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Senior Research Officer

University of Essex - School of Biological Sciences

Location: Colchester
Salary: £33,199 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 16th January 2019
Closes: 28th February 2019
Job Ref: REQ02264

The School of Biological Sciences

The School of Biological Sciences is looking to recruit a post-doctoral Molecular Ecologist to examine the biodiversity of urban soils on a new NERC funded project - FUSED - Functionality of Urban Soils supporting Ecosystem service Delivery. We have a global reputation for our research: two-thirds of our research was rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in REF 2014.

The postholder will be a member of the Ecology and Environmental Microbiology Group which focuses on four broad themes of biodiversity, climate and environmental change, biogeochemical cycling and environmental biotechnology, across all levels of biological organisation (from genes to ecosystems) and across all taxonomic groups (from microbes to macro-organisms). Further information can be found at:

Duties of the Role

This 3-year position, represents an ideal opportunity for you as a PDRA to significantly expand your research career. You will use a range of advanced molecular and bioinformatic approaches targeting soil DNA/RNA, and including automated robotic sample preparation, Next Generation Sequencing (Illumina - amplicon sequencing) and qPCR of phylogenetic and functional marker genes, to quantify the biodiversity of urban soils. 

Duties of the role also include contributing to the development and maintenance or research resources (examples of which include household surveys, databases, specialist equipment and infrastructure, software packages and computer models) used within the Department or wider user community external to the Department and to play an active and constructive role in the department and engage in activities beyond your own research team. You will network with researchers at Essex and partner institutes (notably Cranfield University and Abertay University) and using the latest bio-/eco- informatic approaches combine your data with their detailed quantifications of urban soil physical and chemical characteristics to produce a mechanistic understanding of the regulators of biodiversity in urban soils.

Skills and qualifications required

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic Molecular Ecologist with experiences in isolating and sequencing DNA from environmental samples. You should have, or be near to completing, a PhD in a related discipline. You should possess excellent molecular ecology skills, including previous experience with Illumina MiSeq sequencing and qPCR. You should have the ability to analyses resulting molecular data including implementing various bioinformatics pipelines.

Ability to use/programme (or willingness to learn) in R, PERL, Python, C++, Matlab or related language is also essential. Applicants are also expected to have, or be developing, a strong publication record (relative to their career stage). We welcome applications from researchers across the molecular ecology sciences.

Please use the ‘Apply’ button to read further information about this role including the full job description and person specification which outlines the full duties, skills, qualifications and experience needed for this role. You will also find details of how to make your application here. Our website contains more information about the University of Essex. If you have a disability and would like information in a different format, please telephone (01206) 876559.

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