Job: Postdoctoral opportunity: Microbial Ecological Modeling of the Marine Nitrogen Cycle

Department: DGE – Global Ecology

Salary: $77,000

Location: Stanford, CA

Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology (DGE) at Stanford is seeking a motivated, creative, and collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of microbial ecology and biogeochemistry to advance understanding of how microbial metabolisms and ecological interactions drive nitrogen 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 DGE, Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and beyond. Founded in 2002, scientists at DGE conduct basic and applied research into the interactions among the Earth’s ecosystems and people. Research for this position will use theory and computational modeling to understand how nitrogen-cycling microorganisms drive ocean biogeochemical cycling and provide feedbacks to current changes in the climate system. Specific project focuses are flexible, and may include, for example, the ecology and biogeochemical impacts of aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms in anoxic marine zones or the global-scale ecology of nitrification in relation to the carbon cycle.


  • 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 nitrogen cycling in the ocean or other aquatic environments;
  • 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 August 2023, 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 may be either at the Stanford campus in Palo Alto, CA or at the Caltech campus in Pasadena, CA. Carnegie offers competitive salary and comprehensive benefits, including partial reimbursement of relocation expenses. Applications consist of a cover letter expressing research interests, a CV, and contact information for three references 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.