Berkeley Lab's Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology Division has an opening for a Biologist Project Scientist. The m-CAFÉs program is a collaborative, coordinated and integrated, mission-driven program to interrogate the function of soil microbiomes with critical implications for carbon cycling and sequestration, nutrient availability and plant productivity in natural and managed ecosystems. One of the major challenges for generalized understanding of microbiomes in these complex ecosystems is extreme variation in microbiomes and environmental conditions. In many fields, simplified model systems have been developed and adopted by many researchers to accelerate the study various aspects of biology. In contrast, there is no agreed upon model system for studying soil microbiomes, and thus, nearly every researcher in the field is studying a different soil system. This heterogeneity of study systems and an inability to replicate experiments in different laboratories limits determination of causal mechanisms and the ability for scientists to build on each other's work. A major effort within the m-CAFÉ program is developing precisely controlled ecosystem fabrications (EcoFABs) that reflect key functional attributes of plant-microbe interactions within soil, focusing on progressively increasing complexity that honor the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils.
The successful candidate will leverage their deep expertise in engineering, environmental microbiology, Omics analysis, and programming to develop, refine, and use EcoFABs that accurately reflect important aspects of natural soil-plant-microbiomes to discover causal mechanisms mediating the flow of nutrients and role of secondary metabolites within these communities.
What You Will Do:
Develop fabricated ecosystems that recapitulate important aspects of plant and soil ecosystems.
Perform metabolomics analyses to investigate metabolite exchange between community members and identify plant exudates that sustain rhizosphere communities.
Design experiments to determine factors that mediate carbon and nutrient exchange between plants, fungi and bacteria.
Model interactions between native and synthetic microbial communities within fabricated ecosystems.
Design reductionist soil substrates that mimic specific soil properties.
Evaluate fabricated ecosystems vs native environments.
Effectively communicate with the other members in the group and provide implementation plans that includes timeline, procedures, expected outcomes, and risks.
Participate in cross-team and cross-group collaborative projects within the DOE JGI as well as users' projects.
Supervisory role of an undergrad/tech to supply strains when requested.
The candidate is expected to present his/her research at international conferences and to publish in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.
Create periodic reports to the management and principle investigators of the program.
Work independently, maintain appropriate records and manage data to ensure accessibility and replication of work.
Lead group meetings.
What is Required:
PhD in Chemical Engineering or related field and/or experience.
Deep expertise in environmental microbiology.
Microfluidic and bioreactor fabrication experience.
4+ years post doctoral experience performing analytical chemical analyses/computational biology/ molecular biology and microbiology.
Microbial isolation from diverse environments including soils.
Experience using omics approaches to study complex plant and soil microbiomes research including in situ metabolomics.
Stable isotope probing for tracking chemicals in complex environments and isotope assimilation into microbial biomass and metabolites.
>2 years experience analyzing metabolomic and genomic data using python.
Experience sampling diverse environments.
Experience with LC-MS, GC-MS, IRMS, TOC.
Demonstrated experience in managing multiple projects in parallel and in corresponding with scientific collaborators.
Demonstrated success in the publication of high-impact work in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals.
Effective interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work in a team environment with a diverse group of scientific and technical personnel.
Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Additional Desired Qualifications:
Experience working with complex, multi-omic datasets including analyzing microbial community networks and annotating microbial biosynthetic and degradation pathways.
Designing high-throughput and automated systems for sampling and controlling fabricated ecosystems.
Imaging of fluorescently labeled microbial communities (e.g., recombinant fluorescent protein expression, FISH).
Familiarity with various bioinformatics-related software and tools (e.g., R, KBase, etc)
Experience extracting lipids and proteins from cultures and environments.
The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.
This is a full time, 1 year, term appointment with the possibility of extension or conversion to Career appointment based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs.
Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
Salary is commensurate with experience.
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 primarily be performed at Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) — Bldg. 971, 6401 Hollis St., Emeryville, CA.
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.
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."
Internal Number: 85315
About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with excellence. Thirteen scientists associated with Berkeley Lab have won the Nobel Prize. Fifty-seven Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world. Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 200-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular... views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 4,200 scientists, engineers, support staff and students. Its budget for 2011 is $735 million, with an additional $101 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for a total of $836 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory's overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars. Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence's belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.