Postdoctoral Research Associate in Marine Microbial Ecology

Seeking a postdoctoral researcher to support microbiome studies of benthic ecosystems. Work will focus on the built environment in the deep-sea.

To apply for the position applicants will need to submit a curriculum vitae, a cover letter outlining their specific interest in and relevant experience for this position, and names of three references through the USM career site.

The Hamdan Lab in the School of Ocean Science and Engineering at the University of Southern Mississippi seeks a postdoctoral researcher to support microbiome studies of benthic ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. Work will focus on the built environment in the deep-sea. Individuals with experience with microbiology and biogeochemistry, with specific knowledge and expertise in molecular ecology are encouraged to apply.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Engage in a project studying seafloor microbiomes and metagenomes to characterize communities in water, sediment and biofilms.
  • Develop expertise in ecological theories regarding microbial biogeography and contribute new knowledge and ideas to this area of research.
  • Develop and apply bioinformatics tools and approaches to identify communities, relevant taxa and associations. Learn and apply machine learning tools to datasets generated during the course of the study in collaboration with project scientists from other institutions.
  • Participate in planning and executing field work on board USM’s Research Vessel Point Sur, and other oceanographic research vessels.
  • Contribute significantly to written and oral communication, including the development of peer-reviewed manuscripts, blog posts, outreach through social media, and the public outreach products designed to engage broad audiences in the study of the deep-sea.
  • Participate in student mentoring, and perform other duties as assigned by the study PI.

Minimum Qualifications

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in coastal or marine sciences, microbiology, geomicrobiology, biogeochemistry or similar field.  Applicants must also have a publication record that illustrates ability to conduct and communicate independent research as well as experience and proficiency in bioinformatics and statistical analysis.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

·  Proficiency with molecular biological laboratory techniques, general laboratory practice, experimental design, laboratory safety procedures. A high level of computer literacy.

·  Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.  Ability to write reports, correspondence and peer-reviewed manuscripts.  Ability to speak effectively before groups. Ability and interest in contributing to outreach activities.

·  Interested candidates should be self-motivated, results driven, able to take a project vision and shape it with scientific experience, and work with a team to support discovery and learning.

Preferred Qualifications  

Significant proficiency in bioinformatics and, programming experience.

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The Division of Coastal Sciences is a research and graduate education unit within the School of Ocean Science and Engineering, offering programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees. The Division is located at the USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (Ocean Springs, Mississippi), a marine laboratory featuring comprehensive basic and applied research programs in coastal and marine biological sciences. Research program support includes state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and instrumentation; a fleet of small and large research vessels, including the R/V Point Sur; the GCRL Museum collection; the Center for Fisheries Research and Development; NSF I/UCRC Science Center for Marine Fisheries, and aquaculture facilities including the Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center.

Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to five teaching and research sites in Mississippi and through Online at Southern Miss.  Since 2006, our students have collected three Truman Scholarships and 18 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. USM students also lead Mississippi with 21 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Our Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research affords our students meaningful research opportunities, and as a proven leader in innovation, we conduct transformative research that translates into real-world solutions. As one of only 36 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music, we are a haven for creativity and artistic expression. In the classroom or lab, on the playing field, or in the performance hall, we strive to have a positive impact not only on our students, but also the world around us. Further information is found at

As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer/Americans with Disabilities Act institution, The University of Southern Mississippi encourages minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities to apply.

Please see our websites for more information about USM, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, SOSE, and studies in the Hamdan lab: https://hamdanlab.com,

Application deadline: Open until filled
Start date:
Location: Ocean Springs, MS