Postdoctoral Fellow – Marine protistan ecology and evolution

This position has a duration of one year, with a possible extension depending on job performance and funding. Microbes play fundamental roles in all ocean ecology. Our primary focus is on eukaryotic phytoplankton, and variations in the communities of bacteria, archaea and heterotrophic eukaryotes, as well as viruses, that accompany different phytoplankton taxa. To investigate these complex systems, we use high throughput DNA/RNA sequencing and proteomics on populations in nature and experimental systems. In this way, we study the genetics and biological responses of important primary producers. Analysis of these data in an integrative manner, including physiological characterization, has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of these microbes and genes of unknown function.

A number of challenges must be addressed including: i) understanding diversity and organism abundances in these systems; ii) elucidating controls on forces of mortality (viruses, predators) and lifestyles (e.g. mixotrophic spectrum) and how this shapes host/prey dynamics; iii) analysis of RNA-seq and proteomes in a biologically informative way. These topics are currently under study in the Worden lab. Our goal is analyze gene complements and gene/protein expression profile, in the context of environmental data from oceanographic sites or experimental conditions, to provide new insights into marine algal ecology and CO2 uptake under future climate scenarios. We aim to understand functional roles and dynamics of photosynthetic algae (including mixotrophs) and to associate genes of unknown function with biological activities.

We are seeking a postdoctoral scientist to undertake phylogenetic and bioinformatic analysis of culture and ocean-based experiments and use these analyses to develop new knowledge on phytoplankton biology. The candidate could also develop hypotheses from sequence data on specific controls/pathways and perform experiments testing these hypotheses. Ultimate goals are to refine our understanding of phytoplankton communities and forces regulating relative contributions to carbon fixation.

More information on general research in the group is available at:

Address your cover letter to:
MBARI, Human Resources
Job code: PD-MPEE
7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039-9644

Submit your cover letter and resume by e-mail to, or by mail to the above address, or by fax to (831) 775-1620.

MBARI is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. MBARI considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or covered veteran status in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

MBARI Welcomes Diversity