CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geomicrobiology


  • Are you a highly motivated recent (or near) PhD graduate with expertise in geomicrobiology?
  • Prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship on offer - kick-start your research career
  • Join CSIRO Mineral Resources - help grow Australia's resource base

The Position

Postdoctoral Fellowships at CSIRO provide opportunities to scientists and engineers, who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships will help launch their careers, provide experience that will enhance their career prospects, and facilitate the recruitment and development of potential leaders for CSIRO.

Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed for up to three years and will work closely with a leading Research Scientist or Engineer in their respective field. They carry out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO with the possibility of novel and important scientific outcomes. They present the findings in appropriate publications and at conferences.

Mineral resources contribute significantly to the economic wealth of Australia. However, most of Australia’s easily-found mineral deposits have already been discovered and a dramatic drop in the mineral discovery rate has been observed over the last decade. This sharp decrease in mineral exploration success is related to 80% of the Australian continent being covered by regolith, strongly challenging the use of conventional exploration techniques to identify new exploration targets. In order to minimise the risk, cost and environmental impact of future mineral exploration campaigns, novel biogeochemical tools need to be developed.

Subtle concentrations of specific elements present in soils overlying deposits can affect the populations of microbes such as fungi and bacteria that live in the soil. These changes in microbial populations are being investigated as potential surface exploration proxies, but little is known of the link between microbial communities at the surface and the deep biosphere in the subsurface.

As the successful candidate, you will seek to provide a greater understanding of the surface and deep biosphere through genomic sequencing of microbial communities found in regolith as well as in fresh drill core material (deep Earth samples) obtained during mining and mineral exploration. You will investigate microbial communities around mineral deposits in order to contribute to the development and use of microbes in future mineral exploration. This project will be undertaken in collaboration with CSIRO Land & Water, Perth and GFZ Potsdam, Germany.

Locations: Kensington, WA
Salary: AU $80K - AU $91K plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified Term of 3 years
Ref No.: 48783

To be successful you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as Microbiology or a related discipline, with experience and/or an active interest in microbe-metal interactions. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years of relevant postdoctoral experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in molecular ecology of geological samples.
  • Basic knowledge in microbial cultivation under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
  • Familiarity with state-of-the-art microscopy techniques (SEM, TEM), inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) and molecular microbial techniques, particularly linked to extracting and amplifying degraded DNA, characterising microbial communities by next generation sequencing of for example, 16S rRNA and 18S RNA genes and internal transcribed spacers (ITS), and analysing sequence data.
  • Experience in fieldwork and willingness to organise and undertake occasional field sampling in Australia, in remote locations and under variable climatic conditions.
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary, regionally dispersed research team, plus the motivation and discipline to carry out autonomous research.
  • A record of science innovation and creativity, plus the ability & willingness to incorporate novel ideas and approaches into scientific investigations.

Before applying, we encourage you to read the full position description for this role. This document can be viewed at: Position details document

Who we are: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

At CSIRO, we do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today - for our customers, all Australians and the world. We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate.

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Find out more! CSIRO Balance

How to Apply: To apply, please provide a CV as well as a cover letter addressing the selection criteria in brief, and upload these as one document. If your application proceeds to the next stage you may be asked to provide additional information.

Applications Close: 10:59pm AEST Sunday 12th November 2017

posted: 15 October 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.