Senior R&D Microbiologist & Team Lead

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2020
 Full Time
 Large scale
 Ecosystem
 Research
 Technology
 Innovation
 Soil Health
 All - Ecosystem Services
 Agronomy & services

Position Description

Soil Carbon Co. (SCC) is a rapidly growing purpose driven organisation, working to deliver nature-based solutions to real world environmental challenges. The organisation is leading a large-scale research program across Australia and the US in the area of microbial carbon sequestration to increase soil carbon levels in agricultural soils as a climate change mitigation and adaptation tool. SCC focuses on endophyte technologies that deliver multiple benefits to farming systems and the environment. The organisation is made up of both researchers and practitioners working across microbiology, soil carbon and agronomy to deliver practical, scientifically validated methods of sequestration.


About the Role

The Senior Microbiologist & Team Lead is responsible for leadership, management and execution of a range of research and development projects to support and advance the delivery of practical microbial technologies for increased carbon sequestration and agronomic benefits. The role involves working collaboratively across the organisation to ensure projects meet key outcomes and milestones. This involves regular reporting, planning and decision making as well as guiding and mentoring the wider team as required.


The role will require lateral thinking, collaboration and creativity to overcome challenges associated with delivering a world-first soil carbon sequestration biotechnology. Objectives include enabling the process of isolating and characterising environmental microbial samples from bioprospecting through to a microbe isolate library creation, isolate library maintenance, microbial characterisation, consortia design, inoculum formulation, genomic analysis and microbial identification.


Responsibilities

  • Overseeing internal and collaborative plant microbe isolation and microbe library establishment/maintenance efforts, ultimately leading the development of a fully characterised microbial asset
  • Driving microbial consortium formulation and product development including assessment and optimisation of microbial inoculums for target cropping plants.
  • Managing genomic analysis projects that enable microbial identification and the development/deployment of methods to optimise leverage of genomic information
  • Leading laboratory based research and development for microbial function, application method, and microbe compatibility
  • Conducting laboratory based microbe-plant interaction determinations
  • Developing and assessing practically applicable microbial consortia for agricultural plant species and systems
  • Collaborating across on formulation and productization of consortia
  • Designing experimental assays, data analysis, presentation and project reporting
  • Managing databases, while ensuring appropriate handling and storage of data associated with research projects
  • Investigating and resolving technical challenges associated with consortia scalability and product delivery to field
  • Providing additional guidance to laboratory technicians and junior scientists


Candidate Criteria

  • Deep knowledge related to the research areas covered by SCC’s research program
  • Commitment to the organisation's research team and deeply embedded in the day-to-day of the research projects
  • Proven ability to plan and execute projects in line with objectives and timelines agreed by the greater management team, and communicate any potential or realised delays or challenges
  • Ability to mentor and guide research staff and scientists across the organisation, enabling capacity building across the organisation
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver detailed and thorough protocols, plans, experimental designs, observations and research reports
  • Ability to travel domestically (and on occasion internationally) for key meetings or to monitor progress of collaborative research where necessary


Qualifications

  • PhD or PostDoc level training in the related areas of Soil Ecology, Soil Microbiology, Microbe and Plant Interactions or relevant related areas
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively through teams and collaborations, some of which require extensive remote interactions
  • Demonstrated competency in the lab across areas of technique, safety, observational skills and record keeping
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and develop staff
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