PhD positions - soil microbial genomics and biosphere-atmosphere trace gas exchange

 The Ecosystem Genomics lab at the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson is seeking two highly motivated PhD students to work on resolving microbial drivers of soil-atmosphere trace gas fluxes. The students will have the opportunity to work in a vibrant, interdisciplinary setting including the BIO5 institute, Biosphere 2, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and UA’s visionary initiative in Ecosystem Genomics. Students will develop their own research projects on key trace gases and biogeochemical cycles (i.e., carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbonyl sulfide). Research foci may include linking genes to microbial trace gas production or consumption, addressing scaling challenges in the complex and heterogeneous soil system, characterizing the key biotic and abiotic controls on ecosystem trace gas fluxes, or other areas related to the applicant’s interest. For example, a student could focus on developing methods to scale from genes to ecosystem hydrogen (H2) cycling in mesocosms that would then be evaluated at the ecosystems scale in Biosphere 2 and natural systems. The students will have ample opportunity for teamwork, but will independently develop core thesis projects.

The applicant should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (but a master’s degree is preferred) in microbiology, biology, ecology, soil science, atmospheric sciences, atmospheric chemistry or related field. A strong background is required in either 1) instrumentation and quantitative analysis, with preference given to those with programming experience or 2) laboratory techniques in molecular biology, microbiology, or bioinformatics. The positions include a stipend (two years guaranteed based on performance), tuition waiver, and health insurance, with a projected start date of August 2019. Additional funding opportunities include teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships.

Interested candidates should contact Laura Meredith ( and send a CV, letter of interest, research statement, and if possible a writing sample.

Lindsey Fera
Program Coordinator, Senior
School of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Arizona

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