Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where we apply science and technology to make the world a safer place; now one of 2020 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor!

The Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division (NACS) in the Physical and Life Sciences (PLS) Directorate has an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher to study plant-mycorrhizal-bacterial interactions in simplified and soil-based experiments. You will use isotope tracing in combination with ‘omics techniques to dissect interactions in complex soil environments, as well as use next-generation imaging technologies to assess interaction dynamics. We are looking for candidates with a recent PhD in microbial ecology, microbiology, plant biology, or related field. This position is in the Environmental Isotope Systems group of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division.


Essential Duties

– Develop and pursue innovative research using 13C and 15N stable isotope probing and ‘omics molecular analysis (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics).

– Analyze interactions between plants and microbial symbionts (fungal and bacterial) using microscopic and ‘omics approaches.

– Contribute to the conception, design, and execution of research to address problems in soil carbon cycling, nitrogen cycling, and plant-microbial interactions.

– Collaborate with other scientists and technical personnel.

– Perform independent research and lead new projects in the area of environmental microbiome research and isotope-enabled methods development.

– Publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings.

– Perform other duties as assigned.



– PhD in Microbial Ecology, Plant Biology, Microbiology, or related field and demonstrated experience.

– Experience in designing, running, and analyzing data from soil microbial ecology studies.

– Experience studying plant, fungal, or bacterial interactions.

– Experience with bioinformatics and microbial community statistical analysis.

– Publication record in well-regarded refereed journals.

– Documented ability as an independent and innovative experimentalist.

– Documented experience in written and verbal communication skills necessary to deliver presentations and prepare written publications, and reports.


Desired Qualifications

– Experience working with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is highly desired.

– Experience analyzing metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, or metabolomics datasets.

– Experience with stable isotope probing techniques (e.g., SIP).

Pre-Employment Drug Test:  External applicant(s) selected for this position will be required to 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.

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.)

For additional information, please see DOE Order 472.2. 


Note:   This is a 2 year Postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of 3 years.  Eligible candidates are those who have been awarded a PhD at time of hire date.

About Us

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), located in the San Francisco Bay Area (East Bay), is a premier applied science laboratory that is part of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) within the Department of Energy (DOE).  LLNL’s mission is strengthening national security by developing and applying cutting-edge science, technology, and engineering that respond with vision, quality, integrity, and technical excellence to scientific issues of national importance.  The Laboratory has a current annual budget of about $2.3 billion, employing approximately 6,900 employees.


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