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Postdoctoral Research Associate

Expiration Date: 

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Group, Biodiversity and Sustainable Systems Section in the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD), Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate (BESSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The postdoctoral researcher will conduct laboratory work on PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) toxicology in the Aquatic Ecology Lab ( as part of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Group ( The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Group (BEHG) at ORNL strives to provide scientific knowledge and technical innovation to address highly complex and multi-faceted water-energy resource challenges. This position will support ongoing projects funded by DOE and Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP, Dept. of Defense).

The candidate will work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team of scientists at ORNL and beyond to support projects aimed at identifying the ecological and toxicological effects of PFAS in contaminated systems and the implications of their use more broadly. The successful candidate will perform experimental work focused on the effect of PFOS and a PFAS mixture on the freshwater invertebrate Daphnia (gene expression, lethal and sublethal toxicity, and bioaccumulation) as well as a systematic literature review on the applications, persistence, toxicology, and environmental implications of a specific group of PFAS and identifying the critical knowledge gaps in these areas.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Conduct an extensive literature review on the toxicology of specific PFAS compounds, identify knowledge gaps, and propose future studies
  • Extensive laboratory experiments on the effect of PFOS and a PFAS mixture on Daphnia across their entire life cycle
  • Publish and present research results in journals and at conferences

Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in aquatic ecology, ecotoxicology, environmental science, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, able to present and publish their research
  • A proven publication record
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of an interdisciplinary research team

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience researching PFAS
  • Experience conducting toxicological experiments, specifically in aquatic systems
  • Experience culturing plankton, such as algae and/or zooplankton
  • Experience with data analysis and reporting
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs

Please include a cover letter and CV will your application. Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.