Mathematical Ecologist - R&D Associate Staff Member

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
competitive salary, full benefits, paid relocation, paid vacation, on-site fitness / wellness center
Sep 11, 2019
Oct 11, 2019
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Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking an early-career scientist to help advance the development and integration of biogeochemical models using observations and experiments across multiple scales from the “top-of-the-bedrock” to the “top-of-the-vegetative-canopy”. You will demonstrate strong multidisciplinary expertise and quantitative skills. Your research should enable the transformation of biogeochemical and hydrological process models and Earth system models to better capture above- and below-ground interrelations. Encouragement for application is given to those who have experience in developing mathematical representations to quantify linkages between carbon and nutrient dynamics and soil microbial communities, especially using advanced techniques such as metagenomics. Developing quantitative underpinnings to apply data gathered with novel technologies such as solar-induced fluorescence and eddy covariance to quantify the carbon balance across scales is also of interest.

Major Duties/Responsibilities

You will work with a diverse team of researchers seeking to advance our scientific understanding of feedbacks among carbon, nutrients, water, and energy cycles in terrestrial ecosystems and their response to multiple interacting climate and anthropogenic forcing factors. Incorporation of new process-level findings from observations and experiments into biogeochemical cycling and Earth system models is a primary goal of this team. You will utilize your strong mathematical skills to develop new functions and representations of ecological processes in models over a variety of spatial and temporal scales and publish your findings in top-quality journals and participate in the generation of novel research concepts. 

Qualifications Required

Ph.D. in a discipline relevant to climate interactions with terrestrial ecosystems (e.g., microbiology, ecology, soils, engineering, atmospheric science) is required. Experience with modeling microbial ecology processes, cycling of nutrients in above- and below-ground ecosystems, and trace-gas emissions is essential. You should be able to implement process-level models into Earth system models and test the models for their efficacy against experimental data and observations. Strong quantitative skills will enable the incumbent to design and implement simulation models and advanced statistical models, conduct multi-objective optimization, and assess uncertainty in model predictions. Use of routine scientific programming tools (FORTRAN, C#, R, Matlab, GIS) is required for the position. Finally, a strong history of scholarly publication should be demonstrated by high-impact publications that explore linkages among empirical observation, experimental results, and biogeochemical cycles.


Benefits at ORNL:  UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.   


Relocation:  Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

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This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.