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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health

Oak Ridge National Laboratory-ORNL
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Candidates may discuss with their recruiter at a later date
Closing date
Feb 14, 2023

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Aquatic ecology
Job Type
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Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. 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.

Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.

Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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