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Soil Organic Matter Biogeochemistry - Postdoctoral Researcher

Entry Level | Full-time
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 03/16/2023

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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 important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$108,840.00 Annually

Job Description

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher to investigate soil carbon persistence, organic matter pools and changes in microbe-mineral-organic interactions with depth in agricultural soils. You will support a multi-disciplinary team studying carbon dioxide removal, sustainability and microbe-mineral interactions in bioenergy cropping systems. This position is in the Environmental Isotope Systems group of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division.

You will 

  • Use soil radiocarbon data to determine the age and turnover (mean residence time) of soil organic carbon under different crop treatments.
  • Characterize soil organic matter using soil density fractionation, NMR and/or FTIR.
  • Develop optimal techniques for characterizing extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) from soil samples.
  • Perform independent research and lead new lab incubation or isotope tracing studies to characterize soil organic carbon stability.
  • Collect soil samples from bioenergy farm sites in the US.
  • Collaborate with other scientists and technical personnel to accomplish research goals.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • PhD in Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biogeochemistry, or a related field.
  • Experience in quantitative analysis of soil biogeochemistry and radiocarbon data with soil depth.
  • Experience in characterizing soil organic matter with advanced spectroscopy, NMR, or isotope-based techniques.
  • Familiarity with soil biogeochemical concepts and sustainable agricultural management.
  • Experience with statistical analyses.
  • Ability to work independently, develop testable hypotheses, and interpret the implications of results.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills to collaborate effectively in a multidisciplinary team environment and present and explain technical information.
  • Publication record in well-regarded refereed journals.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Prior experience using SoilR or other modern mathematical tools for calculating soil turnover time and carbon stocks.
  • Experience with soil incubation studies and gas chromatography CO2 measurements.
  • Experience with synchrotron imaging, imagining mass spectrometry, TEM, or other soil imaging techniques.
  • Experience with soil NMR and subsequent analysis.

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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