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The molecular record in Devonian and Jurassic fossils – PhD

3 year PhD project available at Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia

With Prof. Kliti Grice ARC Laureate Fellow and Dr Alexander Holman

Collaboration with Prof. Lorenz Schwark (Kiel University),


The molecular record in Devonian and Jurassic fossils

This project aims to unlock an untapped record of our planet’s past, by analysing exceptionally well preserved fossils in concretions from the Devonian Gogo Formation WA and Jurassic Posidonia Shale . The well-studied inorganic fossil record has provided a framework for understanding major events in the evolution of life and our planet. However, the proposed project aims to significantly advance current perceptions, by accessing the parallel but rarer organic record in the form of biomarkers and biomolecules that can be entombed in exceptionally preserved fossil material from Devonian and Jurassic-aged material. To achieve this goal, a range of well-preserved fossils will be investigated to evaluate molecules related to organism(s), modes of organic and fossil preservation and paleoenvironmental reconstruction.


State-of the analytical infrastructure is available in WA-OIGC (Instrumentation – Western Australian Organic & Isotope Chemistry | Curtin University, Perth, Australia) including TOFSIMS Focused Ion Beam Facility, John de Laeter Centre | Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia in JDLC.


Field trips and excursions will take place during scholarship.


The project is supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery GRANT.

Ca. Stipend $27,000 per annum

Suitable applicant must have a first class Hons degree, Master’s degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Geochemistry, Geology, Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Science or Palentology

The applicant will be supervised by a team of geochemists/geologists, palynologists, entomologists, analytical chemists and microbiologists.



Please send full CV and two referee names to Prof. Kliti Grice (