Postdoctoral Research Associate I

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

ID: 7055399
Posted: January 18, 2019

Job Description

Position Summary
Biosphere 2 is searching for a Postdoctoral Research Associate I. We are seeking an early-career researcher to join an interdisciplinary science team at the University of Arizona as a Biosphere 2 Postdoctoral Scholar with expertise in environmental microbiology with bioinformatics and computer programming skills and an interest in functional gene annotation of soil microbial communities. The postdoctoral researcher will be willing to learn new techniques and approaches for characterizing soil and pore water organic matter (metabolites) and linking these data to metagenome analysis. An understanding of soil chemistry (including the use of isotopic tracers) and analysis of multi-omics data are desirable.

The position is a 2-year postdoctoral appointment (contingent on funding and performance) under the supervision of Assistant Professors Malak Tfaily and Laura Meredith and Biosphere 2 Science Director Peter Troch.

Research will focus on the metagenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and soil organic matter characterization of multiple terrestrial field sites (including the Biosphere 2 Tropical Rain Forest and Landscape Evolution Observatory) and laboratory microcosm studies. Research will emphasize the integration of multi-omics data with other biogeochemical measurements to understand, at the molecular level, the role plants and microbes play on carbon mineralization and stabilization and greenhouse gas emissions. We seek a candidate with the passion and desire to contribute to the renewed emphasis on large-scale experimentation in the Biosphere 2 Tropical Rainforest.
The candidate should have excellent communication skills with a strong interest in multi-disciplinary, collaborative research, with the willingness and ability to work independently when required. We require someone with strong data analysis and statistical skills.

The successful candidate will demonstrate excellent communication skills by their proven published record of research across one or more of these areas and will hold a doctoral degree in a related field.

As a Biosphere 2 Postdoctoral Scholar, the ideal candidate will have a strong interest in applying new approaches and knowledge to address critical environmental questions and science problems associated with ecosystem responses to global climate change.

Biosphere 2 is one of the world’s most unique facilities dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues. The Biosphere 2 facility serves as a laboratory for controlled scientific studies, an arena for scientific discovery and discussion, and a far-reaching provider of public education. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe; to catalyze interdisciplinary thinking and understanding about Earth and its future; to be an adaptive tool for Earth education and outreach to industry, government, and the public; and to distill issues related to Earth systems planning and management for use by policymakers, students and the public.

With more than $622 million in research and development dollars from federal, state, and private sources, The University of Arizona currently ranks #23 among public universities in the US in overall research expenditures and #6 in physical science research. With world class faculty in fields as diverse as astronomy and space exploration, plant science, biomedical science and biotechnology, anthropology, Native peoples, business, law, philosophy, music, and dance, the UA is one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities. The University’s main campus is situated in the heart of Tucson. Surrounded by mountains and the high Sonoran Desert, Tucson boasts a distinctive southwestern feel and enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year.

The UA today has over 43,000 students, and nearly 15,600 employees. The main campus has grown from its original 40 acres to more than 350 acres, and boasts the oldest continually maintained green space in Arizona. The University of Arizona offers a broad range of educational programs and support services that attract an excellent and diverse student body. The University of Arizona has earned the designation of Hispanic-Serving Institution from the U.S. Department of Education for our success in the enrollment of Hispanic students.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities
• Laboratory management responsibilities
• Working with staff to ensure continuous data collection.
• Will have the opportunity to mentor students as appropriate.
• Will work in and across interdisciplinary teams to communicate findings in the peer-reviewed literature and at national and international conferences.
• Will contribute to the educational/outreach mission of Biosphere 2 as appropriate.
• Additional duties may be assigned

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
• Ability to multi-task and deal with challenging situations.
• Willingness to have flexible schedule (Position requires weekend and holiday hours).

Minimum Qualifications
Candidates must have received a PhD at date of hire.

Preferred Qualifications
• Experience working with environmental samples. The ideal candidate will have experience in laboratory techniques and field sampling.
• Demonstrated ability to handle and analyze diverse types of datasets (including high-dimensional omics data) using contemporary scripting languages such as R, MATLAB, and/or Python.
• Experience and willingness to work in diverse and potentially remote field settings, though the emphasis is on laboratory research.
• Previous responsibility for developing novel tools to analyze soil organic matter composition and multi-omics data from different ecosystems, linking genomic function to carbon metabolism and warming, while also incorporating and improving existing state-of-the-art tools
• Strong written and oral communication skills with significant motivation to publish in the peer reviewed literature.
• Passion for the mission of the University of Arizona Biosphere 2.


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