Postdoctoral Researcher, EXCALIBUR

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Job Description

The Natural History Museum (NHM) is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre and commercial event space.

There are 350 scientific staff working across Life Sciences and Earth Sciences Departments with molecular laboratories, sequencing facilities and imaging centre in the Core Research Facilities. We use our unique collections with 80 million specimens, laboratory facilities and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today including food security, biodiversity, evolution and climate change.

We are at a pivotal moment in our history, as we will soon launch a new strategy setting out our role as the natural world faces increasing threats. Building on our world-leading collection, global reputation for science and as one of the world’s leading visitor attractions, the NHM has ambitious plans leading up to its 150th anniversary in 2031 making this a truly exciting time to be part of the NHM team.

About the role

This position is available in the field of soil microbiology, plant diseases and the application of bio-inoculants in horticulture within the H2020-funded EXCALIBUR project in Dr Jungblut’s research team at the Life Sciences Department, Natural History Museum, London.

The project aims to gain a better knowledge of underground soil biodiversity including prokaryotes, microbial eukaryotes, and microfungi, and their synergistic effects with prebiotic and probiotic approaches in horticulture. Soil microbial bio-inoculants and bio-effectors will be tested on three model crops of economic importance such as tomato, apple, and strawberry under different experimental and open-field conditions across Europe, and the feedback effect of and on native soil biodiversity will be monitored.

The work will provide an excellent opportunity for a post-doctoral research scientist to apply cutting-edge microbial community analysis techniques to investigate the relationship between soil microbial communities, plant diseases, microbial inoculants, environmental drivers and biogeography in horticulture.

The postdoctoral research scientist will take a leading role in the assessment of soil microbiology, microbe-plant interactions and plant diseases across study sites, as well as in the monitoring of the response of soil microbial assemblages, plant endophytes and rhizosphere in tomato, strawberries and apples on microbial inoculants during the field trials and contrasting agricultural management practices.

About you

The successful candidate will have Bachelor or Masters Degree in sciences, PhD in relevant discipline and knowledge of fundamental microbiological and molecular biological techniques.

You will also have experience in working with environmental samples including DNA extraction and PCR, and with bioinformatic tools for microbial community structure analysis.

Contract: Fixed Term Contract: 26 months
Closing date: 09:00 on 3 February 2020
Interviews will be held on: w/c 17 February 2020

To apply, please visit and upload your CV with a covering letter, which clearly outlines how you meet our person specification.