Multiple Positions Open at University of Oregon BioBE Center

Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg and Jessica Green, of the Biology and the Built Environment Center (BioBE), are currently seeking a microbial ecology Research Associate / Research Assistant Professor / Research Associate Professor (non-tenure track faculty) to investigate fundamental questions surrounding the role of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, and viruses) in the built environment and in relation to human health outcomes. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in biology, bioinformatics, or a related discipline.

The ideal candidate will have a combination of domain expertise and leadership potential. With regards to domain expertise, candidates should possess a demonstrated ability to generate and interpret microbiome data. Deep knowledge in data analytics, bioinformatics, and/or clinical microbiology is highly desirable. From a leadership perspective, we are seeking candidates that: are comfortable working on multiple concurrent projects with interdisciplinary scientists comprising a diverse range of experience (undergraduate through postdoc); have demonstrated a record of scientific writing and scholarly productivity; have a record of, or evidence of potential for, obtaining external research funding.

The successful candidate will have the ability to work with faculty, students, and industry partners from a variety of diverse backgrounds and the opportunity to creatively and independently engage in research at the BioBE Center (, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, federal agencies, and members of industry.

The BioBE Center is training a new generation of innovators to study the built environment microbiome, including the diversity of microorganisms interacting with each other and with the indoor environment. The vision of this national research center is to understand buildings and urban environments as complex systems and to explore how urban, architectural, and building system (passive and active) design work to shape the microbiome, with the ultimate goal of designing healthy and sustainable buildings and cities.

For more information or to apply, see the full job post.

Assistant Professor In Quantitative Ecology or Evolution of Microbes – UCLA

Tenure track Assistant Professor Position In Quantitative Ecology or Evolution of Microbes

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the new Institute for Quantitative and Computational Biosciences (QCBio) at the University of California, Los Angeles are searching for a joint faculty appointment at the level of Assistant Professor. Candidates must have a PhD within the field of Biology, Microbiology and/or Computational Sciences.

Quantitative and computational biologists working on the ecology or evolution of terrestrial or aquatic (including marine) microbiomes, microbial symbionts, and/or pathogens, at the level of populations or communities, are invited to apply. The competitive applicant will conduct conceptually oriented research that uses quantitative or computational approaches such as mathematical modeling, genomics/metagenomics, or network science. Research on naturally-occurring or laboratory systems will be considered, and experimental approaches and use of emerging technologies are encouraged.

UCLA boasts thriving research communities in ecology and evolutionary biology, as well as in genomics, bioinformatics and computational systems biology. There is a strong and growing community of microbiology and microbiome researchers on campus, and excellent opportunities to interface with biomedical or environmental science programs. The joint position will support the new faculty member to contribute to educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate level and to develop new synergies between the missions of QCB and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

UCLA is California’s largest university with a diverse student body.
Successful applicants should convey their commitment to excellence in research, teaching, mentoring, and contributions to diversity.
Questions regarding the position should be sent to Alexander Hoffmann

Materials should be submitted online and contain a
(1) cover letter, (2) CV, (3) research statement covering both past accomplishments and future plans, (4) teaching statement, (5) a contribution to diversity statement, (6) three key and relevant publications, and (7) names and contact information for at least three references. Applications should be submitted through

Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2017.

As a campus with a diverse student body, we encourage applications from women, minorities, and individuals with a history of mentoring under-represented minorities in the sciences.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy.
(, and is consistently in the top ten in NIH funding.

EEB-QCBio microbes job ad12716.pdf

Assistant Professor in Microbial Systems Biology at U. Tennessee, Knoxville

**Please circulate to interested colleagues. Review of applications begins today!

The Department of Microbiology and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville invite applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the area of Microbial Systems Biology, with a primary appointment in Microbiology. We seek applicants whose research will center on modeling the metabolism, regulation, evolution, and other emergent properties of microbial systems on the intracellular, community, or ecosystem level. Such research should integrate multiple types of experimental data, possibly including biomolecular “omics” data, into a mathematical framework for microbial systems. It is anticipated that candidates will have experience and interests in the synthesis of experimental and observational data through quantitative modeling and theory: a competitive start-up for creating a mathematics or theory based research group to collaborate with empiricists will be available. The successful candidate will address questions that complement existing strengths in the Microbiology department, and the cross-disciplinary approaches supported by NIMBioS. There also exist opportunities to interact with groups and facilities in the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A PhD in a computational, statistical or mathematical sciences or a biological field as well as relevant postdoctoral research experience are required. The successful candidate is expected to establish an innovative, externally-funded research program and contribute to the departmental teaching mission at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The position will start as early as August 1, 2017, and the salary will be competitive.

