Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doctorate RA - River Corridor Organic Matter and Hydro-Biogeochemistry in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 310291

Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences

Division: Biological Sciences

Group: Ecosystem Science

Job Description

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral research associate with a strong background centered around riverbed sediments, surface waters, or soils in terms of (1) detailed molecular properties of organic matter (e.g., assayed via mass spec, NMR, or other high resolution methods), (2) aerobic and anaerobic biogeochemistry, (3) integration of multi-omic data (e.g., metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metametabolomics) with metabolic models that contain diverse microbial communities, and/or (4) field methods associated with river corridor hydro-biogeochemistry.

The candidate will join a team focused on developing trait-based knowledge and models of how river corridors respond to disturbance, using field systems distributed across the U.S. from Alaska to Puerto Rico. The project uses a distributed approach similar to that used by the WHONDRS consortium ( ), in which field campaigns are coordinated across 60 sites with significant amounts of sampling being conducted by teams local to each site. This approach requires significant planning, organization, coordination, and communication. The candidate should expect to spend time facilitating these logistical elements and must have strong communication and organizational skills. The project will also involve the PNNL team traveling to numerous field sites across the U.S. to install instruments and collect samples. The field work will require significant travel for extended periods of time and will be physically demanding.

The project aims to fill two positions to fulfill different needs. As such, specific job duties will vary depending candidate background. For example, one position may be filled by a more field-oriented candidate and the other position filled by a more informatics-oriented candidate. As such, individual candidates don’t need skills to fulfill all project elements; candidates with expertise in one or more of elements summarized above are encouraged to apply. All candidates will, however, be expected to generate peer-reviewed publications and engage in open science.

This is a full-time position anticipated to last 3 years (contingent on performance) starting in the Spring/Summer of 2020. Applications shall be submitted online at When prompted to upload a résumé, please provide a single PDF file containing (1) a cover letter of 1 to 2 pages summarizing research interests and qualifications, as well as an indication of which project elements are of interest (e.g., informatics vs. field work) and a possible start date at PNNL, and (2) a CV listing past employment, education and research experiences, skills, publications, and contact information of three references.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.

Preferred Qualifications

Demonstrated ability to either (1) analyze and interpret detailed properties of organic matter/metabolomes (or other ‘omics) from environmental systems, assayed with high resolution techniques, or (2) conduct/lead hydro-biogeochemical field campaigns in river corridors.

Demonstrated experience for analysis/modeling of diverse data types using contemporary scripting languages such as Python and/or R.

Strong organizational as well as written/oral communication skills with significant motivation to publish in the peer reviewed literature, and to make outputs (e.g., code, data) openly available.

Strong interest in team-based interdisciplinary science, with the willingness and ability to work independently when required.

Ph.D. in environmental chemistry/microbiology, biogeosciences, or related field.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Biological Systems Science

Opening Date: 2020-01-10

Closing Date: 2020-03-10