Aarhus University (AU)

Postdoc in Environmental Chemistry and Nature-based Solutions for Water Treatment (BB-EB011)

Found in: Neuvoo Bulk DK


Job description

We seek to recruit an enthusiastic candidate to support the technology development and the analytical efforts needed on both projects. In the MUDP project we are expecting to mostly study the retention and potential biotransformation of PAHs on the biofilter systems. The candidate is expected to perform the PAH analysis (either LC or GC-based methods), further develop lab columns and pilot systems. Moreover, the postdoc is expected to interact with the project partners, either on the practicalities obtain samples and provide data) but also contributing for the scientific discussions.

For the MULTISOURCE project, the pilots will be monitored for the removal of conventional pollutants, pathogens (E. coli, SARS-CoV-2), priority substances (heavy metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), biocides such atrazine and diuron) and contaminants of emerging concern (pharmaceuticals, neonicotinoid insecticides, and microplastics) using state-of-the-art methods. We will be centralizing all targeted analysis of priority and emerging organic contaminants from the seven project pilots (seven types of water and NBS technology), allowing for a great level of international networking and research activities with collaborators from seven countries (INRAE, France; NIVA, Norway; IRIDRA, Italy; ICRA, Spain; Rietland, Belgium; UFZ, Germany; and Montana State University, USA). Moreover, we expect that the candidate will also work on the non-target screening of unknown and new pollutants in the different pilots. This will also include the development of efforts to identify and characterize transformation products and processes. For that, both LC and GC high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) is available. The obtained data will be used to assess potential reuse of treated water, including risk-assessment (to be performed by NIVA) by comparing concentrations of priority pollutants defined in the WFD with existing WFD regulations and benchmarks as well as future regulatory scenarios. The suitability of treated water to be reused for different urban applications irrigation, toilet flushing) will also be assessed. There will be the possibility to participate in meetings with Environmental Agencies to discuss on topics such as regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse, national regulations, as well as future regulatory. Overall, the postdocs analytical work is expected to expand on the characterization of the fate or organic pollutants in nature-based treatment technology contributing for a significant advance in the field.

Specifically, the selected candidate is expected to:
  • Update, validate and run analytical methods for the analysis of organic micropollutants from environmental samples by GC-MS, LC-MS/MS and LC-HRMS.
  • Quantify priority and emerging substances from the Water Framework Directive.
  • Perform suspect screening and non-target analysis of HRMS data.
  • Run short-term experimental mesocosms to potentially confirm environmental processes.
  • Help with the logistical work of sampling and/or receiving samples from partners.
  • Contribute to running of the analytical facilities in the section and help with supervision of PhD and Master students.
  • Finally, the candidate is expected to publish the results and support reporting activities. Other dissemination activities will include presentations in national and international conferences.

  • Qualification requirements:
  • PhD degree in natural or technical science, preferably in Environmental Chemistry or Environmental Sciences
  • Experience implementing LC-MS/MS and GC-MS methods for routine analysis of environmental samples is desirable
  • Experience with high-resolution mass spectrometry and suspect screening and/or non-target screening workflows is desirable
  • Experience with nature-based solutions biofilters, constructed wetlands, green walls or green roofs) would be advantageous.
  • Proven publication record in international peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • The candidate is expected to be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary academic environment, be well motivated and to be well organised.
  • A driver licence would be advantageous to potentially support field work.

  • Department of Environmental Science
    The Department of Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary department under the Faculty of Science & Technology at Aarhus University. The expertise ranges from physics, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and mathematical modelling to social science, geography, economics and policy analysis. Both basic and applied research is conducted on some of the major challenges facing society, such as pollution and bioremediation, management of land, soil, water, air and biodiversity, protection of ecosystem services, climate change, and energy systems. Science-based policy advice within these areas is offered to ministries and other stakeholders. Currently, about 160 staff and PhD-students are working at the department. Further information can be found at a=""> />
    The hosting section conducts research and science-based policy advice in environmental chemistry and toxicity. The main activities deal with the fate of organic contaminants in the environment, the risk as well as risk management and remediation to control the contaminants in technical systems (water purification, soil remediation).

    Place of employment
    The place of employment is will be at Aarhus University, Campus Risø, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark. The city of Roskilde (International candidates may find information concerning living and working in Denmark at
    Questions about the position
    Further information on the position can be obtained from Pedro Carvalho (

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