Senior Research Officer

Senior Research Officer

University of Essex

Essex, United Kingdom

Senior Research Officer (PDRA) – FUSED - Functionality of Urban Soils supporting Ecosystem service Delivery, specialising in soil molecular ecology and informatics
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 visit our website ( for a full job description, person specification and more information relating to this post. We recommend you read this information carefully before making an application. Applications should be made on-line, but if you would like advice or help in making an application, or need information in a different format, please telephone the Resourcing Team (01206 876559).

Closing date: 28 February 2019
Interviews are planned for: 14 and 15 March 2019
Salary: £33,199 per annum

Please apply via recruiter’s website.