Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is seeking two postdoctoral researchers to lead studies that tie cell-specific genome data to expressed functions (genome to phenome) such that rates of environmental processes can be coupled to specific microbial lineages. This work integrates cutting-edge approaches in field studies of marine and continental microbiomes, laboratory experimentation and bioinformatics. The primary focus of position #1, co-advised by Drs. Stepanauskas and Poulton, will be on the studies of marine bacterioplankton and the integration of flow cytometry and genomics of individual cells. The primary focus of position #2, co-advised by Drs. Orcutt and Emerson, will be on studies of the deep biosphere and the calibration of single cell activity and physiology measurements using laboratory cultures. Both hired scientists will be engaged in a collaborative, multi-institutional project that also includes the University of New Hampshire and the Desert Research Institute. Candidates must have a PhD degree in a relevant field and prior experience in environmental microbiology and genomics. Research will be conducted primarily at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. Opportunities for fieldwork may be available but are not required. Applications due November 1, 2018.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences invites applications for a Senior Research Scientist (SRS) position to complement the mission of our non-profit research institution. Successful SRS candidates are expected to lead transformative, interdisciplinary research that aligns with, and expands, our research mission. Targeted research areas for this position are in any of the following research themes: (1) ocean microbiome, (2) ocean biogeochemistry, and (3) ocean health. Cross-cutting themes for these positions include human impacts, foundations of marine food webs and climate change. Minimum requirements include a Ph.D. degree in a relevant field and demonstrated capability to acquire external funding and lead scientific programs. We will consider candidates at all levels of their career progression. Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is a “soft money” institution where SRSs are given the freedom to pursue their own funded research and entrepreneurial portfolio that advances the institutional mission. SRSs also have the opportunity to participate in the Laboratory’s sponsored education activities, such as our partnership with Colby College and an NSF REU internship program. SRSs are institutionally supported to engage in governance and administrative activities associated with the laboratory’s unique operational model. For full consideration, the application should be received by November 30, 2018.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is seeking a postdoctoral researcher for the Emerson lab to take part in a study of iron-cycling in the Arctic tundra. The primary goal of this project is to better understand microbial communities associated with iron-oxidation and reduction in the permafrost active layer. Specifically we will address how biogenic iron oxides impact the carbon cycle principally through interactions with methane production and consumption. The work will combine cultivation-independent field approaches with mesocosm studies conducted in the laboratory. The data acquired will also be used in modeling efforts to gain a better understanding of ecosystem processes related to microbial iron metabolism and methane production. Candidates should have strong microbial ecology skills with a demonstrated ability for field and/or laboratory work; experience with, or a willingness to learn a programming language such as R or Matlab is a plus. The project will involve extended stays at the Toolik Field Station, a remote field station on Alaska’s north slope. The candidate must be able to lift 50 lbs. of gear, and be capable of extended hikes in difficult terrain. This is a two-year position with possibility of extension for a third year. Candidates with an interest in making a career of Arctic-related microbiology are encouraged to apply. Consideration of candidates will begin October 10, 2018; start dates will need to be several months prior to the 2019 field season.
The field of astrobiology includes the search for life elsewhere in our universe. To learn how to look for life on other planets, we must first examine the limits of life as we know it here on Earth. In this Café Sci, C-DEBI Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Jackie Goordial describes the microorganisms that inhabit some of the most extreme environments on Earth, and discusses how these environments may be similar to other planetary bodies in our solar system and beyond.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is seeking a qualified and highly motivated individual for a postdoctoral research scientist position in the laboratory of Dr. Beth Orcutt. The research will involve study of the marine deep biosphere, focusing on the use of subseafloor observatories to study microbial processes in the subsurface oceanic crust on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. The project will involve the possibility to be involved in single-cell based analytical techniques and/or poised potential experiments to examine microbial diversity and activity in the crustal subsurface. Highly successful candidates would have experience with environmental science, microbiology, or biogeochemistry, with working knowledge of molecular biology techniques (such as DNA extraction, amplification, sequencing, and/or bioinformatics), microscopy, or electrochemistry techniques considered as highly desirable. Applicants must have at least a Ph.D. in marine sciences, oceanography, environmental microbiology or similar field with a proven publication record. Experience with project management or fieldwork also desired. Research will be conducted primarily at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. At least one opportunity for ocean-going field work is expected in Spring 2019, and other opportunities may be available. The position is offered for a period of two years. The position has an expected start date of January 1, 2019, but this may be negotiated. Application deadline: September 1, 2018.
