Dear Adriana,
                 what a great position!   I am a post-doc at Princeton
University, in the USA in the dept of Geosciences.  I work with TC Onstott
on the Witwatersrand deep subsurface microbiology project.  We go to depths
of 3.6km below the surface to look for biological life in the Wits basin (>
2 billion years old). We use molecular and classical techniques to identify
novel bugs so I have been doing a lot of environmental micro this year.  My
PhD was micro and analytical chemistry based, a main focus being to develop
a GC/MS that and IRMS system that could be coupled so we could identify
compounds from complex mixtures and gain compound specific isotope ration
data from a single chromatographic injection.  I worked closely with
Micromass on this part and am therefore very strong in GC-MS and GC -IRMS.
Part of our collaboration isolates PLFA (Sue Pfieffner and co-workers) and
analyses them in order to gain insight into the type of bug present, so I
have some knowledge of lipid biomarker work.

My work here at Princeton is related to the astrobiology project in that we
get supplemental funding from NASA and I think astrobiology is a really
exciting area of research.
I co-ordinate the field aspect of our project so am used to working with
large teams (6-10 people) and co-ordinating research efforts in very
challenging environmental circumstances. My post-doc ends next year, and
your work sounds fascinating and can maybe overlap with our group.  We have
access to water and rock samples that have been geologically isolated for
up to 1 billion years, and I have been trying to study the organic carbon
present by concentrating low DOC with SPE cartridges, and then analysing
them with GC-MS to look for biological by-products.

Anyway, I wanted to touch base with you and introduce myself.  Could you
tell me a few things,

Should I apply? I feel I am very qualified to work on your project, it
sounds excellent. I am really excited as it seems very complimentary to the
work we do here, and I feel there is lots of room for later collaborations
with the South African mining infrastructure already in place etc.
when would the starting date be?
Are your salary details in Australian dollars, I guess they are but I can
dream that in fact it is US dollars...........
What is the cost of living in Australia?

I hope to hear from you soon, feel free to call me at home or at work, or
e-mail me,


At 01:40 PM 11/15/01 +1100, you wrote:
>Dear Isotope Geochemists,
>I would appreciate it if you could pass this information to interested
>Thank you.
>Postdoctoral Fellow in Organic Geochemistry/Biogeochemistry
>School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
>REF NO: A45/002149
>Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in organic
>geochemistry or biogeochemistry, studying hydrocarbon biomarkers in
>Precambrian oil and kerogen. The aim is to discover molecular fossils in
>well-preserved Archaean and Proterozoic rocks from Australia, South
>Africa and Canada that constrain the early evolution of microbial
>ecosystems. The position, working with Adriana Dutkiewicz, Graham
>Logan, Roger Summons and Roger Buick, is funded by an ARC grant. It
>is laboratory oriented, though opportunities for field work may arise. It will
>be based at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, but most
>laboratory work will be undertaken at AGSO Geoscience Australia in
>Canberra. It will also involve substantial interaction with the NASA
>Astrobiology Institute, the University of Washington in Seattle and MIT in
>The successful applicant must have a PhD with experience in organic
>geochemical techniques, including GC/MS. Proven research ability and
>evidence of research potential are essential, as are evidence of the ability
>to work both individually and cooperatively, and good written and oral
>communication skills. Demonstrated research abilities in lipid biomarker
>geochemistry, Precambrian biogeochemistry and/or fluid inclusion
>geochemistry are highly desirable. Technical experience in stable isotope
>geochemistry, environmental microbiology and/or Precambrian geology
>are also desirable.
>The position is full-time fixed term for two years, subject to the completion
>of a satisfactory probation period for new appointees. There is the
>possibility of further offers of employment, subject to funding and need.
>Membership of a University approved superannuation scheme is a
>condition of employment for new appointees.
>For further information, please contact Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz on
>(02) 9351 5192 or e-mail: [log in to unmask] ,
>[log in to unmask], [log in to unmask] or
>[log in to unmask] Background information about the
>research programme can be found at:
>Remuneration Package: $44,251 - $60,052 p.a. (which includes a
>base salary Level A $37,409 - $50,767 p.a., leave loading and up to
>17% employer's contribution to superannuation)
>Closing Date: 31/12/2001
>More information can be found on:
>Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz
>School of Geosciences
>Building F05
>University of Sydney
>ph: 61-2-9351 5192
>fax: 61-2-9351 0184

James Hall, Ph.D.,
Dept. of Geosciences
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ,08544
Phone: (w) 609-258-2597
           (h) 609 919 0292
e-mail [log in to unmask]