Microbial Community Metabolism Project Scientist

Berkeley, California (US)
Commensurate with experience
April 22 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Microbial Community Metabolism Project Scientist
Organization: EB-Environ Genomics & Systems Bio

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL, https://www.lbl.gov/) Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology Division (https://biosciences.lbl.gov/divisions/egsb/) has an opening for an Environmental Metabolomics Project Scientist to join the team.

Harnessing soil microbes to restore soil carbon is emerging as a promising approach to help mitigate climate change and has additional benefits ranging from reducing nutrient pollution to promoting crop productivity. Unfortunately, we lack the foundational understanding of the forms and ecological controls on soil carbon. Hence, it is critical that we rapidly address these scientific gaps and develop microbiome engineering approaches to restore soil carbon.

In this exciting role, you will lead collaborative projects to design, perform, and coordinate studies related to soil carbon and microbiome engineering. You will assist the Principal Investigator by directing the work of research assistants, post-doctoral fellows, and undergraduate students in analyzing soil, and microbial metabolites.  You will have expertise in studying microbes, soils, and plants ideally using mass spectrometry is critical to the success of this position as is the ability to drive the successful completion of high impact scientific studies in collaboration with internal and external collaborators--from experimental design through publication. You will also have responsibilities in writing proposals and reports.

What You Will Do:

  • Drive the publication of high-impact publications through the design, execution, and coordination of metabolomics studies related to soil carbon and microbiome engineering.
  • Direct the application of mass spectrometry and state-of-the-art-metabolomics analyses to support collaborative projects (especially LC-MS/MS and ideally MALDI).
  • Manage multiple projects to ensure the timely execution of our highest priority scientific goals
  • Lead and coordinate collaborative projects.
  • Perform bioinformatics and statistics to analyze and integrate mass spectrometry-based metabolomics data.
  • Effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Help mentor scientific staff and students.
  • Prepare reports, grants, and updates to help maintain funding.
  • Attend and present at scientific conferences to stay up to date with research developments.
  • Contribute to improvements in diversity and inclusion.

What is Required:

  • 3 years of relevant experience beyond the highest degree in Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Microbiology, or related discipline.
  • Outstanding track record of studying microbes especially soil microbes ideally using metabolomics.
  • Strong background in analytical instrumentation.
  • Experience in microbial culture.
  • Demonstrated productivity and success in the publication of high-impact work in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals.
  • Deep experience applying systems biology methods to studying environmental samples especially soils.
  • Management and mentorship experience.
  • Demonstrated expertise in soil nutrient cycling and/or microbial metabolism.
  • Expertise in statistical analyses of systems biology data.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to successfully contribute to team science (e.g., integrity, trust, teamwork, interpersonal skills).
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly learn and master new skills and areas of research.
  • Excellent and effective interpersonal and presentation skills with the ability to summarize experimental results and present at conferences, reviews, team meetings, and group meetings.
  • Commitment to safety, diversity, and inclusion.

Desired Qualifications:

  • PhD in Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Microbiology, or related discipline.
  • Technical expertise in mass spectrometry and a proven track record for:
    •  Operating and maintaining mass spectrometry instrumentation
    •  MS/MS based compound identification
  • Deep understanding of soil nutrient cycling.
  • Experience developing and optimizing analytical methods. (ex. MALDI, GC-MS, LC-MS, etc.)
  • Experience using acoustic printing.
  • Experience with synthetic biology.
  • Experience programing in python.
  • Experience in lab automation especially using liquid handling robots.


  • This is a full time, 1 year, term appointment that may be renewed to a maximum of five years.
  • 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.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at Berkeley Lab. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our faculty positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion.
  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

How To Apply
Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.

Learn about us!
Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology
Mission: Linking genome biology to ecosystem dynamics.Vision: Sustainable solutions to energy and environmental challenges developed through mechanistic understanding of ecosystem dynamics.
Approach: We develop systems-level models using integrated molecular observation and controlled manipulation of model organisms and defined biomes to design and test interventions that promote beneficial outcomes.

Berkeley Lab
Berkeley Lab (LBNL, http://www.lbl.gov/) 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.

Working at Berkeley Lab has many rewards including a competitive compensation program, excellent health and welfare programs, a retirement program that is second to none, and outstanding development opportunities.  To view information about the many rewards that are offered at Berkeley Lab - Click Here (http://www.lbl.gov/HR/html/Employment/total-rewards.html).

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 (https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ofccp/posters) to view the poster and supplement: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.

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