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Postdoctoral Fellowship — USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Water Quality & Ecology Research Unit

Expiration Date: 

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Legacy Phosphorus and Metabolism in Mississippi Alluvial Plain streams.
Location: The National Sedimentation Laboratory, USDA-ARS/USGS, Oxford, MS.

The Water Quality & Ecology Research Unit (USDA-ARS) and the US Geological Survey (USGS) Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center, in association with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), are pleased to announce a postdoctoral research opportunity collaborating with a team of ARS/USGS research scientists to examine stream ecosystem structural and functional responses to field and experimental stressor gradients in Lower Mississippi River Basin (LMRB) streams. This competitive postdoctoral opportunity will be located in the Water Quality & Ecology Research Unit at the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service’s National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, Mississippi. The research opportunity will be administered by ORISE and includes a $70k per year stipend + health insurance. Application period is open until a suitable candidate is found with a target start date of June 2024. Please share with those who may be interested.

This research will build on previous projects to address challenges and management solutions for insuring long term sustainability of LMRB agroecosystems. A primary goal of this research is to develop stressor-response relationships between nutrients and sediments and key measures of ecosystem structure and function in agricultural watersheds within the LMRB region.

The work will initially focus on processing and helping write up existing physical, chemical and stream metabolism data to quantify spatial and temporal variability of conditions among stream habitats. The candidate will also work with USDA-ARS and USGS scientists to conduct new field and experimental studies focused on legacy phosphorus storage and overall nutrient dynamics across field sites and experimental mesocosms representing environmental gradients in LMRB streams. Results will support development of indicators or new approaches to monitoring the long-term response of stream ecosystems to changes in agricultural best management practices within alluvial plain landscapes. Results will also help identify drivers of overall nutrient cycling patterns in alluvial plain streams.

The preferred candidate will have a Ph.D. with experience in aquatic ecology, microbial ecology, stream biogeochemistry, or environmental science. S/he will have some combination of experience that includes (1) collecting biological, habitat, and physico-chemical data from stream habitats, (2) planning, execution, and maintenance of data streams using a variety of high frequency sensors (dissolved oxygen, PAR, stage, nitrate, etc.) in stream habitats for metabolism measures, (3) experience with phosphorus extractions from sediments, and (4) analyzing complex datasets with a variety of statistical approaches using R programming language.

Funding is available for a two-year appointment. This position is limited to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

Feel free to reach out with any questions to Jason Taylor ( or Steve Devilbiss (