Applications should include a brief cover letter, CV with list of publications, a 2-3 page outline of research interests, and a separate 1-2 page description of teaching interests. Please provide the contact information for three individuals who are familiar with the applicant and would be willing to provide letters of recommendation. Please email the application as a single pdf file to Letters should be addressed to Dr. Steven Wilhelm, Professor of Microbiology, and informal inquiries may be sent to him at Review of applications will begin Dec 1, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.

For more information, visit

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status. Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of Tennessee are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the University. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.

Assistant Professor Microbial Ecology at University of Oregon

Assistant Professor Microbial Ecology

Institute of Ecology and Evolution and Department of Biology University of Oregon

The University of Oregon Institute of Ecology and Evolution ( and the Department of Biology invite applications for a tenure-track position (Assistant Professor) in microbial ecology. We are particularly interested in candidates whose research addresses fundamental concepts in microbial ecology at the population, community or ecosystem level. Successful candidates may use a variety of modern approaches (computational, molecular and/or laboratory culture) to study the ecology of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, or viruses) in laboratory systems, natural ecosystems (marine, aquatic or terrestrial) or within hosts (plant, animal or human). An outstanding research program and a commitment to excellence in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels is expected. Ph.D. required. Candidates who promote and enhance diversity are strongly desired. Interested persons should apply online to the University of Oregon IE2 SEARCH at Applicants should submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, statement of research accomplishments and future research plans, a description of teaching experience and philosophy, and three letters of

recommendation. Submission of up to 3 selected reprints is encouraged. For full posting and application directions, see To be assured of consideration, application materials should be uploaded by November 23, 2016, but the search will remain open until the position is filled.

The UO is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status.

MicrobialEcologistAd_v2 at 10-18-16.pdf

Assessing biochemical activity and metagenomic codes to a “T”

We’re recruiting a student/postdoc for this project! If it sounds interesting, please contact the Huttenhower Lab!

We were happy to hear that we’ve been funded by the Sloan Foundation to continue our study of microbes on the Boston subway. Our original study involved 1) identifying which microbes were resident in this built environment, 2) understanding their functional potential, and 3) quantifying gene families of interest, including antibiotic resistance and virulence factors. In brief, we found that it’s not so bad – even (and perhaps especially) on a crowded subway, you’re surrounded mainly by harmless microbes largely from human skin.

However, this still leaves many open questions in terms of public health. Although we now know what microbes are present, the built-environment is chemically unique, and we have yet to characterize which microbes are biochemically active, persistent, or dead. Metagenomic surveys reveal which metabolic pathways are present, but this may include DNA from inactive cells. It also does not identify which pathways are transcriptionally active, driving the cells that do persist in the built environment. Finally, since we collected all train samples at one time point and all touchscreen samples at another time point, we have limited knowledge on how stable different locations’ microbial activities are over time.

Project OverviewTo determine which microbes are active, we will use a combination of ‘omics approaches on newly collected samples that include metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and metabolomics. From this, we can identify live bacteria (DNA) based on those that are transcriptionally active (RNA). We can further determine which metabolites are being produced by 1) associating taxonomic profiles with metabolites, 2) identifying genes within taxa that correspond to these metabolic pathways, and 3) confirming pathway activation through transcriptomic data. Cases in which interacting genes, transcripts, and metabolites covary (or are co-absent) provide “guilt-by-association” evidence of new functional annotations, novel biochemical pathways, or metabolite contributions from non-microbial sources.

