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Ice Core Gas Lab Assistant, BAS

Ice Core Gas Lab Assistant Science BAS 22-119

Fixed term appointment – 6 months

The ice core gas laboratory at the British Antarctic Survey is recruiting a lab assistant to join our team and undertake analysis of ancient air trapped in polar ice. The successful candidate will be trained in the processing of ice core samples and operating some of the highly specialized instruments we have developed. Their primary task will be to complete a data collection campaign on the total air content (a proxy for the height of the ice sheet) on a deep ice core from Antarctica. Bubbles of air in ice cores record not only the composition of the atmosphere but also remember the pressure of the overlying air when they are trapped. Thus, the total amount of air in an ice core sample could be used to monitor of the height of the ice sheet over time.

The ice core gas laboratory enables research at the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Cambridge. We specialise in measuring the concentration and isotopic composition of greenhouse gases in ice cores.

We also develop and run a variety of simple carbon cycle models – mostly box models capable of simulating the atmospheric histories of CO2, CH4 and other greenhouse gases. Our primary aim is to understand how climate and the carbon cycle have interacted in the past. What happened in the past can tell us about what may happen in the future. We address questions like:

  • In a warming world, will carbon stored in soil act as a source or a sink for CO2?

  • Can changes in sea-ice around Antarctica affect the ability of the ocean to absorb anthropogenic CO2?

  • By combining the ice core data we measure in the lab with the predictions from our climate and carbon cycle models, we constrain these and other climate-carbon cycle feedbacks. Informal enquiries about the role are very welcome and should be directed to Dr. Thomas Bauska ( For more information about the ice core gas lab see: facilities/facility/cambridge-hq/ice-chemistry-laboratories/ice-core-gas-lab/ Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist in ice core analysis

  • Processing ice core samples in the freezer including cutting, carefully measuring, and keeping precise records of inventories.

  • Operate the total air content system

  • Processing of raw instrumental data and data management

  • Other general lab tasks such as cleaning and maintenance of equipment.

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