Job: Postdoctoral Fellow

Department: DGE – Global Ecology

Salary: $80,850

Location: Pasadena, CA

Carnegie Science’s Global Ecology Group in the Division of Biosphere Sciences & Engineering (BSE) is seeking a motivated, creative, and collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of microbial ecology and biogeochemistry to advance understanding of how microbial ecological interactions drive nutrient transformations in the ocean. 

The Postdoctoral Fellow will work primarily under the guidance of Dr. Emily Zakem, with opportunities to collaborate with other researchers at Carnegie, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the University of Southern California (USC), Stanford University, and beyond. Research for this position will use theory and computational modeling to understand how microorganisms drive ocean biogeochemical cycling. Specific project focuses are flexible, and may include, for example, the ecology and biogeochemical impacts of aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms in anoxic marine zones, the global-scale ecology of nitrification in relation to the carbon cycle, or the ecological dynamics controlling the consumption, respiration, export, and/or elemental stoichiometry of organic matter. 


  • Collaboratively design and conduct cutting-edge research
  • Publish results in high-quality peer-reviewed journals 
  • Present results at scientific conferences

Required Qualifications: 

  • Ph.D. or equivalent by the start of the appointment in the natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics. A background in oceanography, biogeochemistry, ecology, or microbiology is helpful but not essential;
  • Strong interest in advancing understanding in microbially driven nutrient cycling in the ocean or other aquatic environments through theory and modeling;
  • Experience in scientific programming and numerical modeling;
  • Excellent critical thinking and quantitative analysis skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to drive projects forward in a timely manner;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in teams;
  • Commitment to a collegial and inclusive workplace.

The start date for the position is flexible, with the earliest possible appointment beginning in Aug 2024, and review of applicants will be ongoing until the position is filled. Initial appointments are for one year, with possible renewal based on performance and funding availability. The location for the position will be on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, CA. Carnegie offers competitive salary and comprehensive benefits, including partial reimbursement of relocation expenses. Applications consist of 1) a cover letter listing examples of specific research questions you are interested in answering (not the specific tools or approaches you would use), if you could work on any topic you’d like (note that this may be different from what you actually end up working on at Carnegie), 2) a CV, and 3) contact information for three references. All must be submitted through our application portal (see blue bar below). Please contact Emily Zakem ( with any questions about the position.

At Carnegie, we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. We believe academic environments should be places where diverse groups of people with a variety of viewpoints and ideas can thrive and work together. As such, we encourage applicants from underrepresented groups and backgrounds to apply. The Carnegie Institution is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.