Postdoctoral Research Associate (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 to work on a project investigating the effects of coupled biogeochemical processes on mercury (Hg) transformations leading to the formation and degradation of methylmercury in natural aquatic systems.     

Major Duties / Responsibilities

The successful candidate will focus their research efforts on understanding the coupled geochemical and biological processes that control Hg speciation, microbial uptake, methylation, and demethylation (e.g., by methanotrophs) in natural water and sediments. The biogeochemical controls on Hg transformations that sustain methylmercury concentrations in natural system are poorly understood.  Specific tasks include design and execution of independent experiments, working independently and in a cooperative team setting in the laboratory and field, processing and analyzing the samples, and summarizing research in oral and written format. Active participation in internal and external scientific meetings and publishing research in open peer-reviewed journals are expected. 

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with geochemists and microbiologists studying complex environmental factors, such as natural organic matter, minerals, and microbes on Hg methylation and demethylation in the natural environment. Opportunities exist to collaborate with skilled researchers in geochemistry, environmental microbiology, and hydrology within ORNL, at collaborating Universities and other National Laboratories.

Qualifications Required

This position requires a Ph.D. in environmental chemistry, (bio)geochemistry, soil science, or a related discipline.  Experience in Hg research, microbial methylation or demethylation, instrumental analyses of Hg and methylmercury, 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.

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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