To construct microbial signatures for different built environments, we will use the hitting set algorithm generated by Eric Franzosa, a research associate in the lab. This was developed to identify human hosts by their persistent microbial strain combinations, and in this study, we will test how these “codes” may identify individual built-environments as well. In brief, we will determine sets of features (taxa, genes, functions) that are unique to train lines and stations. We can then evaluate how stable these microbial codes are between our previous and new collections. Together, these features may provide a strategy for characterizing recently-visited environments using microbes newly acquired by an individual.

Generally, it is believed that microbes in the built environment originate from their human inhabitants and surrounding environments. This was the case in our last study, e.g. contrasting the presence of environmental taxa on indoor versus outdoor touchscreens, the prevalence of skin microbes on trains, and the presence of vaginal microbes on seats but not seatbacks. In terms of macroecology, urbanization frequently reduces biodiversity,1 though there are select animals such as pigeons and sparrows that thrive in (or more typically near) the built environment.2 Analogously, there may also be specific microbes that thrive and contribute to the built environment, which will be increasingly important to understand as more people move to cities. Overall, this study will help identify these microbes and the mechanisms they use to survive, as well as determine how stably they inhabit built environments across time.


1. Sol, D., Lapiedra, O., Gonzalez-Lagos, C. (2013). Behavioural adjustments for a life in the city. Animal Behaviour, 85, 1101-1112.
2. Kark, S., Iwaniuk, A., Schalimtzek, A. and Banker, E. (2007), Living in the city: can anyone become an ‘urban exploiter’?. Journal of Biogeography, 34: 638–651. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01638.x

Multiple fellowships in computational metagenomics at University of Trento

Research associate, PhD and Postdoctoral fellowships

Centre for Integrative Biology

University of Trento (Italy)


The Laboratory of Computational Metagenomics (P.I. Dr. Nicola Segata) at the Centre for Integrative Biology at University of Trento is seeking enthusiastic computational biologists to join the group on a recently funded ERC Starting grant and other already funded ongoing projects.

The laboratory employs experimental meta’omic tools and novel computational approaches to study the diversity of the microbiome and its role in human dysbiosis and infections. Current projects bring together computer scientists, microbiologists, statisticians, and clinicians.

We have openings for postdocs, PhD students, and scientific programmers / data analysts with one or more of the following qualifications:
– strong background in scientific programming (incl. python or R) and the Unix environment
– strong experience in metagenomics and microbiome data analysis
– solid statistics/biostatistics/machine learning background
– familiarity with DNA extraction and sequencing library preparation
– experience in microbial genomics
In exceptional cases, we will consider applications of computer scientists without experience in bioinformatics and metagenomics.

The successful candidates will have to deal with in-house shotgun metagenomic data as well as large metagenomic datasets from international research consortia and will develop new computational tools to analyze microbiomes by integrating metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomic, and metaproteomic datasets. Large-scale comparative genomic analysis will also be performed exploiting the richness of metagenomic data analyzed with strain-level resolution. The successful candidate will take advantage from our international network of collaborations and can also spend some time in our wet lab for targeted validation experiments and, if interested, can have teaching responsibility.

If you are enthusiastic about computational biology and metagenomics and you are a talented quantitative researcher our laboratory can provide the ideal setting to perform cutting-edge research and to boost your career.

Interested candidates should send a CV, cover letter, and the contact information of at least one professional referee to as an expression of interest.


Nicola Segata, PhD
Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator

Faculty Position in Microbial Ecology At Dartmouth

Faculty Position in Microbial Ecology

Department of Biological Sciences

Hanover, NH USA

The Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College seeks applicants for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Microbial Ecology. We seek highly qualified candidates who investigate important questions relating to the ecology of microbes and their interactions with other organisms. Candidates must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. We seek a colleague who will supervise an independent, extramurally funded research program; provide research training for graduate and undergraduate students; teach introductory ecology and other courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and contribute to Dartmouth’s recently expanded cross-departmental graduate program in Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems and Society. Dartmouth also offers many other relevant opportunities for research and graduate training, including the Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program and the Microbiology & Molecular Pathogenesis Program. Application materials should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, three representative publications, statements of research and teaching interests, and contact information for three references. Please submit materials electronically to:

Application review will begin on 15 September 2016 and continue until the position is filled. For further information about the department and graduate programs, see

Dartmouth College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any other legally protected status. Applications by members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged.

