Research Associate in Molecular Biogeochemistry: UK

The Ecosystems and Global Change Group led by Prof Andrew Tanentzap at the University of Cambridge is seeking a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA). The PDRA will join a new project funded by the NERC UKRI Changing the Environment programme based at the Centre for Landscape Regeneration. The project seeks to develop nature-based solutions for the joint extinction and climate crises. It involves a highly interdisciplinary team of over 50 researchers from across 14 University Departments. The PDRA will interact with this larger team and receive additional supervision from Prof Paul Dupree and Dr Adam Pellegrini.

The goal of the post is to assess the outcomes of landscape restoration for ecosystem services and biodiversity in peatlands. The PDRA will be responsible for generating a molecular-level understanding of how microbes degrade peat and upscaling this knowledge to inform climate change mitigation. The work will centre around field-scale trials and plot-based experiments testing regenerative agriculture approaches in the East Anglian Fenlands. The PDRA will relate the composition and activity of soil microbes to molecular-level changes in organic matter composition and plant cell degradation to explain variation in greenhouse gas emissions across the study sites. The ideal candidate will be adept at integrating eDNA approaches with environmental chemistry. The PDRA will also collaborate with other members of the research programme to monitor soil biodiversity with eDNA.

The post can start immediately, and funds are available for up to 48-months subject to satisfactory completion of a 6-month probationary period. Salary ranges from £33,309 to £40,927 per year.

The successful candidate must have a proven track record of publication in leading peer-reviewed journals, ideally demonstrating innovative approaches towards relating molecular- and ecosystem-level data. They will have a PhD in biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, or a related subject. A track record in project and team management and engagement with external stakeholders is highly desirable.

Questions about the post should be directed to Prof Andrew Tanentzap (

Apply here by the 16 May 2022.

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