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Canadian Society of Microbiologists Untitled 1

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WHAT'S NEW  ::  Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

August 9, 2022
Postdoc and Graduate students - microbial ecology of tire rubber particles

Employer: Postdoc and Graduate students - microbial ecology UBC
Location: Okanagan, British Columbia
Closing Date: November 9, 2022

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Job Description

 Applications will be accepted until the position is filled 

Open applications for Postdoc and Graduate students in the area of microbial ecology, environmental engineering to participate in multi-disciplinary projects spanning microbial systems across natural and engineered environments. Located in beautiful Okanagan BC (https://ok.ubc.ca/), The Applied Microbial Systems Ecology Lab (AMSE) works at the interface of fundamental and applied microbiology. We study multiple factors influencing the stability of microbial systems and the impact of microbial processes in natural and anthropogenically impacted environments. Our goal is to better understanding impacts of climate change on microbial processes, to inform appropriate and effective engineering solutions and build more stable bioprocesses. Our laboratories are within the traditional lands of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and include wetlands, lakes, streams, forests, landfills, compost heaps, sewars, bioreactors, digestors and serum bottles. 


AMSE lab part of the School of Engineering, Civil Program, within the Faculty of Applied Sciences at UBC. Multidisciplinary approaches are the heart of AMSE and collaborations across Engineering and with Biological Sciences and Earth Environmental and Geological Sciences as well as various industry and municipal partners. 

Position 1: PDF – Project Lead for setup for mesocosm studies to test microbial community degradation of tire rubber particles


Using ‘found microbial communities’ to improve bioprocess and bioremediation. This project encompasses using microbial communities found within the environment that have metabolic capacity to degrade or tolerate chemical contaminants from tire rubber and road wear particles with three goals in mind. 1) Estimate natural capacity for contaminant degradation in environment. 2) Understand physical factors that promote degradation or prevent dissemination of particles and contaminants. 3) Understand specific factors that underly stable microbial communities with robust process outcomes such as the role of microdiversity and viruses.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

Carry out field sampling in local areas for sample collection and physiochemical measurements. Experimental design and setup for mesocosm, including researching and ordering lab equipment. Collaborate with School of Engineering material scientists and others across UBC for measurement of degradation and by-products. Work closely with students and undergraduates in similar projects. Additional duties include data management, DNA extractions and sample preparation and tracking. Opportunities for involvement in bioinformatic projects, grant writing preparation and student supervision.


Applicant must have a PhD degree related to the position with experience in microbial community experimental setup and design and environmental DNA extractions. Excellent English communication skills both written and spoken. A problem solving and collaborative mindset with demonstrated ability to identify required information for decision making and initiating communications with supervisors.

preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience in one or more the following:

  • Mesocosm setup and design, both aerobic and anaerobic
  •  Microbial ecology & Bioinformatics skills
  • Biogeochemistry
Graduate Student positions:

Students interested in MSc or PhD in Applied Sciences working on interdisciplinary projects in the areas of microbial ecology, environmental engineering, climate change impacts, contaminant degradation and bioremediation, bioprocess, anaerobic digestion or biogeochemistry. Opportunities for field work, bioinformatics, wet lab mesocosm experiments. Must meet program requirements stipulated for UBCO SoE graduate program https://engineering.ok.ubc.ca/programs-admissions/grad/#item4

Interested students are encouraged to view UBC’s Graduates Award page https://gradstudies.ok.ubc.ca/tuition-awards-and-finance/award-opportunities/.


Application Instructions

To apply
Send application package as single pdf file to Alyse Hawley at alyse.hawley@ubc.ca. Application should include the position you are applying for, your motivation for applying and unique qualifications you will bring to the AMES group (appropriate to the desired position), a curriculum vitae and a copy of relevant transcripts (unofficial transcripts acceptable at initial application stage).

The AMES Lab is a collaborative environment driven by curiosity, excellence and interdisciplinarity, with respect for one another and for the land we inhabit. We value diversity of identity and of thought, as such we welcome applications from women, Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Metis and Inuit), Black and members of racialized groups, persons with disabilities, individuals in the LGBTQ2+ communities.

If you have questions regarding the application process, eligibility or require accommodation in the application process please contact alyse.hawley@ubc.ca

We thank all applicants for their interest, However, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.



Application Contacts

Alyse Hawley


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CSM-SCM Secretariat
17 Dossetter Way
Ottawa, ON K1G 4S3

Tel: (613) 421-7229

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