Jobs — Employment Opportunities at CABBI

From postdoctoral and graduate student researchers, to lab technicians, to other support staff, the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation is looking for motivated team players.

Check out this page frequently for the latest position openings! Queries about job openings may be sent to CABBI Program Manager Elizabeth Murphy, eamurphy@illinois.edu.

Current Openings

Postdoc (Iowa State): Crop and Soil Influences on Ecology, Nutrients, and Water

We seek a highly motivated, dedicated Postdoctoral Research Associate to conduct innovative research for the CABBI at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

The postdoc will work with our CABBI team, Emily Heaton (Agronomy), Andy VanLoocke (Agronomy), and Adina Howe (Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering) as part of a broader team of soil scientists, ecologists, physiologists, ecosystem modelers, and engineers in the CABBI Sustainability Theme.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES: The successful candidate will study fundamental and applied aspects of crop and soil influences on microbial ecology, nutrient cycling, and water quality. This work will be done through a combination of laboratory and field experiments. In the field, the candidate will use monitored drainage plots to develop quantitative estimates of nutrient and water use under biomass crops that will inform agroecosystem models. The successful candidate will contribute to an environmental and economic modeling team that will use these estimates in process-based and economic models.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Ph.D. degree in Soil Science, Plant Science, Agricultural Engineering, Ecology, Agronomy, or a relevant field of microbiology, water resources, or nutrient system analysis
  • Demonstrated skills in leading experimental work in the lab and field

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Applicants with experiences in plant/soil/microbe relations modeling, ecosystem modeling, bioinformatics, and/or biogeochemical modeling are encouraged to apply

Applicants who meet all the required qualifications should send the following materials in a single pdf file by email to Adina Howe with “Postdoc Application” in the subject line: (1) curriculum vita; (2) a letter describing research interests and experience; (3) a recent research paper; and (4) names and contact information for three references.

Inquiries about the position should be sent to Dr. Howe.

For full consideration, please apply by Oct. 31, 2019.

Funding is available to start in January 2020 for appointment on an annual basis with the potential for annual renewal for two or more years based on funding, progress, and satisfactory performance.  This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits.

Iowa State University is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Iowa State provides a competitive and comprehensive benefits package and services for postdocs that includes: Health, Prescription Drug, Dental, Vision, Vacation, Sick-Leave, Optional Investment Savings, and Optional Life Insurance. Read more at https://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/postdoc/.

Postdoc (Illinois): Computational and Econometric Modeling

We seek a highly motivated, dedicated postdoctoral research associate to take a leadership role and conduct innovative research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of the CABBI Sustainability Theme. The goal of the CABBI Sustainability Theme is to develop the predictive capability to determine which feedstock combinations, regions and land types, market conditions, and biofuels and bioproducts have the potential to support the ecologically and economically sustainable displacement of fossil fuels.

The focus of this position is on conducting problem-oriented and policy relevant research developing computational and econometric models to understand the economic and behavioral incentives for technology adoption and its environmental implications for land use change, water quality and carbon emissions, with application to bioenergy.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in agricultural economics, environmental and resource economics, energy economics, operations research or related field and an outstanding ability to perform thoughtful, critical quantitative analysis. Experience in computational methods linking economic models with biophysical and hydrological models, econometric methods, dynamic optimization,  survey design, excellent communication skills and an interest in working with interdisciplinary researchers will be among the selection criteria. Funding is available to start immediately for appointment on an annual basis with the potential for annual renewal for two to three years based on satisfactory performance. The position will be open until it is filled, and the starting date is negotiable.

Applicants who meet all the criteria should send the following materials in a single pdf file by email to Anya Knecht with postdoc application in the Subject line: (1) curriculum vita, (2) a letter describing research interests and experience, (3) a recent research paper and (4) names and contact information for three references.

Inquiries about the position should be sent to Professor Madhu Khanna. For full consideration, please apply by Oct. 1, 2019.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu)

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Postdoc (Illinois): Land Use Change, Carbon, and Nitrogen Biochemistry

A postdoctoral position is available in the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of the CABBI Sustainability Theme. The goal of the CABBI Sustainability Theme is to develop the predictive capability to determine which feedstock combinations, regions and land types, market conditions, and biofuels and bioproducts have the potential to support the ecologically and economically sustainable displacement of fossil fuels.

The postdoc is sought to support research on carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry in bioenergy sugarcane and reference pasture ecosystems. Job duties include designing and conducting field and laboratory experiments, installing and maintaining field instrumentation, coordinating research activities with a large team of collaborators, supervising technicians and undergraduates, and writing manuscripts. Field work will be centered at the Buck Island Ranch of the Archbold Biological Station in South Central Florida. Buck Island is a 10,000-acre cattle ranch boasting 30 years of agroecological research by investigators from around the world.

