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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 623750
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: Research And Innovation
Department: Great Lakes Bioenergy Researc Ctr Vprgs 10059425
Salary: 60000.00
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Agriculture, Research/Scientific

Working/Functional Title

Keegstra Postdoctoral Researcher

Position Summary

Michigan State University is one of the top institutions for research in both plant science and microbial ecology.  We are seeking to fill a Research Associate (postdoc) position with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC)  https://www.glbrc.org/  A Keegstra Postdoctoral Fellowship position is available with a primary appointment in the research laboratory of Berkley Walker and a secondary appointment in the lab of Lisa Tiemann. The Walker lab is affiliated with the Plant Research Laboratory (https://prl.natsci.msu.edu/walker-lab-home/) and the Tiemann lab is affiliated with the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences (https://tiemann.psm.msu.edu/), at Michigan State University.

We are seeking a qualified postdoc able to independently and creatively investigate the question, “How does carbon partitioning shift in response to abiotic stresses such as drought?” Carbon partitioning can be considered along a continuum from initial CO2 fixation in green tissues, transport within the plant to root and shoot sink tissues and finally to exudation via roots or possibly shoots to support microorganisms, both beneficial and pathogenic. This project will leverage the current infrastructure of the GLBRC for in-field 13CO2 labeling of switchgrass to produce an integrated picture of carbon partitioning along the shoot-root-soil-microbe continuum. As a Keegstra Postdoctoral researcher the specific research questions are left intentionally open as the successful applicant will be expected to develop a two-year research plan (including a materials budget) outlining the specific directions of the project. Some example specific directions are:

  • What is the physiological response of switchgrass to drought stress?
  • When are compounds produced post-drought, that inhibit downstream industrial fermentation, and how long do they persist in tissues?
  • How does drought affect the supply of plant carbon to soil or leaf microbes?
  • How can root shoot carbon partitioning be better represented in models of productivity?

This is a fantastic opportunity for a motivated recent PhD graduate to develop an independent research project. The ideal candidate will show a strong ability/desire to integrate across scales, techniques, and organisms to answer important questions about the physiology and ecophysiology of bioenergy systems. They should be proficient in at least one of the following techniques with a strong desire to learn the remainder: mathematical/statistical modeling, mass spec analysis of plants/soils (e.g. metabolomics), plant or soil gas exchange, stable isotope ecology, soil biogeochemistry, DNA/RNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, or sequencing. The candidate should also be able to coordinate research between the two main host labs as well as additional groups within the GLBRC as the project scope requires. Other potential collaborators include Nathaniel Ostrom, Sasha Kravchenko, Rick Amasino, Trey Sato, and Steve Karlen.

The position is for two years contingent on performance and funding, with an initial salary of $60,000/year, standard Michigan State University benefits, and also funds for research expenses and travel. Candidates must have received their PhD degree within three years of the start of this position and must not have been previously associated with the GLBRC. The postdoc is expected to take an active role in the GLBRC community, by facilitating integrative work and leading Center activities.

In the application, please include a 2-page letter of interest describing what you think are the big unanswered questions about carbon partitioning along the shoot-root-soil-microbe continuum, evidence of your ability to lead interdisciplinary research, and relevant skills and research accomplishments. Also include a current CV, and contact information for three references. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please feel free to contact Berkley Walker (berkley@msu.edu) or Lisa Tiemann (ltiemann@msu.edu) with any questions.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Plant/Soil Biology, Agronomy, Microbiolo

Minimum Requirements

Applicants must hold a PhD in a field related to plant/soil biology, agronomy, microbiology, molecular biology, genomics/bioinformatics, ecology, or similar field.

Applicants must have receive their PhD within the past three years.

Desired Qualifications

Proficiency in at least one of the following techniques with a strong desire to learn the remainder: mathematical/statistical modeling, mass spec analysis of plants/soils (e.g. metabolomics), plant or soil gas exchange, stable isotope ecology, soil biogeochemistry, DNA/RNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, or sequencing. The candidate should also be able to coordinate research between the two main host labs as well as additional groups within the GLBRC, as the project scope requires. They will have strong writing and communication skills. Experience in conducting greenhouse or field experiments will be viewed favorably, as will a familiarity with ecological and ecophysiological concepts.

Required Application Materials

Applicants should submit:

  • a 2-page letter of interest describing what you think are the big unanswered questions about carbon partitioning along the shoot-root-soil-microbe continuum, evidence of your ability to lead interdisciplinary research, and relevant skills and research accomplishments.
  • A current CV,
  • Contact information for three references.

Special Instructions

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

Please feel free to contact Berkley Walker (berkley@msu.edu) or Lisa Tiemann (ltiemann@msu.edu) with any questions.

Review of Applications Begins On

12/03/2019

Website

https://www.glbrc.org/

Department Statement

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded Bioenergy Research Center led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with Michigan State University as a primary partner. We are developing sustainable biofuels and bioproducts made from dedicated energy crops grown on marginal lands. Our mission is simple: creating biofuels and bioproducts that are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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