Job: Postdoctoral Fellow: Quantifying climate sensitivities of photosynthesis and respiration in Arctic and boreal ecosystems

Department: DGE – Global Ecology

Salary: Competitive with comprehensive benefits

Location: Stanford, CA

Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford is seeking a motivated, creative, and collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow to advance understanding of Arctic and boreal biome responses to climate change.

The Department of Global Ecology, founded in 2002 on the campus of Stanford University, conducts basic and applied research into the interactions among Earth’s ecosystems, land, atmosphere, oceans, and people with a goal of informing the sustainability of the Earth system. Department faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students, technical and administrative staff work to understand how our planet operates, and how it will respond to future changes. We place a particular focus on research questions that will have a substantial impact on our ability to manage the Earth system, and that have a high likelihood of leading to breakthroughs on timescales that are compatible with the urgency of the climate, biodiversity, energy, and food security crises facing our planet.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will develop innovative strategies for using atmospheric, land surface and satellite-based observations to characterize the sensitivities of boreal and Arctic carbon sinks to climate variability and assess their impact on future climate projections. There will be considerable flexibility in the specific scientific questions to be examined, but potential areas of focus include:

  • Assessing how atmospheric observations inform mechanistic understanding of Arctic and boreal carbon balance
  • Evaluating how temperature, water availability, and radiation control patterns of photosynthesis and respiration
  • Informing the representation of photosynthesis and respiration in climate and terrestrial biosphere models

Required Qualifications: 

  • Ph.D. in any scientific or engineering discipline with a grounding in earth and environmental science, climate, ecology, energy, agriculture, hydrology, remote sensing, or related field;
  • Analyses of large spatio-temporal climate datasets;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Strong quantitative analysis skills;
  • Evidence of ability to work independently and in teams;
  • Commitment to a collegial and inclusive workplace.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will identify compelling research questions, collaborate extensively both within and outside the department, lead and contribute to high-impact research papers, present scientific results at conferences, and create data products to be used by other scientists and stakeholders.

The position is based in Dr. Anna Michalak’s research group and funded through the NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) program. The appointment will be one year initially and with the potential of extensions up to a total of three years based on performance and funding availability. The position is available immediately but the starting date is flexible.

Applications will only be considered when submitted through our application portal. The application must include a cover letter, a CV (including a list of publications), and a list of three references with contact information. Please contact Dr. Anna Michalak at 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.