Undergraduates in Bigelow Laboratory’s summer REU Program spend ten weeks at the Laboratory conducting independent research with guidance from a scientist mentor. Directed by Senior Research Scientist Dr. David Fields, and funded by the National Science Foundation, the REU Program is designed to give students pursuing degrees in the sciences, mathematics and engineering a laboratory-based research experience with an emphasis on hands-on, state-of-the-art methods and technologies. REU students are immersed in the Bigelow community and participate in seminars, field trips, Laboratory outreach programs, social events, and more. Research areas vary year to year, but include marine microbiology, ocean biogeochemistry, optical oceanography, remote sensing, bioinformatics, sensory biology and phytoplankton ecology. The 2018 program dates are May 29 through August 3 and will be held at the Laboratory’s East Boothbay campus. Successful applicants receive a stipend, free housing, and funds for travel to and from Bigelow Laboratory. Applications are due February 15, 2018.
Featuring C-DEBI researchers Jackie Goordial and Beth Orcutt.
Deep at the bottom of the ocean, below thousands of feet of seawater, below even the rocky ocean crust that comprises the sea floor, lies something surprising: more water.
“It’s unintuitive, because most people think of rock as being solid. But it’s not; it has pores, and fractures, and cracks in it,” said Jackie Goordial, a postdoctoral researcher at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.
In fact, water percolating into the crust forms the largest aquifer on earth. This sub-seafloor system contains a whopping two percent of the ocean’s volume, and scientists believe it may be home to large amounts of microbial life.
These tiny microbes are of global importance. Their activity in the sub-seafloor environment shapes the chemistry of the ocean and its influence on the atmosphere.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is seeking a qualified and highly motivated individual for a postdoctoral research scientist position. The hired scientist will work on a project investigating the diversity and dynamics of viruses, as well as the effect of viruses on phytoplankton in marine-derived lakes of the Vestfold Hills in Antarctica (https://www.nsf.gov). These “natural laboratories” allow examination of microbial processes and interactions that would be difficult to characterize elsewhere on earth. This project does not require fieldwork in Antarctica. Instead, it will leverage already collected and archived samples that have concurrent measurements of physicochemical information. This project will also capitalize on approximately 2 terabyte of Next Generation Sequencing, including metagenomes, SSU rRNA amplicons and single virus genomes (this project) generated through an ongoing collaborative effort with other institutions. The project is led by Dr. Joaquín Martínez Martínez, and utilizes cutting-edge molecular technologies, and takes advantage of significant bioinformatics support and computational resources at Bigelow Laboratory. Applicants must have a PhD degree or post-degree experience in relevant fields, such as environmental microbiology/virology, bioinformatics, and oceanography. Additional preferred qualifications include working knowledge in one or more of the following techniques: Flow Cytometry, nucleic acids purification, quantitative PCR, whole-genome amplification, and sequencing. Review of applicants will begin immediately and proceed until the position is filled.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is searching for a full-time Research Technician to perform laboratory and data handling tasks related to microbial single cell genomics, with the primary focus on genomic sequencing. The candidate should be willing to work with fastidious techniques that require extreme cleanliness and accuracy, operating robotic systems, handling advanced data management systems, and quickly learning new methods. A Masters degree in biology or related field or a relevant Bachelors degree and at least three years of post-degree experience working in a molecular biology laboratory are required. Prior experience with Illumina DNA sequencing technology is preferred. Excellent communication skills and ability to work harmoniously in a collaborative research environment are crucial. For full consideration, the application should be received by September 1, 2017.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine seeks a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to help carry out a project working with lithotrophic Fe-oxidizing bacteria. The primary aims of this project are to learn more about the composition of extracellular micro-structures produced by different groups of Fe-oxidizing bacteria, and what environmental factors most influence their production. The position will be in Dr. David Emerson’s laboratory at Bigelow, and is a collaborative project with Dr. Clara Chan at the University of Delaware. The goal is to learn more about the potential utility of these biogenic materials for uses as varied as developing metal-fiber reinforced materials, or organo-metallic frameworks for chemical catalysis, or selective filtering systems. This will be a laboratory-intensive project involving growth of both marine and freshwater Fe-oxidizing bacteria, some biochemical analysis of their products, as well as development of laboratory systems for controlled growth and monitoring, via imaging, of the bacteria, including the use of RNA-seq based transcriptome approaches. In addition, comparative genomics will play an important part in strategizing research approaches. The well-suited candidate will have experience in geomicrobiology, microbial ecology and/or physiology with a strong interest and inclination toward experimental laboratory work, as well as an adequate background in genomics. It’s important to have an intellectual interest in applying this knowledge to the capacity for lithotrophic bacteria to grow on iron, as well as the potential for the development of novel materials. There will be opportunities to do some local field work. For full consideration, the application should be received by August 31, 2017.
