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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Plant Microbe Symbiosis / NB50638372
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Job Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy, environment and security.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:
The researcher will be a member of The Plant Systems Biology group within the Biosciences Division at ORNL involved with DOE funded projects exploring plant microbe symbiosis using the ecologically relevant Sphagnum peatmoss and the bioenergy feedstock poplar (Populus trichocarpa). ORNL is a longstanding leader in poplar development as a bioenergy feedstock and use in plant microbiome studies ( Peatmosses are a developing ecological and evolutionary genomics model system (; that are also dominant species within peatland ecosystems that store some 25% of the Earths soil carbon. Peatmoss productivity is often attributed to its associative interaction with nitrogen fixing bacteria, yet little is known about the fundamental system genetics driving this association (or disassociation) alone, or within complex communities. Furthermore, the ecological success of peatmoss is theorized to be a key factor in determining whether these critical peatland ecosystems continue to act as a global carbon store, or transition to a carbon source. The aims of the position will be tailored to the expertise of the candidate. Opportunities exist for physiological studies that use synthetic communities for 1) deep molecular characterization of plants with associative N2 fixing bacteria (especially cyanobacteria), 2) the role of plant genetics and environment on microbiome assembly, succession and function, and 3) evaluation of synthetic community insight to either poplar common gardens or a large-scale peatland manipulation study (

Qualifications Required:
A PhD in plant physiology, molecular biology, genetics, ecology or a closely-related field, completed within the last 5 years. Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. degree more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer
  • reviewed journals. Expertise, as measured through first-author publications and/or major conference presentations focused on plant microbe interactions and on one or more of the following disciplines: plant physiology, molecular biology, community ecology, bryology, symbiosis research. Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience.

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply. UT-Battelle is an E-verify Employer.
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