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Microbe Mineral Interactions - Postdoctoral Researcher

Entry Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 03/14/2023

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$108,840 Annually

Job Description

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher to investigate how microbial ecophysiology, population dynamics, and microbe-mineral-organic matter interactions regulate the persistence of microbial residues in soil under changing moisture regimes. You will support a multi-disciplinary project applying isotope-targeted ‘omics approaches and other unique technologies to quantitatively evaluate how the soil microbiome and its products interact with contrasting mineral assemblages to control soil C persistence. This research will examine the relationship between microbial physiological traits, microbial residue chemistry, and stability of organic matter at mineral-organic matter interfaces, in both soil microcosms and at the field scale. The research will take advantage of our team’s many analytical tools, including NanoSIMS isotopic imaging, NMR, electron and Raman microscopy, accelerator mass spectrometry, NEXAFS/STXM spectroscopy, and FTICR mass spectrometry. This position is in the Environmental Isotope Systems Group of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division and will support the DOE-funded Microbes Persist Soil Microbiome Science Focus Area project.

You will

  • Contribute to the conception, design, and execution of experiments to address the quantitative role of microbial ecophysiology and mineralogy in soil C cycling.
  • Pursue innovative research using advanced biochemical analyses, spectroscopic techniques, stable isotope probing, 14C analysis, and imaging techniques to probe the characteristics of organic matter-mineral interactions.
  • Contribute to an interdisciplinary team deploying greenhouse microcosm and field experiments that interrogate biogeochemical factors affecting soil C persistence.
  • Perform independent research and lead new projects in the area of environmental microbiome, soil chemistry research, and isotope-enable method development.
  • Participate in the collection of soil samples from various California field sites.
  • Collaborate with a diverse team of multidisciplinary scientists and technical personnel to accomplish research goals.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • PhD in Biogeochemistry, Soil Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbial Ecology, Geology, or a related field.
  • Strong background in soil mineralogy and biogeochemistry.
  • Experience in quantitative analysis of soil biogeochemistry data.
  • Experience with synchrotron, imaging mass spectrometry, EM, or other organic matter characterization techniques.
  • Strong background in statistical analysis; data analysis skills in Python and/or R.
  • Demonstrated ability as an independent and innovative experimentalist.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills to collaborate effectively in a multidisciplinary team environment and present and explain technical information.
  • Publication record in peer-reviewed journals.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Familiarity with wet-lab molecular techniques.
  • Experience with culturing and physiologically characterizing microbial isolates or community enrichments.
  • Knowledge of microbial community characterization techniques.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years, open to those who have been awarded a PhD at time of hire date.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

None required.  However, if your assignment is longer than 179 days cumulatively within a calendar year, you must go through the Personal Identity Verification process.  This process includes completing an online background investigation form and receiving approval of the background check.  (This process does not apply to foreign nationals.) 

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory.  If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request. 

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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