The hired scientist will be engaged in a large-scale study of the lineage boundaries, mechanisms, rates, and consequences of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in marine bacterioplankton. Bacterial and archaeal HGT enables fast adaptation to environmental changes, as suggested by studies of human pathogens. Therefore HGT may also play an important role in bacterioplankton responses to natural and human-induced perturbations. However, microevolutionary processes are often overlooked in microbial ecology and biogeochemistry studies. The specific mechanisms, rates and consequences of microbial HGT in nature remain largely unknown, to a large degree due to methodological limitations. Unlike earlier, cultivation-based and metagenomic approaches, single cell genomics is well suited for in situ studies of HGT, because it recovers genomes from a randomized subset of unicellular individuals and successfully captures genome regions that have divergent evolutionary histories (e.g. HGT events) or are located on separate DNA molecules (e.g. plasmids). The project is led by Dr. Stepanauskas, utilizes single cell genomics and other cutting-edge technologies, and takes advantage of significant bioinformatics support and computational resources at Bigelow Laboratory and collaborating institutions. Candidates must have a PhD degree or post-degree experience in relevant fields, such as evolution, bioinformatics and microbiology.
Undergraduates in Bigelow Laboratory’s summer REU Program spend ten weeks at the Laboratory conducting independent research with guidance from a scientist mentor. Directed by Senior Research Scientist Dr. David Fields, and funded by the National Science Foundation, the REU Program is designed to give students pursuing degrees in the sciences, mathematics and engineering a laboratory-based research experience with an emphasis on hands-on, state-of-the-art methods and technologies. REU students are immersed in the Bigelow community and participate in seminars, field trips, Laboratory outreach programs, social events, and more. Each student in the program is paired with a Bigelow Laboratory scientist based on mutual research interests. During the ten weeks, students work with their mentors to identify a research question, develop a proposal, conduct their research, and prepare an abstract and poster. At the end of the program, students present their poster and give a talk at a student symposium. Research areas include the deep biosphere (check out C-DEBI researcher Orcutt’s lab page), as well as marine microbiology, ocean biogeochemistry, optical oceanography, remote sensing, bioinformatics, sensory biology and phytoplankton ecology. The 2017 program dates are May 30 through August 4 and will be held at the Laboratory’s East Boothbay campus. Successful applicants receive a stipend, free housing, and funds for travel to and from Bigelow Laboratory. Applications due February 15, 2017.
Two postdoctoral positions are available in Dr. Stepanauskas’ research group. Hired scientists will be engaged in a major effort to improve our understanding of the composition, functional capacity and microevolution of the marine microbiome, by taking advantage of the recent advances in single cell genomics, metagenomics and other cutting-edge technologies. One of the key goals is a quantitative analysis of horizontal gene transfer – a major evolutionary process that is expected to be important in ocean’s response to environmental changes but remains poorly understood. Candidates must have a PhD degree in a relevant field and significant experience in microbiology, evolution and bioinformatics. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to work harmoniously in a collaborative research team are crucial. Anticipated employment duration: 2 years, with potential extension. Bigelow Laboratory’s new campus is located in scenic, coastal Maine with abundant opportunities for outdoor and cultural activities. It is about an hour drive from Portland and a 3-hour drive from Boston. For full consideration, the application should be received by January 15, 2017.