Opportunity: Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Wetland Biogeochemistry, LUMCON

A Postdoctoral Research Associate in Wetland Biogeohemistry at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) is sought to organize and lead a series of field experiments studying the effects of the Macondo (BP Deepwater Horizon) Oil Spill on coastal marsh ecosystems.  The associate will join a large, multi-institution team of researchers on a BP GRI-funded project studying the impacts of the oil spill and future spills on salt marshes and coastal environments.  The funded position is associated with a collaborative subproject on wetland biogeochemistry and microbial ecology project between Drs. Brian Roberts (LUMCON), Anne Giblin (Marine Biological Laboratory), and Anne Bernhard (Connecticut College).  The objective of the project is to evaluate the impact of oil exposure and remediation activities on marsh elevation and nitrogen biogeochemical processes and microbial communities critical to marsh ecosystem development and land loss.  The post-doc will contribute to the development of protocols and experimental design and play a central role in coordinating activities designed to accomplish this objective.  Specifically, our team will 1) measure soil respiration and greenhouse gas fluxes (CO2, CH4, and N2O); 2) measure CH4 oxidation at sites with methane production; 3) measure nitrification, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), and denitrification rates;, 4) characterize microbial community composition, abundance, and transcriptional activity; 5) identify relationships among community measurements, process rates, and abiotic variables in unoiled, oiled, and remediated sites; and 6) monitor sediment elevation changes.  The post-doc will be based at LUMCON but will be expected to periodically travel to the Marine Biological Laboratory to get trained in field and laboratory techniques and to work with Anne Giblin.  This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with top scientists from around the United States in a large, interdisciplinary research project of great importance to the US Gulf Coast and other ecosystems impacted by oil-related activities.

Qualifications:  The candidate must have a Ph.D. in ecology, wetland science, biogeochemistry or a related field.  The preferred candidate will have experience with field measures of biogeochemical and ecosystem process rate measurements including the use of stable isotope techniques.  The candidate must be prepared to perform rigorous experimental field work that may require physical effort to transport equipment in field sites throughout Louisiana that are accessible only by small boats.  The ability to work in a group setting is essential, as this researcher will work collaboratively with the PI’s, other post docs, graduate students, and research associates/technicians on this project as well as personnel on the larger BP GRI project.   High organizational and communication skills, creativity in methodological development, and understanding of basic experimental design and statistical analyses are required for this position.

Duration and Start Date:  Initial appointment is for 1 year, and may be renewed for a total of 2.5 years depending upon satisfactory performance.  The desired start date is early 2012, but is negotiable.

Location:  The position will be based at the Louisiana University Marine Consortium (LUMCON) at the LUMCON Marine Center in Cocodrie, LA (visit http:///www.lumcon.edu for information on the facility).  The field sites are located along the Louisiana coast between LUMCON and the Mississippi River.   

To Apply:  Send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, up to three relevant reprints, and the name, address, phone and email contact for at least three individuals qualified to comment on scientific and work qualifications to Dr. Brian Roberts (broberts@lumcon.edu) with “LUMCON BP GRI Research Program Wetlands Post-doc position” in the subject line .  For more information concerning the nature of this position, contact Dr. Brian Roberts by email or phone (985-851-2821).

Deadline:  Review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled. 

LUMCON offers state benefits and is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer that actively seeks diversity among its employees.