The Navarro Lab and the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (ECOSS) at Northern Arizona University invite applications for a Postdoctoral Scientist to join the laboratory on a DOE-BER-funded project to understand the effect of microbial trophic interactions on soil microbiome composition and function and nutrient cycling.

This project integrates soil microbial trophic complexity manipulations with metabarcoding, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, quantitative Stable Isotope Probing (qSIP), greenhouse gas analyses, and bioinformatics. Through this work, we will evaluate how predation and lysis on microbial communities by protists and predatory bacteria shape soil microbial dynamics and biogeochemistry.

The postdoctoral fellow will be mentored directly by Dr. Ceja-Navarro and will interact extensively with Dr. Egbert Schwartz (qSIP) and Paul Dijkstra (metabolic analysis). The ideal candidate will be eager to learn and operate in a team environment and be interested in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. The goals will be to produce first-authored papers, contribute to co-authored papers, and obtain independent postdoctoral funding. Postdoctoral fellows will be supported to attend national meetings and coursework or other opportunities to enhance their career development.

The lab is family-friendly and committed to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive academic environment. Postdoctoral fellows will gain experience with multi-omics data analysis, network analyses, enrichment and culturing of protists and predatory bacteria, operation of gas analyzers, and qSIP.

Expected timeline: This is a full-time twelve-month position beginning as early as August 1st, 2023, for a term of one year, with additional years being possible depending on performance.

Application materials: Interested applicants should provide their CV, a list of three references, a short research description highlighting why they are interested in the position, and how the position will further their career goals.

  • Research and Data Collection – 70%
  • Work collaboratively with research team to design, execute, analyze and disseminate research projects related to the grant.
  • Lead data collection, processing, and analysis efforts.
  • Design new projects, methods, and procedures to facilitate research as appropriate to the project goals.
  • Read the scientific literature to develop a foundation for being a leader on the project.
  • Supervision and Mentoring – 20%
  • Assist with the supervision of students (undergraduate and graduate) during data collection, processing, and analysis.
  • Assist with mentoring students in designing their own independent ideas and projects.
  • Grant Management – 5%
  • Assist with grants management and budgeting.
  • Work within project requirements of grant.
  • Other – 5%
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Promote an inclusive and welcoming lab community.

Minimum Qualifications: PhD in Microbiology, Biological Sciences, and/or related disciplines.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Record of publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Experience in metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data processing and statistical analyses using programming languages, mainly python and R.
  • Experience working high-performance computing clusters.
  • Experience with molecular laboratory techniques, including DNA/RNA extraction from environmental samples, and PCR/qPCR.
  • Experience with microbial culturing and aseptic tecniques.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as a part of a team with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Organized, responsive, and reliable.
  • Experience mentoring students in scientific research.
  • Experience with muscle physiology, surgical techniques, experimental design.

Knowledge:  Knowledge of the principles and techniques described in the preferred qualifications.


  • Organizational and project management skills.
  • Leadership, coordination, and/or supervision skills.
  • Critical and creative thinking skills.
  • Data collection, processing, and analysis skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills (as demonstrated by presentations at professional meetings and peer-reviewed publications).
  • Proficiency in the use of R and Python for bioinformatic and statistical analyses.


  • Ability to take initiative and complete tasks without direct supervision.
  • Motivation to learn new skills and knowledge.
  • Highly motivated to perform research in a collaborative environment.
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships.
  • Communicates effectively.
  • Possesses strong problem-solving, organizational, and analytical capabilities.
  • Promotes a diverse, inclusive environment.           

Background Information:

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following:  a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment.  You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check.  Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees’ right to work in the United States.  Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act.

The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing.

This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities.  If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.    

Salary: Anticipated salary range is $54,779 to $68,474.  Annual salary commensurate with candidate’s qualifications and related experience.

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


Post-Doctoral Scholars are hired on a contract basis, renewable each fiscal year for a maximum of 4 renewals (5 years) according to terms of the Arizona Board of Regents’ Conditions of Post-Doctoral Service.  NAU offers an excellent benefit package to Post-Doctoral Scholars including generous health, dental and vision insurance; 10 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members.

New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date.  Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits.  Participation in NAU retirement plans is not available to Post-Doctoral Scholars.  More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page.

Learning and Development: Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development.  New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days.

Application Deadline: May 30, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the “Apply now” button below.  You must submit your application by clicking on the “Submit” button by midnight of the application deadline.  If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus – on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process, please contact the Disability Resources Office at 928-523-8773,,  or PO Box 5633, Flagstaff AZ 8601        

Equal Employment Opportunity: Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.  Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

NAU is an Employer of National Service.  AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.


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