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Research Associate Environmental Analytical Chemist

CEH - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Lancaster, United Kingdom

Description of specific work to be undertaken and skills to be gained

The post is for an analyst to conduct chemical analysis in environmental samples in a wide range of matrices from water to soils, biota, etc. You will be responsible for analyses of organic compounds using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), such as old and new persistent organic pollutants OPs, phospholipid fatty acids, pesticides, etc. The responsibilities involve all aspects of samples preparation for the analyses of organic compounds as well as the maintenance and troubleshooting of the GC-MS, therefore, previous experience on GC-MS is essential.

You will also prepare and carry out analyses of nutrients, determination of physical properties (such as pH, conductivity), moisture content and loss on ignition and the operation of automated techniques: e.g. alkalinity, ion chromatography, automated colorimetry, carbon and nitrogen analyser. Furthermore, you will also be involved in the preparation and analyses of organic compounds by Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry as well as method development.

However, depending on the science needs you will be expected to perform other types of chemical measurements, including metals and stable isotopes.

Responsibilities will also involve general maintenance and troubleshooting of instruments; maintaining a good laboratory environment; purchasing of general equipment and reagents. You will also be expected to work within the laboratory’s quality system and ISO 17025:2005.

Skills and qualifications required on appointment

  • A degree (2:1) in Environmental Chemistry and/or relevant experience;
  • Experience and competence in the use of GC-MS is essential;
  • Relevant skills/experience in analytical experience and competence in organic chemical analysis is essential;
  • Experience of working in a laboratory accredited to ISO 17025:2005 will be beneficial, however full training will be given in the quality system and laboratory safety;
  • Able to work independently and manage own time effectively;
  • Effective IT skills;
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability;
  • Communicate effectively with peers and more senior staff;
  • Scientifically numerate and with good mathematical skills;
  • Make active contributions and provide support to other team members;
  • Proven experience of producing high quality data.

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