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Biogeochemistry - Postdoctoral Researcher

Internship | Intern
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 01/11/2024

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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 looking for individuals that demonstrate an understanding of working in partnership with team peers, who engage, advocate, and contribute to building an inclusive culture, and provide expertise to solve challenging problems.

Pay Range

$108,840 Annually 

Job Description

We have an opening for a Biogeochemistry Postdoctoral Researcher to apply natural abundance radiocarbon analyses, including compound-specific and biomarker measurements, in support of new projects in soil carbon cycle science. You will be part of a multi-disciplinary team investigating soil-based carbon removal and water management using a suite of management approaches in agricultural sites throughout California, including crushed rock and organic amendments, polycultures, agrivoltaics and conversion to perennials. Your research will include studies of chemical and isotopic characterization of soil organic matter (SOM); identification of soil carbon sources and processing by microbes; development, testing, and application of protocols for separations of targeted chemical markers from soils and sediments for isotopic analysis; and data analysis and interpretation. You will be a part of the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry group in the Atmospheric, Earth & Energy Division.

You will

  • Conduct creative and independent research to test the fate and durability of soil carbon in lands managed for enhanced carbon drawdown by collecting samples at existing field trials and using advanced chemical and isotopic approaches.
  • Characterize soil organic matter as a member of a multi-disciplinary team and collaborate in coupling field measurements with advanced modeling to understand soil carbon turnover.
  • Develop and implement workflows for isolation of targeted compounds and compound classes from soils and soil fractions/extracts via a variety of techniques including HPLC-MS, GC-MS, and other molecular characterization techniques.
  • Document, communicate, and publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals, present results at international conferences, and present at technical meetings.
  • Assist in the flow of 14C samples through the CAMS natural abundance laboratories, and participate in technique development, AMS operation, and data analysis as part of the overall activity of the natural-radiocarbon research group.
  • Pursue independent, but complementary, research interests and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internally and externally to the Laboratory.
  • Communicate effectively (verbally and written) in a multidisciplinary team environment.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ph.D. in Earth Science, Geochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Soil Science, Biogeochemistry or a related discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience in carbon cycle research including organic matter characterization using physical and chemical separation techniques and/or molecular characterization.
  • Experience in field-based soil biogeochemistry or geochemistry including experimental study design and field sampling.
  • Strong practical experience with organic compound separation and purification techniques, including LC-MS.
  • Quantitative understanding and interpretation of natural abundance stable isotope or radiocarbon analyses in carbon cycle studies with a focus on characterization of complex environmental samples and biogeochemical processing.
  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary research environment, both independently as an innovative experimentalist and as a collaborative team member.
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills evidenced by published works and presentations.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills necessary to interact professionally and productively with a diverse set of scientists, engineers, and other technical and administrative staff.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Practical experience with compound separation and purification techniques including HPLC, preparation of samples for natural abundance 14C and/or 13C analysis of environmental samples, and interpretation of these data streams in the context of terrestrial biogeochemistry.
  • Practical experience using, maintaining, and troubleshooting laboratory equipment including HPLC, ASE, vacuum dryers.
  • A strong interest in advancing understanding of the processes driving carbon persistence and cycling and in developing applications of compound-specific and biomarker analyses to these science areas.

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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