Postdoctoral Research Associate (Hydroecologist or Environmental Scientist)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge, TN, US


The Environmental Sciences Division (ESD), at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), seeks a highly motivated and creative individual skilled in biogeochemistry or stream ecology to work on a project investigating the effects of coupled geochemical, microbiological, and hydrological processes on mercury (Hg) transformations leading to the formation and destruction of methyl mercury in sediment-surface water systems.  Current research at ORNL in this area spans from the molecular to the field scales although for this position work will be conducted at the laboratory microcosm to field scales.  The integration of field, laboratory, and simulation research will be used to inform decisions related to environmental remediation and long-term stewardship of terrestrial and aquatic systems.

Major Duties / Responsibilities

The successful candidate will focus their research efforts on understanding, within a watershed context, the geochemical and ecological drivers controlling Hg transformation and bioaccumulation in an industrially contaminated creek on the Oak Ridge Reservation.  Specific tasks include design and execution of independent experiments, working independently and in a cooperative team setting in the field collecting, processing, and preserving samples, and processing and analyzing the samples upon return to the laboratory.  Summarizing research in oral and written format, active participation in internal and external scientific meetings, and publishing research in open peer-reviewed journals is expected.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with microbiologists studying the genetic determinants of Hg transformations.  Opportunities exist to collaborate with skilled researchers in hydrology, geochemistry, environmental microbiology, and ecology within ORNL, at collaborating Universities and other National Laboratories.

Qualifications Required

This position requires a Ph.D. in environmental chemistry, (bio)geochemistry, stream hydroecology, or a related discipline.  Experience in Hg research, applying (bio)geochemical models, and the analysis of kinetic data is desired.  Strong oral and written communication skills are required.  The candidate must have the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team environment.

Applicants cannot have received their PhD more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment.  The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Candidates may contact Dr. Scott Brooks at [email protected] with questions.

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

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