Opportunity Type:


The Evans Lab at MSU’s W.K. Kellogg Biological Station is seeking a research associate to examine shifts in microbial community composition and function in bioenergy cropping systems.

The research associate would contribute to two highly inter-related projects:

The first is the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, a large multi-PO and interdisciplinary project, of which one part is examining the potential of the plant-associated microbiome to sustainable enhance stress tolerance of plants in degraded lands. Work on this project involves investigations into the fundamental mechanisms that underlie plant-microbe interactions and implications of changing management regimes (e.g. fertilizer).
The second project, MMPRNT (Microbial Mediated Perennial Rhizophere Nitrogen Transformations) is a multi-PI DOE-funded project at MSU that examines how the rhizosphere microbiome of perennial grasses influence plant nitrogen availability. This work leverages GLBRC sites, and overlaps in scope. The research associate could take advantage of powerful time series dataset of community composition already collected (with associated biogeochemical metadata), and interact with diverse array of high-caliber staff, research associates, and graduate students working on both projects.
In addition to research and career development, a proportion of this position (5-10%) would involve coordination among the two projects (data management, pipeline standardization, communication, training), which would give the candidate looking for exposure to multi-PI projects, mentoring, and close interactions with several collaborative laboratories (including Shade, Bonito and Tiemann at MSU).

Required Degree


Minimum Requirements

A Ph.D. in an appropriate discipline is required, as is demonstration of strong written and oral communication skills.

Desired Qualifications

Experience with bioinformatics and statistical analysis of microbial community composition (i.e., amplicon sequencing) data is strongly preferred.

Other skill sets relevant to the project, and that the research associate could apply or potentially learn, are:

  • stable isotope probing
  • high-throughput quantitative PCR
  • culture isolation
  • assessment of plant growth-promotion
  • greenhouse experimentation
  • shotgun metagenomic analysis

Required Application Materials

  • Cover letter (including research accomplishments; future research interests and directions; and relevant field, lab, and data analysis skills)
  • CV
  • A representative publication (published or in press)
  • Contact information (name, position, phone, email) for three references

Special Instructions

Please submit the following:

  1. cover letter (including research accomplishments; future research interests and directions; and relevant field, lab, and data analysis skills)
  2. CV
  3. a representative publication (published or in press)
  4. contact information (name, position, phone, email) for three references.

Review of applications begin Sept. 13, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.

MSU is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, first-generation college students, and persons under-represented in the sciences are encouraged to apply.

See the full position posting here.