Research Associate in Great Lakes Bioenergy Research
Michigan State University
United States

Research Associate-Fixed Term

Apply now Job no: 660544
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: Research And Innovation
Department: Great Lakes Bioenergy Researc Ctr Vprgs 10059425
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Agriculture, Research/Scientific

Position Summary

A research associate position (postdoc) is available in the lab of Dr. Lisa Tiemann ( at Michigan State University to work within the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC; The GLBRC is one of four national bioenergy research centers funded by the US Department of Energy. There are multiple labs involved in the GLBRC at MSU and the University of Wisconsin and multiple opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations. In particular, this position will work in close collaboration with the MSU Insects and Landscape Ecology lab of Dr. Doug Landis ( and the Plant Research Laboratory of Dr. Berkley Walker ( The research will focus on how soil trophic interactions control below ground allocation rates and fate of net primary productivity. For example, we are examining how consumption of mycorrhizal fungi by soil nematodes or microarthropods may indirectly affect soil carbon dynamics as well as plant growth. We are also interested in exploring how plant root residues and exudates might be altered by microarthropod feeding, and lead to changes in microbial community structure, diversity, and function, thus influencing rates of soil C accrual. Overall, we seek to understand key parts of microbial C cycling as influenced by plant and invertebrate diversity, which will change the timing and diversity of root exudates as well as residues. By processing plant material, invertebrates alter the quality, quantity, and timing of both plant detrital and root exudate inputs to soil microbial communities, with significant implications for C cycling.

The position will include some combination of the following activities: Assisting with field work at research sites across Michigan and Wisconsin; conducting and/or coordinating biogeochemical analyses, including 13CO2 stable isotope pulse-chase experiments and stable isotope probing; molecular work including DNA and RNA extraction and sample preparation for sequencing; data analysis and manuscript preparation; presentation of results at national and international scientific meetings. In addition, the research associate will assist with lab organization, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, and engaging in a stimulating research environment created by multiple researchers working on coordinated aspects of the project.

The position is renewable annually, contingent upon funding and job performance. A start date of September 1, 2020 is preferred, but alternative timelines will be considered and should be noted in the cover letter. Candidates should also be prepared for a potentially delayed start date due to the possibility for additional campus closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Required Degree

Doctorate -Soil Ecology, Soil Microbiology or Relat

Minimum Requirements

The successful candidate must have a PhD with a research focus in soil ecology, soil microbiology, soil science, biogeochemistry, or a closely related field with preference given to those with experience working with mycorrhizal fungi and/or soil fauna. Strong candidates will also possess the following attributes: A strong publication record from their Ph.D. (papers published, in press, or submitted); creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things; excellent communication skills, both written and oral.

Desired Qualifications

A strong publication record from their Ph.D. (papers published, in press, or submitted); creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things; excellent communication skills, both written and oral.

Required Application Materials

Applications must include:

  1. a brief cover letter (no more than 2-pages) that highlights past research accomplishments, how your previous experience will benefit this project, and your future research goals;
  2. a curriculum vitae;
  3. names and contact information for three references.

Special Instructions

All questions about the position should be submitted to: Lisa Tiemann  


Department Statement

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is a US Department of Energy-funded Bioenergy Research Center led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison. With Michigan State University as a principal partners, 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.

Advertised: Jul 10, 2020 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: Nov 30, 2020 Eastern Standard Time

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


All Jobs


Harvard University Academic Positions

Kuwait University Current Faculty Openings

Osaka University Academic Opportunities

Purdue University Job Postings for Faculty Positions

Texas Tech University Faculty Openings

Tsinghua University Job Postings

University of Cambridge Job Openings

University of Geneva Faculty Opportunities

University of New South Wales Job Openings

University of Nottingham Research Positions

University of Oslo Academic Jobs

University of Saskatchewan Faculty Positions

University of Southampton Research Vacancies

University of Tokyo Current Academic Vacancies

University of Toronto Open Faculty Positions

University of Zurich Job Postings