Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL) Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology Division has an opening for a Postdoctoral Scholar – Microbial Ecology and Plant-Microbe Interactions with expertise in microbiology and biochemistry. 

In this exciting role, you will use highly controlled laboratory ecosystems, synthetic biology, genomics, metabolomics tools, and defined microbial communities to identify relationships between plant chemistry, archaea and Nitrogen transformations. The main goal of this project is to dissect factors defining plant-archaea interactions and their role in nutrient cycling in the rhizosphere of bioenergy crop.

What You Will Do:

  • Design and execute laboratory experiments to identify factors that mediate nutrient and metabolite exchanges between plants, archaea and other members of the defined community.
  • Analyze microbial genomic and transcriptomic data. 
  • Perform metabolomics analysis.
  • Develop and perform biochemical assays.
  • Work closely with other project team members to design and engineer (gene manipulation, genome editing) microbial systems. 
  • Keep precise and detailed laboratory notebooks, maintain and manage all resources generated throughout the project.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Present results to internal groups and at a national meeting.

What Is Required:

  • Ph.D. in microbiology, biochemistry, genomics, molecular biology, or a related field.
  • Experience of culturing and characterization of environmental microorganisms.
  • Experience with basic molecular biology techniques, such as DNA/RNA extraction, qPCR, sample preparation for sequencing.
  • Knowledge of genome engineering approaches.
  • Experience with LC-MS based metabolomics analysis.
  • Experience in computational skills for analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data.
  • Demonstrated scientific productivity through publications in relevant peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Data analysis using Python and/or R.
  • Imaging of fluorescently labeled microbial communities (e.g., recombinant fluorescent protein expression, FISH). 
  • Understanding of rhizosphere biology and plant-microbe interactions.

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.


  • This is a full time, 1 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 paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.
  • 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 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Learn about us!

Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology

Mission: Linking genome biology to ecosystem dynamics.

Vision: Sustainable solutions to energy and environmental challenges developed through mechanistic understanding of ecosystem dynamics.

Approach: We develop systems-level models using integrated molecular observation and controlled manipulation of model organisms and defined biomes to design and test interventions that promote beneficial outcomes.

Berkeley Lab

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.

Working at Berkeley Lab has many rewards including a competitive compensation program, excellent health and welfare programs, a retirement program that is second to none, and outstanding development opportunities.  To view information about the many rewards that are offered at Berkeley Lab- Click Here.

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.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.


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