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Soil Ecologist - Postdoctoral Researcher

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, California, (US)
Closing date
21 Mar 2023

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Job Details

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 effects of plant diversity and water availability on soil carbon and microbial functionality. We are particularly focused on agro-ecosystems in CA where a mechanistic understanding of biogeochemistry and soil biotic interactions can be leveraged to support soil heath and multifunctionality in the face of dwindling water supplies. You will support a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team studying soil microbial ecophysiology and microbe-mineral-organic matter interactions, with access to a unique set of isotope-tracing, imaging and bioinformatics tools. 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



  • Quantitatively evaluate how plant diversity shapes ecophysiology and interactions of soil microbiomes, and downstream effects on soil carbon persistence.
  • Develop an ecological framework linking belowground interactions of the soil microbial community with carbon persistence, specifically in relation to drought.
  • Design and implement experiments exploring mycorrhizal-plant interactions and their relationship with soil carbon persistence.
  • Explore links between microbial ecophysiology and soil biogeochemical fluxes by coupling multivariate ‘omics data with geochemistry data.
  • Participate in the collection of soil and plant 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 or technical journals and present results at external conferences, seminar, and/or technical meetings
  • Perform other duties as assigned.







  • PhD in Microbiology, Soil Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Biogeochemistry, or a related field.
  • Experience with plant-fungal-bacterial interactions, metabolomics or stable isotope probing techniques.
  • Experience with obtaining and analyzing soil biogeochemistry data.
  • Familiarity with agro-ecological systems and fieldwork in diverse landscapes.
  • Experience and demonstrated skill with bioinformatics and microbial community 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 peer-reviewed journals.


Qualifications We Desire





  • Established connections to agricultural communities, particularly in California.
  • Expertise in mycorrhizal ecology.
  • Experience with analysis of biotic interactions in soils.
  • Prior experience evaluating plant diversity and its effects on soil biogeochemistry.


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, this position involves U.S. Export Control; this work must be performed by a U.S. person (U.S. citizen, U.S. lawful permanent resident, U.S. national, or U.S. protected individual (e.g., refugee, asylee)).

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.




Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the go-to laboratory for science and technology solutions to the toughest and most important problems affecting national and global security. If you are interested in contributing to pushing the frontiers of knowledge to build the scientific and technological foundation that will be needed to address national security issues, then we invite you to apply.

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