Wetland Plant Ecology Postdoctoral Research Associate

Review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled

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The Roberts Lab of Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) is seeking a postdoctoral research associate in wetland plant ecology to help organize and lead a series field studies and manipulative experiments studying the effects of the Macondo Oil Spill on coastal marsh ecosystems. The postdoc will join a large, multi-institution team of researchers on the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) project funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to study the impacts of the oil spill and future spills on marshes and coastal environments. Specifically, they will be collaborating with the wetland biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, and plant ecology group led by Drs. Brian Roberts (LUMCON), Anne Giblin (Marine Biological Laboratory), and Anne Bernhard (Connecticut College). Our group’s overall objectives since beginning this project in 2012 have been to 1) improve understanding of temporal and spatial patterns in marsh biogeochemical process rates, associated plant and microbial communities and factors regulating these communities and rates; and 2) evaluate the impact of oil exposure on and recovery of marsh biogeochemical processes and associated plant and microbial communities. The postdoc will have the opportunity to build on extensive data sets with the goal of examining continued impacts as well as the recovery of marsh plant dynamics, biogeochemistry, and microbial communities impacted by the spill. These data sets include multiple years of sampling on wetland plant above and below ground biomass, production and decomposition, biogeochemistry (greenhouse gas fluxes, nitrification, denitrification/DNRA/anammox, phosphorus sorption, iron reduction), and associated microbial communities (ammonia oxidizers, denitrifiers, methane oxidizers). Continuing research activities include a combination of field/lab studies and manipulative experiments at multiple scales including a large-scale oiling experiment being conducted in a soon to be completed marsh mesocosm facility. The post-doc will be based at the LUMCON but may be expected to travel periodically to work with collaborators. This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with top scientists from around the United States in a large, interdisciplinary research project of great importance to the US Gulf Coast and other ecosystems impacted by oil-related activities.


The candidate must have a Ph.D. in ecology, wetland science, plant ecology, biogeochemistry or a related field. The preferred candidate will have experience making ground-based measurements of spectral reflectance to determine plant physiological status and detect stress and have experience making integrated plant-soil greenhouse gas flux measurements. The candidate will also be expected to participate in field work that may require physical effort to transport equipment in field sites throughout Louisiana that are accessible only by small boats. The ability to work in a group setting is essential, as these researchers will work collaboratively with the PIs, other post docs, graduate and undergraduate students, and research associates/technicians on this project and the larger CWC effort.  High organizational and communication skills, creativity in methodological development, and understanding of basic experimental design and statistical analyses are required for this position.


The position is available immediately.  The initial appointment is for 1 year with possible additional support dependent on funding and satisfactory performance.


The position will be based at the DeFelice Marine Center in Cocodrie, LA. The field sites are located along the Louisiana coast between LUMCON and the Mississippi River.


Send 1) a letter of interest that describes your interest in the position, your career goals, and details your work and educational experience most relevant to the position; 2) curriculum vitae; 3) up to 3 relevant reprints; and 4) contact information for 3 references to Dr. Brian Roberts (broberts@lumcon.edu) with “Wetland Plant Ecology Postdoc Position” in the subject line. For more information, contact Dr. Brian Roberts by email or phone (985-851-2821).

Review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

LUMCON is an AA/EO employer.

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