Position Title: R&D Associate Staff Member – Microbial Ecology and Metagenomics

The Biosciences Division (https://www.ornl.gov/division/bsd) within ORNL seeks a research associate in the area of microbial ecology and metagenomics of plant-microbe interactions for a temporary 12-month position. You will join international and interdisciplinary teams of investigators passionate about understanding the ecology of plant and soil associated microbial communities as well as their responses to various anthropogenically induced changes (climate, contaminants, land use, etc) in multiple systems.

Qualifications Required:

  • Ph.D. degree in microbiology, ecology, molecular biology, or related fields.
  • Demonstrated expertise in both modern molecular ecology methods such as metagenome analyses, quantitative PCR, rRNA community sequence analyses, and ecosystem analyses for characterizing soil nutrient cycling.
  • Demonstrated record of expertise in informatics approaches for microbiome and metagenomics studies and a track record of primary contributions to peer-reviewed publications.

This position is located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

To apply, please visit http://bit.ly/2SrXDGO

Position Title: Soil Microbiologist – Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria Research


Description of Job: Plan, lead and execute a fully integrated applied research program in soil microbiology, focusing on plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) with the primary goal of discovering new products.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Provide scientific expertise and technical leadership in the area of PGPRs as a key contributor to an interdisciplinary research team.
  • Responsible for the design of lab and greenhouse assays to evaluate soil microbes and mixtures thereof for their enhancement of plant growth/yield and their impact on soil health to contribute to the overall Rhizosphere research program
  • Develop reliable quantification methods to monitor soil and root colonization dynamics and the growth and survival of introduced soil microbes.
  • Lead small-scale production of microbial inoculants for greenhouse and field trials.
  • Participate in cross-functional new product development teams involved in the evaluation and commercialization of PGPRs and related products.
  • Assist in developing a global network of university, government, and other 3rd party contacts that can serve as a pool of potential research collaborators to further our understanding of soil health and the plant rhizosphere and assist in the development of new products.
  • Support 3rd party technology evaluations based on Global Business Development activities.
  • Supervise and mentor direct report(s).


  • Post-PhD experience conducting independent research on PGPRs required.
  • Strong basic and applied background in soil microbiology. Demonstrable experience in soil microbiome methodology including bacterial and fungal community profiling.
  • Hands-on analytical skills related to soil microbial quantification.
  • Practical experience in isolation, identification and preservation of microbial strains.
  • Understanding of plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses is a plus.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Track record of using innovative approaches that can be used for developing new products
  • Knowledge of experimental design, statistics and use of associated software programs.
  • Routine use of MS software (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and ELN.

Education: PhD degree in Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Soil Biochemistry, Plant Pathology or related field.

Travel: Domestic/International travel 5-10%

Location: Libertyville, IL


Assistant Professor (75% research and 25% teaching appointment)

Penn State University seeks candidates interested in conducting research to understand the distribution, composition, diversity, and functional impact of microbial communities in soil-plant habitats. We seek individuals with diverse interests in soil microbiomes and in teaching related courses. A successful applicant will have a Ph.D. in a relevant scientific field and be capable of: 1) A documented track-record of experience with soil microbiome or environmental sample analyses with high-dimensional data from metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics investigations; 2) Developing a strong, independent research program by securing extramural support and training graduate students; 3) Engaging in the highly collaborative Penn State research environment; 4) Teaching undergraduate and graduate courses supporting soil science and related fields. The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management houses the soil science program within a broader interdisciplinary unit. We seek a colleague who will contribute to continuing excellence in our soils research and training programs, mentor students in Soil Science, in Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs in Ecology, Bioinformatics and Genomics and in Dual-Title doctoral programs. The incumbent will have the opportunity to interact with other scientists in the Huck Institutes Center for Microbiome Research, the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and the Institute for CyberScience, as well as have access to state-of-the-art core research facilities including in genomics, metabolomics, and research computing, amongst others. Penn State encourages applications from members of these groups. Penn State is responsive to the needs of dual career couples. All Penn State faculty are expected to comply with relevant policies, maintain high ethical standards, and participate in professional service and/or outreach. The ability to engage with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students at Departmental, College, and University levels is an important aspect of this academic appointment. Central Pennsylvania offers thriving communities with a reasonable cost of living, excellent schools and health care systems and numerous recreational, arts and entertainment opportunities. The area offers beautiful mountains, streams and parks, as well as superb sports and recreational opportunities. State College and the surrounding communities are home to approximately 100,000 people, including over 45,000 students. Applicant should submit cover letter, current CV, statement of research interests, statement of teaching philosophy, transcripts of undergraduate and graduate degrees and names and contact information for three individuals who can provide references. All applications must be loaded into https://psu.jobs/job/80110.


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If you have any new phytobiomes positions you'd like to share with the community, please contact Michelle Bjerkness (info@scisoc.org) for posting details.  
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