temporal and spatial
distribution of fauna across the range. Finally, integration of the new numerical age constraints
provided by this work with the existing numerical ages (mostly constrained to the external part
of the Dinarides) will allow us an orogen-wide correlation of sedimentary and faunal
successions in the isolated basins.

The resulting data framework will enable us to precisely
assess causal links between the growth of the “small” mountain ranges, such as the Dinarides,
the regional climate change, and the adaptive radiation of its biota

Aufgaben und Einsatzfelder

The candidate will

1) compile geological data in order to determine local and
regional stratigraphic sequences in intramountain basins across the Dinarides;

2) detailed sedimentological mapping of the boreholes and outcrops of selected basins;

3) do U-Pb dating on the zircons from ash layers and lacustrine carbonates, and

4) collaborate with researchers from Natural History Museum Vienna and collaborators from the University of Belgrade and the University
of Zagreb, and industry partners to address the project’s aims. State-of-the-art facilities for U-Pb
dating are available at KIT.

Kenntnisse und Fähigkeiten

Requirements for applicants are written and spoken fluency in English and
completion of an MSc degree (or equivalent) prior to appointment as a PhD candidate. Grade
average during master studies should be good or better (2.0 and below according to the German
system). Proficiency in German is beneficial, but not required. Preference will be given to applicants
with prior experience in the detailed sedimentological mapping, radiometric dating techniques, and
regional geology of the Dinarides. Candidates without prior experience in these areas will also be
considered if a willingness to learn these techniques is clearly articulated


The appointment is for 36 months and salaries are at the German TV-E13 level (75%)


Application materials should include a CV, a 1-2 page cover letter with a statement of
research interests, prior experience relevant to the position, and contact information for three
referees familiar with the candidate. Questions concerning this position and application materials
should be sent as a single PDF file TT. Prof. Dr. Nevena (Andrić) Tomašević
( The expected start date, at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, is
flexible but should be close to 01.09.2023.

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