Job ID: 29765
Updated: August 22,2023
Location: Main Campus
We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.
The Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science invites applications for a Research Associate in Subsurface Hydrogen Genomics. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 24 months (based on length of grant funding).
Reporting to the Principal Investigator of the Geomicrobiology Group, the Research Associate will be a full-time employee responsible for participating in research in the area of microbial ecology and ecophysiology of subsurface microbial populations using bioinformatics, genomics, metagenomics, biogeochemistry and microbiology. The successful candidate will have experience in bioinformatics, metagenomic analysis, sequence analysis and molecular biology (e.g., quantitative and/or digital PCR). Experience working on the microbiology of extreme environments, low-biomass samples for DNA extraction, and using anaerobic cultivation techniques, will be strong assets.
The future hydrogen economy in Alberta and across the world will rely on new kinds of infrastructures and technologies including options for medium term temporary storage. Large underground hydrogen storage sites are considered attractive options in this regard, with hollowed-out salt caverns and petroleum reservoir porous rock touted as leading candidates. This offers considerable opportunity in Alberta where there is extensive expertise in the oil and gas sector, and well-understood candidate subsurface environments. While a key feature of these containment reservoirs will be the physical features in relation to H2 leakage, a less appreciated risk associated with H2 storage is the potential for biological losses due to oxidation by deep biosphere extremophile metabolism. This Research Associate will focus on assessing the microbiomes living in petroleum reservoirs and/or salt caverns and other relevant subsurface environments, with specific focus on deep biosphere populations that possess hydrogenase genes that encode the potential for H2 oxidation in these settings. The objective will be to understand, quantify and potentially control these populations if they are indeed capable of catalyzing unwanted reactions in the context of underground hydrogen storage. The position advertised here is supported by funding from the Government of Alberta (Alberta Innovates Hydrogen Centre of Excellence) and the Government of Canada (Natural Resources Canada).
Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):
- Dry lab analysis of hydrogenase genes including development of gene models (e.g., Hidden Markov Models) for accurate annotation of different hydrogenase types and sub-types
- Wet lab experimentation on H2 oxidizing enrichments including LC and GC analytical methods
- Metagenomic library preparation, troubleshooting, analysis, and interpretation
- Amplicon library preparation, troubleshooting, analysis, and interpretation
- Bioinformatics analysis of mixed community metagenomes including metagenome-assembled genomes
- Nucleic acid extraction (DNA, RNA) from different kinds of samples using multiple approaches
- Primer and Probe design based on hydrogenase sequence alignments
- Quantitative analysis of target gene types and sub-types using qPCR and/or digital PCR platforms
Reporting and Publications:
- Leading and/or supporting publication of results in peer-review journals is expected
- Maintain a clear and well-documented log of all data, data analyses, results, and lab work
- Meet with supervisor(s) regularly (e.g., monthly scheduled meetings, as well as interactions on a day-to-day basis) to provide update on status of project results
- Presentation of results to the MMG research group in weekly lab meetings (e.g., once every 6 weeks) and when applicable to project end users, sponsors or other researchers (e.g., at workshops, conferences, or in private meetings with end users)
Safety and Environment:
- Understanding of standard operating procedures of the equipment used in the experimental protocols.
- Maintain a clean and safe laboratory work environment
Qualifications / Requirements:
- PhD in area of molecular microbiology or bioinformatics or a similar topic is required
- 5-7 years of related work experience required
- First-author publication track record in leading journals (e.g., ISME Journal, Environmental Microbiology, etc) is required.
- Familiarity with bioinformatics software applications and/or development, including those applied in but not limited to genomics, metagenomics and other microbial multi-omics applications (e.g., packages requiring use of UNIX and R command line) is required
- Experience in and knowledge of environmental microbiology is required
- Proficiency with computational bioinformatics tools is required
- Experience in analysing terabyte-scale sequencing data is an asset
- Knowledge of WHMIS is required
- Ability to multi-task and deal with some repetitive tasks is required
- Strong organizational and time management skills is required
- Good verbal and written communication skills is required
- Must be comfortable working in a diverse research team and have good interpersonal skills
- Previous experience with mentoring early career scientists (e.g. graduate students) is an asset
Application Deadline: September 21,2023
We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.
This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase 2 (Salary range: $32.69 – $47.33/hour).
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