Position Detail

Postdoctoral Researcher (#780)

Hiring Range:
$ – $48,000.00 Annually
Date Posted:
11/09/2018
Type/Department:
Staff in Environmental Studies
Search Status:
Search Is Open - Accepting Applications
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The Ballantine Lab at Mount Holyoke College seeks a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to work on projects in the interdisciplinary fields of wetland biogeochemistry and restoration ecology.

Responsibilities:  We are seeking a postdoc to take a leadership role conducting innovative research as part of the Restoration Ecology Program. This work includes field and laboratory research contributing to two or more projects focused on the long-term development and ecosystem functions of restored wetlands. Specifically, we are working to understand carbon balance, nitrogen cycling, and other soil-based ecosystem functions in highly-degraded agricultural systems that are developing along different trajectories towards upland versus wetland ecosystems. We are also using a variety of genetic tools to examine the soil microbial community, how it develops over time, and how it contributes to desirable and undesirable wetland functions. 

Our primary project focuses on a chronosequence of more than thirty farmed, retired, restored, and natural sites in Massachusetts to assess how current large-scale retirement and restoration of highly degraded agricultural land will impact overall ecosystem function of critical coastal areas. A complimentary line of ongoing research uses wetland mesocosms and field-scale experimental plots to examine the effects of climate change on the ecosystem functions of restored wetlands. 

Given time and interest, the postdoc could contribute to other ongoing projects, including development of new research that examines carbon and nitrogen cycling as well as the development of other soil-based ecosystem functions in restored rainforests near Monteverde, Costa Rica.  Related but independent lines of research will be encouraged.

A summary of activities includes, but is not limited to: experimental design; field and laboratory work; data analysis; purchase, maintenance, and calibration of field and laboratory equipment; report, manuscript, and proposal preparation; supervising undergraduate researchers, participation in collaborator meetings, and presentation of research at conferences. 

This position comes with the opportunity to work with an accomplished and interdisciplinary group of researchers at collaborating academic and governmental institutions. The position will likely involve supervising at least two undergraduate students per year, and would be especially well-suited to individuals interested in small liberal arts research colleges.

Qualifications:  Applicants must have a Ph.D. in biogeochemistry, restoration ecology, ecosystem science, or a relevant field.  Applicants must also have a driver’s license.  Strong preference will be given to candidates with evidence of: 1) laboratory and field experience in wetland and/or soil biogeochemistry, 2) excellent communication skills, as indicated by publications and presentations, 3) prior collaborative experience and willingness to work both independently as well as a part of a team that includes a diverse group of faculty and undergraduate students, and 4) evidence of desire and ability to supervise undergraduate researchers from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.   

Desired Skills: A working knowledge of methodologies for measuring carbon cycling, including greenhouse gas fluxes, is highly desired.  Researchers with experience conducting field and/or mesocosm-based research are particularly encouraged to apply.  Excellent writing, quantitative, organizational, and collaborative skills are essential.

Salary:   Funding is available for three years, with the position reviewed annually. Salary is $48,000 with benefits.

How to Apply: 

1) Curriculum vitae

2) Letter of interest describing your qualifications, research interests, and how this position would support your future goals.

3) One of your recent research papers

4) Names and complete contact information for three references

Review of applications will begin November 30, 2018, and continue until the position is filled.  Position is available immediately and start date is negotiable. 

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Mount Holyoke College is committed to enriching the educational experience it offers through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff members. Mount Holyoke seeks to recruit and support a broadly diverse team who will contribute to the college's excellence, diversity of viewpoints and experiences, and relevance in a global society. In furtherance of institutional excellence, the College encourages applications from individuals from underrepresented groups, including faculty, staff, and administration of color, diverse gender identities, first generation college students and individuals who have followed non-traditional pathways to college, and individuals with a demonstrated leadership commitment to including diverse backgrounds and perspectives.