Open Faculty Position: Assistant Professor of Sustainable Buildings, The Ohio State University

Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering and Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering

Applications are invited for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the field of Sustainable Buildings with a primary appointment in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering and a joint appointment in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University.  This position is among many substantial investments in faculty positions and research related to sustainability and resilience by the university to establish Ohio State as a global leader in these areas.

The successful candidate will join a highly collaborative interdisciplinary community of scholars in the Sustainable and Resilient Economy (SRE) program including faculty from Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Business, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Public Health and Policy.  The SRE program seeks to advance sustainability science by developing a more holistic understanding of sustainable and resilient production and consumption systems, human-environment interactions, and innovations in sustainable technologies and governance. The successful candidate is expected to develop a nationally-recognized, externally funded research program; publish in high quality journals; participate in collaborative teams and interdisciplinary research on sustainability and resilience topics; contribute effective instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the host departments; supervise and mentor graduate students; and provide professional and university service. This is a full-time (9-month) tenure-track position, beginning in August 2017.

An earned doctorate degree (or equivalent) in civil engineering, construction engineering or management, architectural engineering, or closely related field is required prior to the August 2017 start date; at least one engineering degree at either the baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate level; an established record of research commensurate with prior training and specialization in building systems, building science, building performance analytics, building information modeling (BIM), life cycle assessments, intelligent construction techniques, changing climatic effects on the built environment, building health, human factors or policy implications, or other relevant topics as they pertain to sustainable or ‘green’ buildings; evidence of potential for developing a nationally-recognized research program; demonstrated potential for excellence in teaching in the host departments, including courses in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction Systems Management, and an ability to communicate effectively with faculty and students in large and small audiences.

Post-doctoral or industry experience; demonstrated experience collaborating on multi-disciplinary initiatives, including with engineer team members; a demonstrated ability to teach at the undergraduate level, and experience working with diverse populations.

This position is partially funded by Ohio State’s Discovery Themes Initiative, a significant faculty hiring investment in key thematic areas in which the university can build on its culture of academic collaboration to make a global impact. Additional information about the Discovery Themes Initiative and SRE, in particular, is available at

The Ohio State University, a land-grant university, is ranked 20th among US universities in total research expenditures. It is fourth in the nation among all universities in industry-funded research expenditures. OSU is located in Columbus, which is the 15th largest city in the country with a metropolitan population of 1.9 million. Columbus offers a high quality of life, with affordable housing in vibrant neighborhoods, quality public schools, and economic prosperity  It is a city that celebrates diversity and is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the country for African-Americans, members of the LGBT community, and families. Columbus was named the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year by The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), the New York-based think tank.


Application Process:

Applicants should collate a single bookmarked PDF file that contains, in this order: (i) a cover letter; (ii) a statement of future research directions, including contributions to the previously listed specializations and potential for collaborations; (iii) a statement of relationship between proposed research and Sustainable and Resilient Economy Discovery Theme, including potential future collaborations; (iv) a statement of teaching philosophy and interests; (v) CV; (vi) a list of three references, including names, affiliations and full contact information with email, and (vii) up to three research papers, published, under review, or in preparation for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

The file should be named: GB_CANDIDATE LAST NAME_FIRST NAME.pdf.

Application files (and inquiries) should be submitted to: .

Review of applications will begin on Nov. 7, 2016 and continue until the position has been filled.


Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion:

The Ohio State University is committed to establishing a culturally and intellectually diverse environment, encouraging all members of our learning community to reach their full potential. We are responsive to dual-career families and strongly promote work-life balance to support our community members through a suite of institutionalized policies. We are an NSF ADVANCE Institution and a member of the Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Higher Education Recruitment Consortium.

The Ohio State University is an EEO/AA employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.


