Job: Postdoctoral Research Associate: Quantification of the compound impact of heat and light stress on photosynthesis

Department: DPB – Plant Biology

Salary: $71,650

Location: Stanford, CA

The Burlacot Lab in the Biosphere Sciences and Engineering Division at the Carnegie Institution for Science is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to contribute to research that aims to quantify the compound impact of light and temperature on photosynthetic CO2 fixation and productivity. Our approach is highly data-driven and aims at developing a sub-cellular understanding of how light and temperature changes affect photosynthesis and plant productivity at the global scale. 

The position is available immediately and the project involves the development of sub-cellular fluorescent probes to measure the temperature of photosynthetic membranes during photosynthesis. The postdoctoral research associate will also quantify the relationship between temperature, light and photosynthetic productivity at the leaf level and collaborate with data scientists to model how combined light and temperature changes will affect plant productivity in future climates.

The position is based in Dr. Adrien Burlacot’s lab and will involve collaboration with Dr. Lorenzo Rosa’s lab from the same division as well as researchers at other institutions, offering excellent opportunities for joint mentoring and career development.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be responsible for identifying strategies for measuring cellular and sub-cellular temperature of plants and algae in response to light and performing combined measurements of temperature and productivity. While we are interested in cellular and sub-cellular processes, the long-term goal of this project is to bridge the molecular to the global scale to predict and propose solutions to improve agricultural sustainability under warming conditions.

Position Duties

  • Develop fluorescent proteins and nanoprobes that respond to temperature to assess the temperature response of photosynthetic membranes during photosynthesis.
  • Quantify the relationship between light intensity, external temperature, cell temperature and photosynthetic productivity.
  • Lead interactions with the Rosa lab to use sub-cellular/leaf measurement for prediction of the compound impact of light and temperature on agricultural productivity.
  • Lead and contribute to research papers to be published in the peer reviewed literature.


  • Ph.D. in Bioengineering, Chemical engineering, Biology, or related field.
  • Experience working with chemicals or genetically encoded in vivo fluorescent sensors. 
  • Proficiency with state-of-the-art microscopic tools. 
  • Proficiency in using molecular biology tools.
  • Experience exploring questions about cellular/subcellular processes.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Previous experience with microalgae or plants is a plus but not necessary.

Informal inquiries about this position can be made by emailing Adrien Burlacot at Formal applications for employment must be submitted by clicking on the bar below, and must include a cover letter, CV, and list of at least three references.

The review of applications will begin immediately, and the position will remain open until it is filled. 

Carnegie is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration of employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status or any other characteristics protected by law. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse research community and we encourage applications by members of all underrepresented groups.