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Postdoctoral Research Scientist

The Bay Area Environmental Research (BAER) Institute is seeking a full-time postdoctoral researcher to perform measurements of nitrogen cycling in photosynthetic microbial mats at NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC), located at Moffett Field, CA. These measurements are directed at better understanding the role of nitrogen cycling over geologic time on Earth, as well as the application of that knowledge in the search of life elsewhere.

The employee will be part of the Microbial Ecology and Biogeochemistry Research Laboratory  (http://spacescience.arc.nasa.gov/microecobiogeo/) organizationally located in the Exobiology Branch ( https://www.nasa.gov/content/exobiology-branch-code-ssx) within the Space Sciences and Astrobiology Division at NASA ARC. Multiple laboratories available to the project at NASA ARC contain an extensive set of instruments for biogeochemical measurements of intact microbial mats, as well as measurements of microbial physiology and algal and cyanobacterial photophysiology. For more information about the project, please contact the Principal Investigator – Dr. Brad Bebout ([email protected]).

This is a full-time, 40-hours per week, entry- or mid-level position.  

This is a 2-year position.
Duties and Responsibilities

The researcher will conduct a comprehensive examination and quantification of the N cycle in photosynthetic microbial mats by integrating biogeochemical measurements, including stable-isotope tracer experiments, and a multifaceted molecular biology approach, including metagenomics, meta-transcriptomics, and targeted amplicon sequencing. These methods will be applied across a combination of both freshly collected mats, and mats subjected to experimental manipulations representing current and ancient-Earth environmental conditions. Biogeochemical measurements and stable isotope tracer techniques performed by the researcher will result in the complete quantification of the N cycle (sources, sinks, and internal transformations).

Minimum Qualifications

Ph.D. in biology, molecular ecology, biogeochemistry, or related field is required.

Preferred Qualifications

Prior experience in stable isotope labeling techniques is desired.

Salary & Benefits

Year 1: $73,866
Year 2: $77,559

Application Instructions

Submit a cover letter and CV to the BAER Institute at [email protected]. In your cover letter please specify that you are applying for the researcher position in the Microbial Ecology and Biogeochemistry Research Lab. All candidates must also provide a list of publications, and a list of at least 3 people willing to provide letters of reference

Application packages must be received by no later than December 22, 2018.
Desired start date: January 14, 2019

Additional Details
  • Interested applicants who reside outside of the San Francisco Bay Area must be willing to relocate within commuting distance of NASA ARC at their own expense.
  • The individual selected for this position must be able to pass a security clearance.
  • Some travel may be required to perform field work at our primary field site in Baja, California, Mexico.

he Bay Area Environmental Research Institute is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, medical condition, gender identity, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected status.

If you have a disability that requires accommodation, please contact Donna Turnley of the BAER Institute Human Resources Office at [email protected].

The Bay Area Environmental Research (BAER) Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have received numerous grants and contracts from NASA and other federal and state agencies for scientific research. BAER Institute prides itself on providing a comfortable and supportive home for its researchers. We are continually looking for qualified, enthusiastic employees. You are submitting your information for consideration to a position that is currently available under the ARC-CREST cooperative agreement at NASA Ames Research Center.  If selected, your employment offer will be with BAER Institute and you will be working on-site at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA.  

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