Postdoctoral Scholar

Updated: 11 months ago
Location: State College, PENNSYLVANIA
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology Division has an opening for a Postdoctoral Scholar.  The Plant-microbe Interactions Postdoctoral Scholar will be part of Jenny Mortimer’s research group in EGSB and is funded by an LDRD. It will be a collaboration with the groups of Trent Northen, Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, Aymerick Eudes, and Yasuo Yoshikuni at LBNL. This role will lead a project to explore beneficial plant-microbe interactions, with the ultimate goal to develop a strategy to engineer roots which enhance these interactions.

What You Will Do:

  •   Use existing engineered Arabidopsis and microbes to screen for interactions in an EcoFAB with fluorescent microscopy

  • Use molecular biology to genotype and engineer new plants and microbes

  • Collect and analyze RNAseq and metabolomics data

  • Collect and analyze cell wall and root exudate material

  • Contribute to developing the EcoPOD prototype and run an experiment in it

  •   In collaboration with the EcoFAB team, fabricate new units from existing EcoFAB designs, and contribute to new 3D printing designs

  • Use biochemistry

  • Prepare manuscripts for publication, and six-monthly reports for the PI and funders

  • Participate and present data at group meetings and seminars. Attend conferences

  • Maintain an accurate and detailed electronic scientific logbook of all experiments performed.  Store all data generated in an organized and secure way so that is accessible and backed up. Ensure that others could duplicate results. 

  • Adhere to institutional health and safety requirements

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Build collaborations across EGSB and the Biosciences Area

  • Assist PI with training and managing workflow of technical staff and student scientists

  • Assist with the development of funding proposals and patents

  • Contribute to community activities that support the operational success of EGSB

What is Required: 

  • A recent PhD in plant biology, microbiology, biochemistry or related field (within the last 3 years)

  • Experience with either plant-microbe interactions or root cell biology

  • Experience working with Arabidopsis

  • Experience of plant and/or microbial molecular biology

  • Experience of fluorescent microscopy

  • Experience with metabolomics and/or transcriptomics including sample preparation and data analysis

  • Ability to conduct experiments independently

  • Ability to conduct original work that meets the milestones of a larger project and scientific program

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Basic knowledge of glycobiology

  • Basic knowledge of environmental sensors

  • Experience with developing fabricated ecosystems

  • Basic knowledge of soil chemistry and carbon flux between plants-microbes-soil


The posting shall remain open until the position is filled. However for full consideration, please apply by close of business on September 18, 2019.


  • This is a full time 2-year postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 3 years of paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.

  • Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.

  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.

  • Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.

  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.

  • Work will be primarily performed at Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) — Bldg. 978, 5885 Hollis St., 4th floor, Emeryville, CA.

Berkeley Lab ( LBNL ) addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4.  Click here to view the poster and supplement: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law."

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