University Assistant (prae doc), University of Vienna

The University of Vienna seeks to fill the position as soon as possible of a University Assistant (prae doc) at the Department of Palaeontology.

Reference number: 10781

The project deals with recovery dynamics after the P/T mass extinction. The target are Middle Triassic occurrences of the bioherms built by the cementing pteriomorph bivalve Placunopsis? ostracina (von Schlotheim 1820) in South Germany, which contain a strong microbial component. 

You will work in a strongly interdisciplinary environment, with the aims to
(1) map the bioherms to understand their environmental distribution in relation to the paleocoastline and study their composition macroscopically and from thin sections, 
(2) compare shell structures of the bivalve with that of members of the Terquemiidae, the most likely family to accommodate this species, using electron backscatter diffraction, 
(3) apply methods of petrography, inorganic and organic geochemistry, to determine the impacts of phototrophic and/or chemotrophic microbial activity on the precipitation and accretion of the micrite in the bioherms, 
(4) evaluate findings in the context of the paleoenvironmental conditions after the end-Permian mass extinction, 
(5) compare findings to other bivalve reefs through Earth history. 

Funding for this praedoctoral position is provided by the Emerging Field Grant 2020 of the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy, to stimulate and strengthen research across the Faculty's key research areas in new emerging fields.

Duration of employment: 4 year/s

Extent of Employment: 30 hours/week
Job grading in accordance with collective bargaining agreement: §48 VwGr. B1 Grundstufe (praedoc) with relevant work experience determining the assignment to a particular salary grade.

Job Description: 
Participation in research, teaching and administration; in particular in research studies, and in publications. 
We expect the successful candidate to sign a doctoral thesis agreement within 12-18 months. 
Participation in teaching and independent teaching of courses as defined by the collective agreement.

- Master's degree or Diploma in earth sciences. 
- Excellent command of written and spoken English.
- Very good analytical (ideally some background in inorganic and organic geochemistry) and data analysis skills. 
- Ability to work in a team. 
- High ability to express yourself both orally and in writing. 
- IT user skills. 

- Experience with Triassic ecosystems and acquisition of paleontological and paleoecological data.
- Competence in carbonate sedimentology and microfacies analysis.
- Experience in field work (mapping, measuring sections) and depiction of field data and -surveys. 
- Competence in Matlab or R. 
- Competence in AutoCAD or similar
- Experience in handling and processing large data sets. 
- Ideally some experience with the interpretation of stable carbon and oxygen isotope geochemistry.
- Good knowledge of German is a bonus. 

Research fields:

Main research field Special research fields Importance 
Geology, Mineralogy PalaeontologyMUST


Educational institutionEducational level Special subject Importance 
University Geology, Mineralogy Palaeontology SHOULD 

Applications including a letter of motivation (German or English) should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna ( no later than 27.05.2020, mentioning reference number 10781.

For further information please contact Zuschin, Martin +43-1-4277-53555, Abart, Rainer +43-1-4277-53319. 

The University pursues a non-discriminatory employment policy and values equal opportunities, as well as diversity ( The University lays special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female applicants.

Human Resources and Gender Equality of the University of Vienna
Reference number: 10781
E-Mail: jobcenter(at)


Paläontologische Gesellschaft
Weismüllerstr. 45
60314 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: 069 / 400 3019 71
Fax: 069 / 400 3019 74
Email: geschaeftsstelle(at)

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