Postdoctoral Scholar - Biodiversity of Microbial Nitrogen
Cycling in Soil
Ecosystem Science & Soc Center
NAU is a community devoted to student success and sustained by an
unshakable commitment to our shared mission, vision, and values.
We—faculty, staff, and administrators—thrive by combining our
efforts and working side by side to further NAU's culture of
The Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) at Northern
Arizona University (NAU) is seeking applications for a Postdoctoral
Scholar position in quantitative microbial ecology. This position
will work on one of three recently funded research projects
(Department of Energy and National Science Foundation) to
investigate microbiome dynamics and nutrient cycling within streams
and soils using stable isotope probing, bioinformatics, and
modeling. The successful candidates will join a large, active, and
highly collaborative research team across several universities and
DOE National Laboratories (NAU, UC Berkeley, West Virginia
University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory). This team seeks to understand the myriad ways in which
microorganisms interact with one another, with macro-organisms, and
with the abiotic environment to influence biogeochemical processes.
We emphasize quantitative approaches and seek candidates who are
excited about integrating cutting-edge microbial and bioinformatics
techniques with modeling to gain new insights into how ecosystems
The biodiversity of microbial nitrogen cycling in soil, with
laboratory and field work with quantitative stable isotope probing
(qSIP) and biogeochemical modeling to explore taxon-specific rates
of nutrient cycling in soils from arctic, boreal, temperate, and
tropical systems. The postdoc will work with NAU scientists in
Ecoss and collaborating scientists at Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and West Virginia
University to develop qSIP for soil nutrient cycling.
Primary mentor(s): Dr. Egbert Schwartz and Dr. Bruce Hungate
Research & Publications - 75%
Data Metrics - 15%
- Work collaboratively with research team to conceive and design
experiments and/or data collection and analyses to address primary
- Conduct independent experiments and data collection as needed
and keep appropriate records of all research activities.
- Lead data analysis, modeling, coding, and synthesis ef forts as
appropriate to the project goals.
- Design and implement research protocols and adapt new
procedures, methods, coding, or instrumentation as appropriate to
the project goals.
- Prepare and deliver presentations of research findings. Prepare
and submit manuscripts for publication.
- Read scientific literature, participate in scientific
discussions with other members of the research team and lab, and
attend mandatory lab and project meetings.
- Other administrative and research tasks related to the project,
including organizing project meetings and training others in
Grant & Management - 5%
- Collect, curate, synthesize, and analyze research data Maintain
organized, open, and accessible records of data and computer
- Perform data analysis and visualization and develop efficient
data analysis pipelines and/or tools as appropriate to project
- Tabulate and display data for presentation in research
conferences and for manuscript preparation; use graphics and
statistical software to analyze and present data.
Academic/Lab Liason - 5%
- Works within the grant-specific project requirements.
- Assists project PIs with managing grant funds according to
- Perform assigned lab duties to assist in the maintenance of
equipment, supplies, reagents or the general operation of the lab,
and various other duties or projects as assigned - as appropriate
to project goals.
- Promote an inclusive and welcoming work environment for
- PhD in an appropriate subject discipline
- Record of publishing peer-reviewed research in top scientific
- Experience developing analytical pipelines for omics and/or
- Coursework and/or research experience in microbial ecology,
microbiology, genomics, biochemistry,cell biology, soil science,
freshwater science, and/or ecosystem ecology.
- Interest and/or experience promoting STEM diversity and
- Demonstrated expertise with modeling and quantitative analysis
in R, Python, or other programming languages
- Strong background in modeling and statistics, including
Bayesian and Monte Carlo techniques, parameter estimation, data
assimilation, and related methods
- Fluent with molecular biology techniques (e.g., DNA/RNA
manipulation, PCR, qPCR, isotope probing) and next-generation
- Experience measuring nutrient concentrations and fluxes in lab
and/or field settings
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
- Ability to work collaboratively as part of a research team and
with individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds
- Ability to take initiative and complete tasks without direct
supervision Innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving
- Excellent quantitative and analytical skills Excellent
communication skills, as demonstrated by publications and
presentations at professional meetings
- Excellent organizational and project management skills
- Excellent written and oral communication skills Knowledge of
quantitative techniques for integrating data and models,
bioinformatics, and microbial ecology
COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement
Under the recent executive order issued by President Biden
requiring all employees of federal contractors to receive COVID-19
vaccinations, NAU expects all employees, including new hires, to be
vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious
accommodation. Proof of vaccination will be required by January 18,
2022. For questions about vaccines and medical or religious
accommodations, please visit
FAQs for Employee Vaccination Requirement
Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the
following: a criminal background investigation, an employment
history verification and a degree verification (in some cases)
prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a
fingerprint background check.
Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is
required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that
assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in
the United States.
Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an
Annual Security Report
. The report is a result of a federal law
known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime
statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and
discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep
students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other
emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the
Fire Safety Report
is combined with the Annual Security Report
for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus
student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and
procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for
fires that occurred in those facilities.
If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact
the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the
department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.
Salary range begins at $54,779. Annual salary commensurate with
candidate's qualifications and related experience.
This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or
compensatory time for additional time worked.
Post-Doctoral Scholars are hired on a contract basis, renewable
each fiscal year for a maximum of 4 renewals (5 years) according to
terms of the Arizona Board of Regents' Conditions of Post-Doctoral Service
NAU offers an excellent benefit package to Post-Doctoral Scholars
including generous health, dental and vision insurance; 10 days of
vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for
employees and qualified family members. New employees are eligible
for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their
enrollment, after their employment date. Employees will have 31
days from their start date to enroll in benefits. Participation in
NAU retirement plans is not available to Post-Doctoral Scholars.
More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU
HR benefits page
Learning and Development
Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity
for professional development. New employee
includes courses to be completed within
the first 30 days. If your position includes the supervision of a
benefit-eligible employee, we offer the NAU Supervisors Academy for
you to complete within your first 2 years.
Applications received by January 10,2022
will be given full consideration. Applications received after that
date may be considered until the position is filled.
How to Apply
To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on
this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the
"Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline. If you
need assistance completing your application there are instructions
available on the Human Resources website
or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building
91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont
If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable
accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact
the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006
or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ 86011.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal
Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities,
veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.
EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements
NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps,
and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.
To apply, visit https://hr.peoplesoft.nau.edu/psp/ph92prta/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_APP_SCHJOB.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST&Action=U&FOCUS=Applicant&SiteId=1&JobOpeningId=605807&PostingSeq=1