The postdoc will work with Drs. Evan H. DeLucia and Wendy Yang and will collaborate with other ecosystem ecologists, microbial ecologists, ecosystem modelers, ecophysiologists, ecohydrologists, and others in the CABBI Sustainability Theme. Collaboration with researchers in the CABBI Feedstocks and Conversion themes and the other BRCs is encouraged. The postdoc will be housed in the Institute for Genomic Biology with the other Illinois-based CABBI researchers to facilitate these collaborative interactions and help build a strong community of postdocs and graduate students.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • A Ph.D. or the equivalent in ecology, biogeochemistry, soil science, or related field
  • Experience with laboratory and field work
  • Strong English writing and oral communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to travel frequently from Illinois to Florida to conduct field research
  • A valid driver’s license

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • A strong publication record from their PhD (papers published, in press, or submitted)
  • Experience with soil gas flux measurements, above- and belowground plant sampling, soil coring, and soil/leachate water collection
  • Familiarity with infrared CO2 analyzers, elemental analyzers, gas chromatographs, and flow injection analyzers
  • Knowledge of soil temperature and moisture monitoring equipment
  • Creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things

All candidates must have received a PhD in a relevant field within the past five years.  The position is available for three years; however, annual renewal is dependent on funding and progress made by the individual. This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits.

Application review will begin Sept. 1, 2019, and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is flexible, but ideally in January 2020. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for three references. Please put “CABBI postdoc application” in the subject line of your email to Anya Knecht, the CABBI Research Coordinator, knecht2@illinois.edu.

For further information about the position, please contact delucia@illinois.edu or yangw@illinois.edu.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu)

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Postdoc (Illinois): Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions in Nitrogen Cycling

A Microbial Ecology postdoctoral position is available in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of the CABBI Sustainability Theme, which will develop the predictive capability to determine which feedstock combinations, regions and land types, market conditions, and biofuels and bioproducts have the potential to support the ecologically and economically sustainable displacement of fossil fuels.

The successful candidate will support research on plant-soil-microbe interactions in bioenergy cropping systems (sorghum, energycane, and Miscanthus) with a focus on nitrogen biogeochemistry and microbial functional groups responsible for mineralization, nitrification, denitrification, nitrogen fixation, etc.

The postdoc will work with Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Professor Angela Kent and will collaborate with plant breeders, ecosystem ecologists, ecosystem modelers, ecophysiologists, ecohydrologists, and others in the CABBI Sustainability Theme. Collaboration with researchers in the CABBI Feedstocks and Conversion themes and the other BRCs is encouraged. The postdoc will be housed in IGB with the other Illinois-based CABBI researchers to facilitate these collaborative interactions and help build a strong community of postdocs and graduate students.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES: Designing and conducting field and laboratory experiments to evaluate ecological drivers of nitrogen-cycling microbes, high-throughput DNA sequencing and qPCR, bioinformatics and data analysis. The postdoctoral researcher will coordinate research activities with a large team of collaborators, supervise technicians and undergraduates, engage in data management, and write manuscripts.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • A Ph.D. or the equivalent in microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, soil science, or related field
  • Experience with laboratory and field work
  • Strong English writing and oral communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to travel to research sites in Florida, Iowa, and other locations in the eastern U.S. for short sampling campaigns
  • A valid driver’s license

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • A strong publication record from their Ph.D. (papers published, in press, or submitted)
  • Experience with next-generation DNA sequencing and bioinformatics workflows
  • Strong multivariate data analysis skills

Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is flexible, but ideally in January 2019. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for three references. Please put “CABBI microbial ecology postdoc application” in the subject line of your email to Anya Knecht, CABBI Research Coordinator, at knecht2@illinois.edu.

For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Kent at akent@illinois.edu.

The position is available for four years; however, annual renewal is dependent on funding and progress made by the individual.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Read more at www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Postdoc (Florida): Plant Genome Editing and Metabolic Engineering

The Plant Molecular Physiology lab at University of Florida, headed by Professor Fredy Altpeter, is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral research associate with experience in plant genetic engineering, molecular biology and project management to join our team. The research program focuses on designing feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts using the CABBI “plants as factories” concept.

The successful candidate will apply existing CRISPR‐Cas9 systems to validate targets for crop improvement, develop multiplex genome editing strategies and transgenic approaches for metabolic engineering, and characterize genetically modified events under controlled environment and field conditions similar in scope to our recent publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full.

Extensive background in molecular genetics is essential, including analysis of RNAseq data, design and construction of complex vectors, plant tissue culture, biolistic gene transfer, molecular and phenotypic characterization of transgenic plants. Knowledge in plant metabolism, physiology and genomic regulation is desirable. This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply.

Please email your resume, cover letter, and contact information of  three references to the PI, altpeter@ufl.edu. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Salary will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position:

Ph.D. Student (Florida): Plant Genome Editing

The Plant Molecular Physiology lab at University of Florida, headed by Professor Fredy Altpeter, is seeking a highly motivated Ph.D. student with experience in plant tissue culture and genetic engineering and molecular biology to join our team. The research program focuses on genome editing and metabolic engineering of sugarcane to improve crop performance and quality.

The successful candidate will apply existing CRISPR‐Cas9 systems to validate targets for crop improvement, develop genome editing strategies that do not leave a transgenic footprint in vegetatively propagated sugarcane, and characterize genetically modified events similar in scope to our recent publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full.

Hands-on experience with plant tissue culture and genetic transformation is essential. The ideal candidate will also be experience with vector construction, molecular and phenotypic characterization of transgenic plants. This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.

Please email your resume, cover letter, GRE scores, GPA, and contact information of  three references to the PI, altpeter@ufl.edu. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Stipend will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position: