"Environment" research area

Job postings

Postdoctoral Position – Microbiology and Sediment Bioremediation by Polychaetes

A postdoctoral position is immediately available in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and the BioTechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota. Valery Forbes and Mike Sadowsky are looking for a highly motivated postdoc to work on a project related to bioremediation of contaminated estuarine sediment by the deposit-feeding polychaete, Capitella teleta, and its microbiome. While C. teleta is widely recognized as a pollution indicator and is known to be effective at metabolizing a variety of organic contaminants, the role that its microbiome plays in contaminant metabolism and detoxification is unknown.  The postdoctoral project will examine the relationship between this worm and its microbiome and quantify the importance of the microbiome for contaminant metabolism and sediment bioremediation. The University of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

All applicants must have a Ph.D. in biochemistry, ecology, microbiology, or a relevant field. Expertise in microbiology, microbial ecology, biodegradation, and analytical chemistry, is highly desired.

The position is for 2 years, and is annually renewable depending on performance and availability of funding The successful candidate will receive training in professional and personal development, research collaboration, presentation and publication of results, outreach, and mentoring. The position includes a competitive salary and health insurance. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. A near-term start date is desired.

Applications should include: (i) brief cover letter, (ii) curriculum vitae, (iii) a brief description of past research accomplishments and future research goals (under two pages), and (v) the names and contact information for three references. All materials should be submitted as a single combined PDF to Valery Forbes (veforbes@umn.edu) and Mike Sadowsky (sadowsky@umn.edu) with “Postdoc Application” in the subject line. Any questions should also be directed to these email addresses.

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Postdoctoral fellow in environmental microbiology and engineering

A postdoctoral position is available in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. PI Sebastian Behrens is looking for a highly motivated postdoc to work on a MnDrive-funded project aimed at the development of new pyrogenic carbon based sorption materials (biochars) for the removal of sulfate and heavy metals from mine waters.

The pyrogenic carbon-derived sorption material will be studied with respect to its heavy metal and metal sulfide sorption properties and its effect on microbial sulfate reduction in batch and continuous flow reactors. Separation and regeneration of the adsorbent from complex matrixes as well as the potential recovery of valuable metals from the sorbent will be investigated.

The postdoc will be expected to collect and analyze field and laboratory data, prepare manuscripts for publication, share research findings at scientific conferences, and participate in outreach education. Specific tasks will include anaerobic cultivation, biogeochemical process rate measurements, microbial community analysis using DNA-based sequencing, and quantitative PCR. All applicants must have a Ph.D. in a relevant field. Expertise in some of the following areas is desired: microbiology, environmental engineering, microbial ecology, soil science, biogeochemistry, bioinformatics, and multivariate statistics. Competitive candidates will also possess the following attributes:

  • A strong publication record
  • Outstanding quantitative analytical skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience and skills with both field and lab work
  • Creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things
  • Experience with the enrichment, isolation, and cultivation of anaerobic microorganisms
  • Experience with the construction and operation of bioreactors or flow columns
  • Experience with the analysis of high-throughput sequencing data (bioinformatics and multivariate statistical analyses)

The position is for 12 months initially, and renewable for an additional 12 months depending on performance. The successful candidate will receive training in professional and personal development, research collaboration, presentation and publication of results, outreach, and mentoring. There will be opportunities for development of additional research projects and proposal development related to the broader project goals. The employment will be arranged by the administration of the Biotechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota. The position includes a competitive salary and full benefits including health insurance. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. A near-term start date is sought.

Applications should include: (i) brief cover letter, (ii) curriculum vitae, (iii) a brief description of past research accomplishments and future research goals (under two pages), (iv) reprints of up to three relevant publications, and (v) the names and contact information for three references. All materials should be submitted as a single combined PDF to Sebastian Behrens (sbehrens@umn.edu) with “Postdoc Application” in the subject line.

Any questions should also be directed to:

Sebastian Behrens
University of Minnesota
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering
Civil Engineering Building, Room #244
500 Pillsbury Drive S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0116, USA
office phone: 612-626-8225

BioTechnology Institute
140 Gortner Labs
1479 Gortner Avenue

Office - Snyder Hall,
Room #338
St. Paul, MN 55108-6106, USA
office phone: 612-624-8454
e-mail: sbehrens@umn.edu

MnDrive: http://mndrive.umn.edu/
BioTechnology Institute: http://www.bti.umn.edu/
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering: http://www.cege.umn.edu/index.html

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Undergraduate research assistant position 

The Santelli Geomicrobiology Lab is seeking a highly motivated undergraduate researcher to help study microbial community interactions with selenium in aerobic soils. The position would start spring semester 2016 or earlier. The student is expected to work 10-15 hours/week with flexible hours. Students are expected to apply to work-study funds, UROP, or other funding opportunities. Duties will include micro- and molecular biology laboratory research on projects examining the geomicrobiology of selenium-contaminated areas. There is also potential to perform fieldwork to collect soil samples for analysis. Laboratory research experience in biology, geomicrobiology, chemistry, soil science or a related field is desirable. Previous experience with molecular biology DNA techniques (DNA extraction, PCR, sequencing) or microbiology culturing are preferred, but not required. This position is an excellent fit for someone considering graduate study in geomicrobiology, soil science or environmental science, as there will be the opportunity to gain experience in a number of research areas and to co-author papers. 

Dr. Santelli is a member of the Department of Earth Sciences and the BioTechnology Institute and MnDrive. The lab is located in Snyder Hall on the St. Paul campus. 

For more information or to apply please contact Cara Santelli (santelcm@umn.edu).