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Microbial Ecology - Postdoctoral Researcher

Entry Level | Full-time
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 08/18/2023

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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 Annually

Job Description

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on host-microbe metabolic interactions and exchange in microalgae. This DOE funded project centered at LLNL supports a multi-institution research program (, which is focused on sustainable and predictable bioenergy crop production. We use a community systems biology approach to gain a comprehensive understanding of the systems level resource allocation consequences of microscale symbioses between microbes and bioenergy-relevant crops. Primary analytical resources include high-throughput isotope probing, Cameca NanoSIMS 50 ion microprobe, other advanced microscopes, high performance computing, NMR facility, LC-MS/MS instrumentation, and active collaborations with external organizations such as Oregon State, UC Berkeley, MIT, NC State, U Illinois, LBNL, JGI, and EMSL. This position is in the Environmental Isotope Systems group of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division.

You will 

  • Contribute to the conception, design, and execution of research to address questions in sustainable bioenergy, microbial ecology, and host-microbe interactions.
  • Conduct experiments with heterotrophic microbes (bacteria, archaea, fungi) in symbiotic relationships with algae.
  • Characterize the rates of elemental exchange between heterotrophs and algae using stable isotopes and mass spectrometry integrated with physiological measurements, genomic techniques, and advanced imaging.
  • Perform sample and data analysis and interpret results.
  • Document research, publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, and present results within the DOE community and at conferences.
  • Pursue independent but complementary research interests and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internally and externally to the Laboratory.
  • Collaborate with scientists in a multidisciplinary team environment to accomplish research goals.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • PhD in biology, microbial ecology, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, or a related field.
  • Experience in microbial interaction research through controlled laboratory experiments or complex community manipulations.
  • Experience in analysis of 16S rRNA community data and/or metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics, metabolomics, or other analytical methods (e.g. high resolution microscopy).
  • Experience with cultivating microbes (microalgae, fungi, bacteria, and/or archaea).
  • Ability to perform independent research and use a scientific approach to solve problems.
  • Effective ability to collaborate with a team of scientists of diverse backgrounds and ability to travel to coordinate research with collaborators.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills.
  • Publication record in well-regarded refereed journals.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Strong understanding of microbial metabolism.
  • Experience with stable isotopes or radioisotopes.
  • Familiarity with computational methods (biogeochemical models, flux balance analysis, dynamic energy models).

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.

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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.

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