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):
What are the microbial mechanisms that lead to the formation and evolution of SOM, and contribute to its stability and persistence?
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 positionis filled, however for full consideration, please apply by close ofbusiness on December 20, 2018.
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.
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Internal Number: 85420
About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with excellence. Thirteen scientists associated with Berkeley Lab have won the Nobel Prize. Fifty-seven Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world. Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 200-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular... views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 4,200 scientists, engineers, support staff and students. Its budget for 2011 is $735 million, with an additional $101 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for a total of $836 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory's overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars. Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence's belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.