National Lab Postdoctoral Researcher – Algal-bacterial interactions

 Independent, creative, and self-driven microbial ecologist to join our multi-disciplinary team investigating metabolic interactions between microalgae and bacteria as part of a Department of Energy funded program. 

Postdoctoral Position in Algal-bacterial interactions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Staff Member to work on the interactions between bacteria and algae to understand fundamental elemental cycling in aquatic environments. This research will examine bacteria-controlled metabolic changes in algal physiology using ‘omics, stable isotope imaging, and microbial community characterization. The project, led by LLNL, supports a multi-institution research program focused on sustainable and predictable bioenergy crop production, including the cultivation of algae for biomass and biofuel precursors. Our scientific approach is through a community systems biology understanding of microbial consortia that are closely associated with bioenergy-relevant crops. The postdoc will work with Xavier Mayali at LLNL and will be a member of the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division. The research will take advantage of our team’s many analytical tools, including LLNL’s NanoSIMS imaging mass spectrometer, NMR facility, and accelerator mass spectrometer. Our team benefits by active collaborations with scientists at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley and MIT. More information on the project can be found here:

What will you do?

  • Design and conduct experiments with microbial communities in symbiotic relationships with algae.
  • Characterize the rates of elemental exchange between bacteria and algae using stable isotopes (SIP) and mass spectrometric imaging (NanoSIMS) integrated with physiology and post-genomic measurements (transcriptomics or proteomics).
  • Work within a large team of scientists from multiple institutions towards common goals.
  • Pursue independent (but complementary) research interests.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals.
  • Organize, analyze, and present data from research at seminars, technical meetings, national and international conferences. 

What are the minimum qualifications you need?

  • PhD in biology, microbial ecology, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, or a related field.
  • PhD must be within 5 years of hiring*.
  • Experience in microbial interaction research through controlled laboratory experiments or complex community manipulations
  • Ability to develop research projects as demonstrated by record of accomplishment.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication, ability to present and explain technical information, and interpersonal skills to collaborate effectively in a multidisciplinary team environment.

What are other advantageous qualifications?

  • Expertise in analysis of 16S rRNA community data and/or metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, or metaproteomics, or other analytical methods.
  • Experience with stable isotopes or radioisotopes.
  • Willingness to learn new techniques in microbial ecology.


Interested candidates should contact Xavier Mayali:, 925-423-3892

NOTE:  This is a two-year term appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years. *Eligible candidates are recent PhDs within five years of the month of the degree award at time of employment offer. After receiving an offer, the selected candidate must pass a pre-employment drug test before hiring.

Application deadline:
Start date:
Location: Livermore, CA