Close Menu

Postdoctoral Scholar - Biological Plant Biomass Deconstruction

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Job Location
5885 Hollis St.
Emeryville, CA 94608
United States
Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.
Job Description

Postdoctoral Scholar - Biological Plant Biomass Deconstruction - 90519

Organization: BE-Biological Systems & Eng


Berkeley Lab’s Biological Systems and Engineering Division ( has an opening for a Postdoctoral Scholar - Biological Plant Biomass Deconstruction. 


In this exciting role, you will work in the Department of Energy (DOE) funded Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) with the Microbial and Enzyme Discovery Group located in Emeryville, California. You will be focused on using natural and engineered microbiomes to understand the deconstruction of plant biomass, with an emphasis on combining experiments and bioinformatics to uncover how bacteria break down lignocellulose. 


What You Will Do:

• Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analysis of native and lab-grown communities that deconstruct plant biomass.

• Isolation of microbes that grow on components of plant biomass.

• Establishment of synthetic communities that grow on plant biomass.

• Publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and present findings at seminars and conferences.

• Collaborate with other members of the group and across the Divisions at JBEI.

• Maintain an accurate and detailed electronic scientific logbook of all experiments performed.  Store all data generated in an organized and secure way. Ensure that others could duplicate results.


The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.



• This is a full time, 2 year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 3 years paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.

• M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.

• This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.

• Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.

• This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.

• Work will be primarily performed at Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) — Bldg. 978, 5885 Hollis St., 4th floor, Emeryville, CA.



What Is Required:

• Ph.D. in Microbiology, Environmental Engineering, Molecular Biology, or other relevant fields within the last 3 years.

• Familiarity with software to analyze microbiomes.

• Experience culturing microbial isolates and/or microbiomes.

• Expertise in microbiology and microbiome analysis.

• Demonstrated track record of publishing in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

• Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

• Ability to work with multi-disciplinary teams.


Additional Desired Qualifications:

• Previous research experience with plant biomass.


How to Apply

How To Apply

Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.


About Our Organization

Learn about us!

Biological Systems and Engineering Division

Vision: To lead efforts that combine the power of biology with the tools of engineering to develop sustainable energy and biomanufacturing solutions and improve human health.

Mission: Advance a mechanistic and predictive understanding of complex biological systems over multiple scales in terms of their responses to manipulation, stress, disease and environmental challenges and translate this knowledge using engineering principles to develop resilient systems, tools, and processes for the efficient production of fuels, chemicals, materials, tissues, and therapeutics.


Berkeley Lab

Berkeley Lab (LBNL, addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.


Working at Berkeley Lab has many rewards including a competitive compensation program, excellent health and welfare programs, a retirement program that is second to none, and outstanding development opportunities.  To view information about the many rewards that are offered at Berkeley Lab- Click Here (


Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4 (  Click here ( to view the poster: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law".


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.

Inside Higher Ed reports faculty members want a say in re-opening discussions.

Inside Higher Ed reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommendations for how universities could keep students safe if they return to campus.

At Nature Careers, a postdoc gives advice for graduate students who have to do their PhD defenses remotely.

Bitesize Bio gives some ideas for activities home-bound researchers could take on.