First listed on: 14 December 2022

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Functional Soil Microbial Ecology


Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in soil biology, molecular microbiology or microbial ecology?
  • Interested in exploiting recent developments in genomic and biochemical techniques?
  • Join the CSIRO Agriculture and Food team for this exciting postdoctoral opportunity

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

This CERC Fellow will exploit recent developments in genomic and biochemical techniques and ML&AI methods to measure, monitor and resolve functional microbial diversity and its impact on resilience within a systems-based context. The CERC Fellow will leverage experience applying molecular and microbiology tools in different environmental settings to understanding how microbial biological function contributes to systems performance. The candidate will have opportunity to utilize a network of ongoing long-term experimental (field-based) sites to quantify how crop diversity (mix of different plant species) and intensity (the proportion of time plants are actively growing) influence soil microbiome composition, function and system resilience. The project aligns with CSIRO Agriculture & Food Impact Area of ‘Resilient Farming Systems’.

The CERC Fellow will be part of a multidisciplinary project team involving specialist researchers across multiple disciplines in systems-based research and analytics including cropping system management, plant health, microbiology, soil carbon dynamics and data machine learning. The CERC Fellow would have opportunity to integrate across disciplines and gain experience in developing research competencies including technical expertise and project management capabilities to advance their future research career.

Your duties will include:

  • Developing novel scientific approaches to investigate original concepts and innovations in functional microbiome research as applied to Australian farming production systems.
  • Designing and conducting iterative experiments to address how environmental, physical and chemical constraints influence functional soil resilience, including those due to climate change and how these relate to agronomic outcomes.
  • Employing and integrating current research tools for hypothesis driven research directed at diversity and intensity gradients within Australian cropping systems.
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes 

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Salary: AU$92k - AU$101k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 90762

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as soil biology, molecular microbiology or microbial ecology. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Experience in using genomics, biochemical and/or isotopic techniques to investigate composition, diversity and functional capacity of microbiomes in complex ecosystems.
  • Experience in compilation, interpretation and management of complex biological data sets.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and develop hypothesis-driven experiments and conduct sound scientific investigations

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia. Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

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 requirements of this role.

Applications Close

31 January 2023, 11:00pm AEDT

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