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Soil Organic Matter Postdoctoral Scholar

Berkeley Lab’s Climate & Ecosystems Division has an opening for a Soil Organic Matter Postdoctoral Scholar focused on understanding the microbial role in soil organic matter (SOM) formation. You will use multiple approaches, including laboratory and field measurements and modeling, to characterize the physiological response of microorganisms (both site-derived isolates and whole communities) to hydrological perturbation within the tropics. The central objective of the proposed work is motivated by two critical uncertainties concerning the short- and long-term stability of soil organic matter (SOM):

  1. What are the microbial mechanisms that lead to the formation and evolution of SOM, and contribute to its stability and persistence?
  2. How are these processes affected by hydrological perturbation.

The project will employ multi-scale laboratory and field experiments to manipulate the soil pore water in a manner consistent with soil drying. Laboratory experiments will include the design and fabrication of microfluidic devices abstracting the soil pore structure and replicating the heterogeneity of soil chemical gradients and temporal perturbation. Further soil microcosms will establish whole community responses to soil drying and provide better connections to a drought experiment being conducted by project collaborators in Panama. The response of the microbial community and individual isolates to hydrological perturbation will be assessed using infrared spectroscopy and detailed genomic and metabolomic approaches, and feedbacks to soil organic matter formation evaluated using geochemical analyses (including spectroscopy). This project will leverage facilities available at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (including the Advanced Light Source), and work closely with collaborators at the Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared Structural Biology (BSISB) group, UCLA, and the Smithsonian Tropical Forest Institute.

What You Will Do:

  • Use multiple approaches, including laboratory and field measurements and modeling, to characterize the physiological response of microorganisms (both site-derived isolates and whole communities) to hydrological perturbation within the tropics.
  • Employ multi-scale laboratory and field experiments to manipulate the soil pore water.
  • Design and fabricate microfluidic devices abstracting the soil pore structure and replicating the heterogeneity of soil chemical gradients and temporal perturbation.
  • Communicate regularly and work with other researchers on this project in order to facilitate progress toward program goals.
  • Work carefully but efficiently in order to meet project goals in a timely manner.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Present research results to internal groups and at large national and international meetings.
  • Work within an interdisciplinary team of soil scientists, biogeochemists, microbiologists, and modelers.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Dynamic energy budget modeling.

What is Required:

  • Ph.D in Earth Science, Soil Science, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Chemistry, Biogeochemistry or a closely related field. Significant laboratory and analytical experience. Strong computational skills for analysis of genomic or biochemical data.
  • Experience with soil microbiology (including stable isotope probing, metagenomics and metabolomics).
  • Experience with and soil geochemical techniques to characterize soil organic matter (including spectroscopy), and soil hydrological approaches.
  • Ability to work effectively with scientists of different disciplinary backgrounds and serve as a communication nexus.

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with microcosm & microfluidic design, construction, and operation.
  • Experience with synchrotron-based infrared measurements and analyses.
  • Experience with microbial and land modeling.
  • Experience with FT ICRMS and other emerging organic matter analytical approaches.

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled, however for full consideration, please apply by close of business on December 20, 2018.

Notes:

This is a full time, 2 years, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 3 years paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.

Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.

This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.

Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.

This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.

Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Berkeley Lab (LBNL) addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4. Click here to view the poster and supplement: Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.

How To Apply

Apply directly online at http://50.73.55.13/counter.php?id=139541 and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.

 

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