Research Associate - Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry

Research Associate - Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

About the project

You will be part of the Carbon-Water Dynamics group, led by Dr Ryan Pereira, committed to furthering the understanding of the role carbon and nutrients have in the environment, how it travels from the land to the ocean, and how various reactions allow carbon to exchange with our atmosphere.

About the role

As the lead Post Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) on the project you will have a strong background in marine biogeochemistry and microbiology, and consider interdisciplinary scientific approaches as a key strength. The role requires significant fieldwork effort with participation in ocean going research cruises; you must be able to work independently, have strong organisational skills, and thrive in seeking solutions to a variety of challenges. You will be able to work as part of a larger team including other PDRAs, technicians, and PhD researchers.

The successful appointee will be expected to undertake the following:

  • Lead a work package of the BOOGIE project with support from the lead investigator;
  • Organise and participate in ocean-going research cruises;
  • Estimate gas exchange transfer velocities using bespoke instrumentation;
  • Conduct biogeochemical analyses including elemental analysis, dissolved organic carbon, stable carbon isotopes, polarography, and UV-Vis absorbance spectrophotometry;
  • Set up and run microcosm experiments of in-house microbial cultures.

Essential Criteria

  • A first degree in Environmental Sciences or a related discipline;
  • A PhD in Marine microbiology, marine biogeochemistry, or a related discipline, completed or close to completion;
  • Hands-on experience in the area of microbiology, especially cultivation of marine microorganisms and in designing, developing and testing experimental setups for climate impact-related microbiology studies;
  • Experience with method development and troubleshooting;
  • Molecular microbial ecology experience including DNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, preparation for DNA sequencing and interpretation/analysis of microbial phylogenetic data;
  • Chemical analytical methods including elemental analysis, polarography (surfactant analysis), liquid chromatography experience, and data analysis;
  • Practical experience working at sea;
  • Experience of working as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • A developing track record of publications;
  • Competent with bioinformatics and statistical analysis tools;
  • Experience of reacting to problems using judgment and solving non-routine problems;
  • Competent with written, oral, presenting and IT skills.


  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally to conduct fieldwork including on research ships for extended periods of time in remote areas (6-8 weeks may be typical), present at conferences/meetings, and to work at other laboratories (weeks) in the UK and Germany;
  • Ability to liaise with global partners and be proactive in procuring samples, sampling opportunities, data, etc. from partners and collaborators.

Desirable Criteria

  • An MSc in Environmental Biogeochemistry, Microbiology or a related discipline;
  • Knowledge of ocean-atmosphere gas exchange processes, ecophysiology of marine microorganisms, and/or marine dissolved organic matter cycling;
  • Willingness to assist in laboratory supervision of PhD and undergraduate students;
  • Experience in public outreach and/or social media engagement.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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