Microbial Ecosystem Ecologist at Colorado State University

Position Announcement

Colorado State University

Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

POSITION: Assistant Professor, Microbial Ecosystem Ecology

DESCRIPTION: Tenure track, 9-month academic faculty position

The Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University (CSU) invites applications for a tenure track faculty position in Microbial Ecosystem Ecology at the rank of assistant professor. We seek applications from candidates who have expertise in the role of environmental microbiomes in ecosystem processes and research interests that lie at the nexus of Watershed, Ecosystem, and Sustainability Sciences, disciplines of long-standing strength at CSU. We are especially interested in applicants with research that addresses the roles of microbiomes in terrestrial ecosystems, water quality, or ecosystem modeling.

This position is part of a cluster hire of faculty focused on understanding the functional and structural basis of microbiomes, and their ecological relevance and applications to human, animal, plant and/or soil biology in addition to environmental systems. Faculty hired in this cluster will complement and extend ongoing microbiome research in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Health and Human Sciences, Natural Resources, Natural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Engineering, and projects under the umbrella of the School of Global and Environmental Sustainability (SOGES). This position is expected to collaborate with other microbiome researchers across campus to enhance interdisciplinary microbiome research.

The Department offers B.S. and M.S. degrees in Watershed Science and a B.S. degree in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. A Ph.D. program in Earth Resources with a Watershed Science specialization is housed in the Department of Geosciences, and faculty also advise M.S. and Ph.D. students through the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. General information about the Department can be found at http://www.warnercnr.colostate.edu/dess-home/.


Required: 1) A Ph.D. in microbial ecology or a closely related field (completed by July 2016), and 2) Experience with modern molecular or modeling approaches for assessing microbial community composition or function.

Desirable: 1) Strong teaching abilities; 2) Ability to link microbial community composition with ecosystem functioning; 3) Strong publication record; 4) Demonstrated ability to generate external funding; 5) Ability to communicate scientific knowledge to a range of stakeholders; 6) Ability to address sustainability challenges through interdisciplinary approaches

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: 1) Teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability; 2) Establish an externally-funded research program, including support for graduate students; 3) Advise undergraduate and graduate students; 4) Collaborate with other members of the Department, the microbiome cluster, college, and university in research, teaching, and outreach; 5) Conduct service and outreach activities to various communities, including the university and the broader academic community, resource managers, and various discipline-based professional organizations. Personal and professional commitment to diversity as demonstrated by involvement in teaching, research, creative activity, service to the profession and/or diversity/inclusion activities.

SALARY AND FRINGE BENEFITS: Salary commensurate with appointment level, qualifications and experience. Benefits include sick and maternity leave, group health, life, dental, disability, and retirement.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Application materials include: letter of application, curriculum vitae, names and contact information for four references. A five-page (max) statement that describes a vision for your research program, teaching, and engagement activities. The statement should convey how those activities will be integrated, and how they will address current sustainability challenges. All application materials should be submitted at the following site:


For questions contact: Matthew Wallenstein, Search Chair (matthew.wallenstein).

DEADLINE: Applications and nominations will be considered until the position is filled; however, for full consideration, applications are due electronically by February 28, 2016.

Please Note: Once finalists have been identified by the search committee, department faculty will have access to those application materials.


Colorado State University is a land grant institution with an enrollment of approximately 27,000 students. It is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, an attractive and dynamic community of 135,000 people at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Fort Collins has been named one of the most desirable places to live by a variety of organizations. The region is home to a diverse range of ecosystems and land uses, and offers numerous outdoor recreational activities.

As a land grant University and as nationally recognized innovators, we are committed to the foundational principles of diversity and inclusion. We recognize that our institutional success depends on how well we welcome, value, and affirm all members of the Colorado State community and how we represent diverse perspectives in our teaching, research, and service throughout all disciplines.

Colorado State University is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search and motor vehicle history.

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.