First listed on: 13 February 2020

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Metabolic Engineering 

The Opportunity
  • Make a real and positive impact in combating global warming.
  • Undertake extensive molecular biological & biochemical analyses in red algae
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s premier science & technology research organisation

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation.

A major contributor to global warming is anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, one of which is methane. Rumen enteric methane from livestock is a major contributor from agriculture and is responsible for over 13% of global greenhouse gases and is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Recently CSIRO has shown that methane production can be dramatically reduced in cattle if they are fed a red seaweed that accumulates a naturally occurring antimethanogenic compound called bromoform. The Postdoctoral Fellow will work as part of a team to engineer yeast strains and plant capable of producing and accumulating bromoform and develop these strains into viable livestock feed additives. 

As the Postdoctoral Fellow, you will undertake multidisciplinary research in novel trait engineering in yeast and apply this technology to livestock industries. Play a leading role by independently developing and implementing innovative research ideas with the support of an enthusiastic research team. This an exciting opportunity to make a real and positive impact in combating global warming. You will receive broad scientific training ranging from basic biology to applied scientific delivery making this an ideal career advancement opportunity. 

Your duties will include:
  • Undertake extensive molecular biological and biochemical analyses in red algae to increase understanding of bromoform production in these species. 
  • Isolate and transfer algal genes required for bromoform production to yeast and plants using advanced genetic engineering approaches.  
  • Undertake biochemical analyses including GC-MS for metabolite detection.
  • Investigate molecular caging opportunities for volatile compounds in yeast and plant cells.

Location:      Black Mountain, Canberra 
Salary:          AU$83k - AU$94k plus up to 15.4% superannuation  
Tenure:         Specified term of 3 years 
Reference:    65129

To be considered you will need:

Under CSIRO policy only those who meet all essential criteria can be appointed.

  •   A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as molecular biology, microorganism engineering, biochemistry, or related areas.
    • Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated research experience in molecular biological and biochemical experiments in yeast, algae or plants.
  • Demonstrated experience in the molecular and biochemical analysis of transgenic organisms.
  • Experience in gene cloning, producing transgenic organisms and metabolite characterisation.
  • High level written and oral communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively internally and externally, including publishing in peer reviewed journals and/or authorship of scientific papers, reports, and presenting at national and/or international conferences.
  • A record of science innovation and creativity, including the ability & willingness to incorporate novel ideas and approaches into scientific investigations.

For more information about this role please view the Position Description.


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish.

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


At CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirments of this role.

Applications Close

Sunday, 15th March 2020 at 11.59pm AEST

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