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Postdoctoral Research Associate Position in Rhizosphere Microbial Ecology (Dept of LAWR at UC Davis)

Recruitment Period

Open date: October 11th, 2019
Next review date: Monday, Nov 18, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: Wednesday, Jan 1, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.



The laboratory of Dr. Cristina Lazcano at the University of California Davis is seeking a postdoctoral researcher in the area of soil microbial ecology and plant-microbial interactions. The successful candidate will work in a project investigating the role of soil microorganisms in the nutrition and resistance of strawberry cultivars to soil-borne pathogens. This project is part of an ongoing collaboration between Dr Cristina Lazcano at the UC Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and the Strawberry Center of the California Polytechnic State University. The successful candidate will study (i) the composition of the soil microbial community (archaea, bacteria and fungi) at different distances from the plant roots (bulk soil, rhizosphere and endophytes), (ii) the temporal dynamics of these communities, recruitment and selection of microorganisms around the roots, (iii) the role of plant genotype in driving these microbial communities and relationship with above and belowground plant traits, and (iv) the response of the microbial communities to management.

The selected candidate will work with an existing database of microbial sequences from soil, rhizosphere and root samples, and will be responsible for processing, sequencing and data analysis of another set of samples already collected. It is expected that the postdoc will use these two datasets for the preparation of two scientific manuscripts with the supervision of Dr. Lazcano and collaborators. In addition, it is expected that the postdoc will participate in the design and development of new projects in the field of plant-microbial interactions.

The initial appointment will be for one year, with the option of renewing depending on available funding. The project is anticipated to yield novel research directions that will open future research opportunities and funding.

The ideal candidate has expertise in bioinformatics and statistical analysis of microbial communities. Demonstrated experience in writing and publication of scientific manuscripts and excellent communication skills. Critical thinking, as well as excellent field and laboratory skills are also required.

We are especially interested in candidates that will be able to think independently and help explore new lines of research.


Sequencing data analysis and interpretation, processing of soil and plant samples for DNA extraction and sequencing, design of experiments, mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students, review of relevant literature, Preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals, Presentation at professional conferences.


PhD in soil science, microbiology, plant science, biology or another relevant field and research experience in soil microbiology, microbial ecology, plant biology or a relevant field.


Preference will be given to applicants with:
1) expertise rhizosphere microbial ecology, processing and statistical analysis of sequencing data;
2) strong communication and organizational skills;
3) can code in R has an interest in transparent and reproducible science; and
4) strong publication records, or the potential for developing one.
Our team believes in and values the power of diversity, thus applicants from historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

SALARY: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The initial appointment will be for one year, with the option of renewing depending on available funding. The project is anticipated to yield novel research directions that will open future research opportunities and funding.

The positions will remain open until filled with a preferred start date of January 1, 2020


To apply, please go to the following link: Applicants should submit the following::
a) a one‐page cover letter;
b) CV and
c) names and contact information of at least two references familiar with your work.


Email any questions to Cristina Lazcano ( with ‘postdoc in rhizosphere microbial ecology" in the subject.

2019 Forbes Award: Best Employers for Diversity 2019 Forbes Award: America

Job location

Davis, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 2-3 required (contact information only)