Information regarding other faculty positions will posted as it becomes available.

For a complete list of university positions, please visit

Link to the post:

NASA postdoctoral fellowship solicitation to study the microbiology of the #ISS

Public Domain image
Public Domain image

In parallel to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation offer of two postdoctoral fellowships to study the microbiology of the ISS, NASA is also issuing a pair of postdoc fellowships on their end.  The collaboration between Sloan and NASA is great to see, since there is significant overlap between their interests in this field.  I’m really excited to see the four projects that come out of this collaborative call.

All information relating to the NASA call can be found here.

Dual postdoctoral fellowship opportunity to study the microbiology of the #ISS

Public Domain image

This is so awesome. The Sloan Program in Microbiology of the Built Environment is offering a pair of postdoc fellowships to work on the microbiology of the International Space Station. Summary of the call is below, the compete information packet can be downloaded here.  And if that’s not cool enough, the next blog post is going to be about some parallel opportunities from NASA.  Great time to be thinking about space microbiology!

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announces a funding opportunity in its Microbiology of the Built Environment (MoBE) program, the Sloan ISS MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship―Research Opportunities for Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Space Biology to Study the Microbiome of the ISS as a Built Environment: Using ISS as a Microbiological Observatory.

Deadline for Required Notice of Intent: October 31, 2016
Proposals due: November 30, 2016, 11:59 Eastern Time
Estimated Selection Announcement: On or about March 1, 2017

This solicitation invites proposals for Sloan ISS MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowships from potential postdoctoral fellows to conduct studies to characterize microbial populations isolated from the International Space Station (ISS). Selected studies will provide insights into how microbes and microbial populations adapt to spaceflight. Proposed experiments will use microbial isolates collected from the ISS that have been archived at the Johnson Space Center. Studies must advance the goals of NASA’s Space Biology program and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. NASA and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (hereafter “Sloan”) have a shared and synergistic interest in promoting microbiology research that that will enhance scientific understanding of the Microbiology of the Built Environment (MoBE). NASA and Sloan have entered into a Space Act Agreement to facilitate this work.

The goal of the Sloan MoBE program is to grow a new field of scientific inquiry in the complex microbial ecosystems found in human built and occupied environments. The Sloan program objectives are described at
The goal of NASA in this area is to build a better understanding of the effects of spaceflight on microbial ecosystems in spacecraft such as the ISS to prepare for future exploration missions far from earth. NASA-sponsored research in this area is guided by recommendations of the National Research Council (NRC) which in 2011 published research priorities for the next decade in “Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era” (hereafter “Decadal Survey”) at The Decadal Survey recommended that NASA “establish a microbial observatory program on ISS to conduct long-term multi-generational studies of microbial population dynamics.
Sloan anticipates awarding two grants. The Sloan ISS MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides a $140,000 award, payable in two $70,000 installments. Funds are normally expended over a period of two years after the appointment of the fellow. Charges associated with indirect costs or institutional overhead are not allowed. The stipend support for the fellow should be at least $54,000 of the total annual award amount (stipends may be supplemented from institutional or other sources). $6,000 is provided as a stipend to the fellow for travel or research expenses. Fringe benefits from this award may not exceed $10,000 per year. In the event that institutions/laboratories receiving the Sloan ISS MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship award have higher rates for fringe benefits, the institution must provide the difference.

Eligibility Requirements Specific to this Solicitation:
Proposals will be accepted from graduate students in their final year of their PhD or equivalent degree program, from postdoctoral fellows (PhD, MD, DDS, DVM or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution) or from applicants who received a doctoral degree within the past 2 years, but have not yet had postdoctoral training. Applicants must have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or the subsequent resubmission or revision application. The program is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or persons with pre-existing visas obtained through their sponsoring institutions that permit postdoctoral training for the project’s duration. Sponsoring institutions must be U.S. academic, government, or commercial institutions that will provide appropriate mentors. Additional information on the Sloan ISS MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship program as well as detailed instructions for proposal submission are included at the end of this Solicitation.

Paula J. Olsiewski, Ph.D.