Postdoctoral Research Associate Position: Soil Ecology & Biogeochemistry

Position Summary

The Soil Biology Lab in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences invites applications from outstanding candidates for a fixed term Research Associate position in the area of Soil Ecology and Biogeochemistry. This position is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy to Dr. Lisa Tiemann, collaborating with Drs. Sarah Evans, Maren Friesen and James Cole (MMPRNT project website: The project, currently in its fourth year, is focused on understanding linkages between the rhizosphere microbiome and the plant transcriptome that control plant C allocation in support of N acquisition. We envision this research associate will focus on tracking C flows using pulse-chase and stable isotope probing with amplicon and metagenomic sequencing and/or N-cycling using new high-through-put qPCR system for assessing functional gene expression and abundance.

Position Description (project/duties)

Responsibilities will include: Assisting with field work in research sites across Michigan; conducting and/or coordinating biogeochemical analyses, including stable isotope pulse-chase experiments and stable isotope probing; molecular work including DNA and RNA extraction and sample preparation for sequencing; high-throughput quantitative-PCR including validation of new multi-primer design software; data analysis and manuscript preparation; presentation of results at national and international scientific meetings. In addition, the research associate will assist with lab organization and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, and engage in a stimulating research environment created by multiple researchers working on coordinated aspects of the project.

Required Degree

Doctorate:  In soil ecology, soil microbiology, soil science, biogeochemistry, or a closely related field with preference given to those with experience in isotopic and/or molecular methods.

Minimum Requirements

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in soil ecology, soil microbiology, soil science, biogeochemistry, or a closely related field. The Ph.D. must be completed at the time of employment.

Required Application Materials

Applicants must apply through the MSU online system,, posting number 565146.

Applications must include:

  • a brief cover letter (no more than 2-pages) that highlights past research accomplishments, how your previous experience will benefit this project and your future research goals;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • names and contact information for three references.

A start date of no later than June 3, 2019 is preferred, but alternative timelines will be considered and should be noted in the cover letter. All questions about the position should be submitted to: Lisa Tiemann

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.