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Post-doc - Leaf and canopy processes in tropical forests

Job ID 1556 Date posted 12/06/2018


Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Located on the center of Long Island, New York, Brookhaven Lab brings world-class facilities and expertise to the most exciting and important questions in basic and applied science—from the birth of our universe to the sustainable energy technology of tomorrow. We operate cutting-edge large-scale facilities for studies in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, applied science, and a wide range of advanced technologies. The Laboratory's almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 4,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Our award-winning history, including seven Nobel Prizes, stretches back to 1947, and we continue to unravel mysteries from the nanoscale to the cosmic scale, and everything in between. Brookhaven is operated and managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, which was founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.



The Terrestrial Ecosystem Science and Technology (TEST) group in the Environmental & Climate Sciences Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory seeks to improve the representation of ecosystem processes in Earth System Models in order to increase our ability to understand and project global change. We study processes that have a global impact on climate, and focus on ecosystems that are poorly understood, sensitive to global change, and inadequately represented in models. Our goal is to advance process level understanding of terrestrial ecosystems, incorporate new knowledge into models, reduce model uncertainty and ultimately improve our ability to understand and project global change.  We develop and use novel computational methods to quantify model sensitivity and target critical areas where improved process knowledge will reduce model uncertainty. Using state-of-the-art techniques - including remote sensing technologies - we advance mechanistic understanding to enable scaling of key ecosystem processes and then inform models iteratively through measurements and environmental manipulations.



The Terrestrial Ecosystem Science and Technology (TEST) group (www.bnl.gov/TESTgroup) is seeking a post-doc interested in improving understanding and model representation of leaf and canopy level processes that regulate the exchange of carbon, water and energy in tropical forests to enable improved projections of the response of tropical forests to climate change. The successful candidates will join a small, highly collaborative and supportive group at BNL and collaborate with other scientists as part of the multi-institutional Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments - Tropics project (ngee-tropics.lbl.gov). The post-docs will work under the joint supervision of Drs. Shawn Serbin and Alistair Rogers. This position is full time, 1 year, appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs. We are now considering applications and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified. To ensure full consideration please apply before March 31, 2019.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • The technical focus of this position is leaf physiology and the successful candidate will be expected conduct measurements associated with advancing understanding and model representation of leaf and canopy processes in tropical forests;

  • In addition to traditional physiological measurements, the successful candidate will use spectroscopy to make rapid estimation of key traits, and to develop approaches that can enable spatial and temporal scaling of key plant traits;
  • The successful candidate will be required to conduct fieldwork that will initially be focused in The Republic of Panama where we will use the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute cranes to enable canopy access but travel to other locations e.g. Brazil and Malaysia is also likely; and,
  • Publish results in peer-reviewed journals and present at scientific conferences.

BNL policy requires that research associate appointments be made to individuals who have received their doctorate within the past 5 years.



Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • A Ph.D. in plant biology, ecology, or a closely related field (if not already graduated, Ph.D must be expected early in 2019);
  • Effective written and oral communication skills;
  • A willingness to work in remote field locations, potentially for extended periods; and,
  • Ability to work in a team environment.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of whole plant physiology and biochemistry, especially the measurement of leaf gas exchange.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of spectroscopy, especially the retrieval of plant traits from spectra.
  • Ability to maintain and repair instruments and environmental monitoring equipment.
  • Experience with R, or a similar language.

Other Requirement:

  • Applicants must have a driver’s license and a willingness to drive in foreign countries, often off road.

At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical Plans
  • Dental Plans
  • Vacation
  • Holidays
  • Life Insurance
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Swimming Pool, Weight Room, Tennis Courts, and many other employee perks and benefits


We invite you to consider Brookhaven National Laboratory for employment. To be considered for this position, please apply online at BNL Careers and enter the job title into the Keyword Search.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

BNL takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

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