Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbial Ecology: Genomes to Phenomes

Desert Research Institute Published: May 28, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Job Type
Education / Scientific /
(Number of Job Posting Views: 3)

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~ Welcome to the Desert Research Institute (DRI), we are excited to see your interest in our research, administrative and staff positions. DRI seeks a diverse, talented and highly motivated workforce that is committed to collaboration, inclusion and the pursuit of excellence in basic and applied research. This unique entrepreneurial setting enables innovative and results driven individuals to accomplish world renowned achievements. ~

Since 1959, DRI has stood at the forefront of understanding Earth's complex environmental systems, promoting preservation of diverse ecosystems, advancing responsible natural resource management, and improving human health and welfare throughout Nevada and around the world. Research at DRI calls on the expertise and methods of multiple scientific disciplines. More than 500 highly-skilled scientists, engineers, technicians, students  and staff on two main campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada,  that are collaboratively focused on understanding and answering critical questions about global climate change, water quality and availability, air quality, sustainability of desert lands, life in extreme environments, and more. DRI ranks high in research and development expenditures in environmental sciences.   

Position Overview

The DRI in Las Vegas, NV invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in Microbial Ecology. This innovative research aims to tie genomic data to microbial function by examining rates of environmental processes at the level of the individual cell. Our NSF-funded project combines microbiology, environmental biogeochemistry, and bioinformatics, with an emphasis on the continental and marine deep biosphere and biodegradation of contaminants of emerging concern. The successful applicant will join a dynamic project team with collaborators at the Single-Cell Genomics Center (Bigelow Lab, ME) and the University of New Hampshire.

This multidisciplinary position is based in DRI’s Environmental Microbiology and Astrobiology Labs, which focus on life in extreme environments (e.g., caves, hypersaline), water quality, and molecular archaeology, in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, NASA Ames, the University of New Mexico, NASA GeneLab, and the DOE Joint Genome Institute. Our group is well-positioned within the Microbial Ecology, Deep Life, and Astrobiology Communities, providing excellent opportunities for early career recognition, networking, and publishing.


Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in microbiology, aquatic sciences, or a related discipline from an accredited institution.
  • Background in bioinformatics (e.g. 16S iTag libraries, genomics, metagenomics) and a working knowledge of microbial physiology.
  • Expertise in laboratory science (e.g. DNA manipulations, chemistry or microbial cultivation).
  • Ability to participate in and coordinate collaborative research in a team setting.
  • Ability to work independently to meet project milestones and reporting deadlines.
  • Ability to effectively analyze and report findings to sponsors, at conferences, and in the scientific literature (clear written and spoken English).
  • Strong work ethic and professional accountability.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced microbial cultivation techniques (e.g. anaerobes), flow cytometry, microscopy.
  • Experience with field research.
  • Desire to mentor students and contribute to lab management.
  • Aptitude for working with and maintaining scientific equipment.
  • Ability to conceptualize and develop research proposals.

Conditions of Employment:

  • The position requires occasional fieldwork, sometimes in remote or challenging environments.
  • Must have the ability and willingness to work in inclement weather including high temperatures for extended periods and lift heavy equipment and samples (50 lbs.).


Salaries are competitive and commensurate with qualifications, with continued appointment (assessed annually for up to a maximum of three years) being dependent upon performance and availability of funding. Given satisfactory performance, and proven ability to generate research funding, this position has the potential to evolve into a regular research faculty position. This position is eligible for benefits and relocation; see Postdoctoral Fellow benefits summary for an overview:

To Apply

Please click "Apply on Company Website" below. To ensure full consideration, application packages should be received by June 8, 2019. Applicants can also apply after this date as the posting will stay open until filled. For more detailed information about DRI, please visit us at For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 702-862-5548.

Please upload the following documents in the specified section:

  • A cover letter detailing your research experience, career goals, project interests, and potential ties to DRI faculty and research programs
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • Contact information for three professional/work-related references, to be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission

Note to Applicant:

  • Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications. The search committee will use this information during the initial review of application materials.
  • References will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant notification and permission.
  • Newly hired faculty and postdoctoral fellows must assure that their official transcript is submitted to the Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days from the effective date of employment. Academic degrees must have been awarded by regionally accredited institutions.
  • This position may require a criminal background check to be conducted on the candidate(s) selected for hire.
  • As part of the hiring process, applicants for positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform job-related tasks.
  • DRI employs only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. DRI only sponsors aliens applying for research faculty or postdoctoral fellow positions (J-1 or H-1B Visas).
  • All applicants hired by the Desert Research Institute are subject to E-Verify.

Thank you for your interest in employment with the Desert Research Institute. We want your application process to go smoothly and quickly. We ask that you keep in mind the following when completing your application:

  • Once you start the application process you cannot save your work. Please ensure you have all required attachment(s) available to complete your application before you begin the process.
  • Required attachments are listed below on the posting. Your application will not be considered without the required attachments.
  • Please see the application instructions under each posting for information on submittal deadlines.
  • If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, contact Human Resources Hotline at (775) 673-7431 or

~ DRI is an equal employment opportunity employer that welcomes all people, from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, DRI takes measures consistent with Title IX to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its students and employees.

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) is committed to providing a place of work and learning free of discrimination on the basis of a person’s age, disability, whether actual or perceived by others (including service-connected disabilities), gender (including pregnancy related conditions), military status or military obligations, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, race, or religion. ~

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