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Post-Doctoral Research Associate- Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

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Job Details

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Description: We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join our team on an NSF-funded grant examining links between above- and below ground diversity across space and time in forests of the continental United States. The primary work of the postdoctoral researcher will be laboratory-based extraction and amplification of soil microbiomes followed by bioinformatic analysis of microbial diversity and composition. Additional tasks will include mentoring of undergraduate researchers and occasional field work at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia. The postdoctoral researcher will be based in the lab of Dr. Stephanie Kivlin at UTK ( Additionally, the postdoctoral researcher will work collaboratively with the labs of Drs. Songlin Fei (, Rich Phillips (, John Parker (, Melissa McCormick ( and Grant Domke ( The majority of the fieldwork will be conducted at SERC and SCBI, but occasional travel to Indiana (for project meetings) is anticipated.


• A PhD in ecology and evolution, microbiology, or a related field.

• Extensive experience working with molecular methods to characterize plant or soil microbiomes.

• Proficiency in bioinformatics and statistical modeling in R statistical environment.

• The ability to bring projects to fruition as demonstrated by an excellent and consistent record of publication in international, peer-reviewed journals.


The salary for this position is $52,000/year. Full benefits are included.

Start Date

The preferred start date is July 2023. Funding is available for an initial year, but may be extended for another 18 months, contingent on performance and funding.

To Apply

Please complete the online application ( In addition, please send your CV, a cover letter summarizing research interests and experiences, and the contact information of three references to Stephanie Kivlin ( In addition, an employment application must be submitted at: Priority application for review is June 1st, 2022. Any questions about the position should be directed to Stephanie Kivlin.

The University of Tennessee is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Job: Research Professional
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
Organization: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: May 26, 2023, 7:27:52 PM


Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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