Postdoctoral Scholar in Estuarine Nitrogen-Cycling

Stanford University

Stanford, CA, US

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral opportunity within the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University (PI: Prof. Chris Francis), in collaboration with researchers at the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI). The research will examine nutrient dynamics and biogeochemical function in San Francisco Bay (SFB) and how nutrient enrichment impacts ecosystem condition. This project will include observational studies that target priority data gaps, including quantifying nutrient-related transformation rates that occur in the water column and sediments using a combination of ship-board experiments, benthic core fluxes, and analysis of microbial communities. Data collected will be used to refine and calibrate a biogeochemical model under development by collaborators, designed to inform upcoming nutrient management decisions.

This is a project funded by the SFB Nutrient Management Strategy (NMS;, a multi-year science program studying the impacts of nutrient loads to San Francisco Bay and evaluating potential management actions. The NMS is managed by SFEI, an environmental non-profit organization in the Bay Area (, and the successful candidate will collaborate closely with SFEI scientists and will benefit from the resources and complementary research activities at SFEI.

Desired Qualifications

  • Ph.D in environmental microbiology, biogeochemistry, or a related field is required
  • Field and lab experience in marine/coastal biogeochemistry and expertise with geochemical techniques to characterize benthic nitrogen and carbon cycling in situ (e.g., isotope tracer approaches).
  • Experience with molecular/omic approaches for characterizing microbial communities would be advantageous.
  • Data analysis and visualization skills for biogeochemical and/or genomic data using statistical software packages (e.g. R, Matlab, Python).
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including experience communicating scientific findings to a broad audience and working with a range of collaborators, managers, and stakeholders.
  • Experience with project management and ability to work carefully but efficiently in order to meet project goals in a timely manner.

Project Responsibilities

  • Lead field program studying biogeochemical processes in San Francisco Bay.
  • Guide research direction consistent with goals of the NMS program.
  • Communicate regularly and work with other researchers on this project in order to facilitate progress toward program goals.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Present research results to internal groups and at national and international meetings.

To apply:  Qualified applicants should submit (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a one-page statement of research interests, experience, and goals, and (3) the names and contact information of three references. Applications will be reviewed as received, continuing until a suitable applicant is identified. All application materials and inquiries should be sent to Prof. Chris Francis ([email protected]).

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and 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, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford also welcomes applications from others who would bring additional dimensions to the University’s research, teaching and clinical missions.

Application deadline: Open until filled
Start date: ASAP
Location: Stanford University