Keyword Search

Back to open positions

Soil Biogeochemist - Postdoctoral Researcher

Executive | Full-time
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 01/25/2024

Apply Now  

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

$113,760 Annually

Job Description

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher to study the interaction between agricultural soil management approaches that promote CO2 drawdown and sustainable water use (enhanced rock weathering, organic amendments, perennial mixtures, agrivoltaics), and their effects on soil carbon cycling. You will be part of a large, multi-disciplinary team investigating soil-based carbon removal through two new LLNL projects, including an LLNL Strategic Initiative grant (‘Farming Carbon’) and a DOE Energy Earthshot Research Center (‘Terraforming Soil’). In this position, you will conduct research across a network of soil field trials, primarily in California. You will conduct field work, measuring mineral weathering through a variety of approaches (isotope mass balance, alkalinity, etc.), soil GHG fluxes, and soil carbon dynamics – especially the response and composition of the mineral-associated organic carbon fraction, analyzing both time and depth-dependent effects. This role will involve collaboration across several academic institutions, as well as growers and land managers overseeing the field trials. This position is in the Environmental Isotope Systems group of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division.

You will 

  • Conduct field work and oversee soil sampling at a suite of soil field trials across California and the U.S.
  • Conduct inorganic and organic C measurements, measure GHG fluxes and other soil biogeochemical variables.
  • Conduct lab analyses, such as soil carbon fractionation, organic matter characterization (e.g. FTIR, 13C-NMR), soil mineralogy (XRD), isotope analyses, and analyses of secondary mineral phases.
  • Collaborate closely with research partners to integrate soil biogeochemistry, microbiology, plant biology, and hydrology into numerical models that predict place-based capacity for carbon drawdown and water management.
  • Communicate effectively (verbally and written) in a multidisciplinary team environment.
  • Author scientific reports and publications and deliver scientific presentations.
  • Assess and communicate the importance and results of soil carbon drawdown R&D to technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • PhD in Biogeochemistry, Geochemistry, Geology, Biochemistry, Soil Chemistry, or a related field.
  • Experience in field-based soil biogeochemistry, soil geochemistry, or ecosystem/soil ecology.
  • Experience in quantitative analysis of geochemical and soil biogeochemistry data.
  • Experience in multivariate statistical analysis; data analysis skills in R and/or Python.
  • Demonstrated ability as an independent and innovative experimentalist.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team environment.
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills evidenced by published works and presentations.
  • Proficient interpersonal skills necessary to interact professionally and productively with a diverse set of scientists, engineers, and other technical and administrative staff.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience with soil microbiology community sampling and analysis.
  • Experience with enhanced rock weathering field studies and general knowledge of silicate weathering.
  • Solid understanding of soil organic matter dynamics.
  • Experience with soil organic matter fractionation.
  • Experience with 13C-NMR or other soil organic matter characterization tools.
  • Experience participating in large, collaborative project teams.
  • Experience leading or managing independent research projects.

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.

How to identify fake job advertisements

Please be aware of recruitment scams where people or entities are misusing the name of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to post fake job advertisements. LLNL never extends an offer without a personal interview and will never charge a fee for joining our company. All current job openings are displayed on the Career Page under “Find Your Job” of our website. If you have encountered a job posting or have been approached with a job offer that you suspect may be fraudulent, we strongly recommend you do not respond.

To learn more about recruitment scams:

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.

Videos To Watch

Apply Now  

Refine Search Clear All

Career Areas

Show More

Experience Level

Employment Type



Show More

Security Clearance