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Arctic Vegetation Dynamics Postdoctoral Fellow

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
United States, California, Berkeley
1 Cyclotron Road (Show on map)
June 29, 2023

The Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division (CESD)at Berkeley Lab seeks a postdoctoral researcher to combine observational synthesis, ecological theory, and numerical model development to explore Arctic tundra responses and feedbacks to climate. The position is part of the NGEE Arctic project (https://ngee-arctic.ornl.gov/), a long-term, DOE-funded effort to combine observational and theoretical approaches to build better representations of Arctic ecosystems in the DOE Earth system model (Energy Exascale Earth System Model, E3SM).

For this position, we are interested in exploring changes in shrub distribution due to projected climate warming, and the resulting potential climate feedbacks. The postdoc will synthesize existing observations and develop and test model code to improve the representation of arctic plant functional types in ELM-FATES, a vegetation demographic model integrated in E3SM. The postdoc will design and conduct model experiments and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

The postdoc will interact and collaborate with the broader, multidisciplinary team of ecologists and modelers in the project.

What You Will Do:

  • Build and test representation of Arctic vegetation and biogeochemistry in ELM-FATES across site-level, regional, and pan-Arctic domains
  • Test model sensitivity to uncertainty in nutrient cycling, plant traits, and disturbance regime.
  • Analyze observations from NGEE-Arctic and other sites, and ground-based and remote sensing datasets to calibrate the model and evaluate its performance
  • Conduct model experiments on the effect of climate change on arctic ecosystems, and in particular the role of dynamic vegetation in those impacts.

What is Required:

  • Ph.D. in a relevant field (e.g., climate science, ecology, plant physiology, forestry)
  • Proficient coding skills in data analysis languages (python, R), compiled languages such as Fortran, and open-science tools (Jupyter, github) or demonstrated ability to acquire them.
  • Knowledge of and interest in carbon cycle and ecological science concepts
  • Experience with analysis of both observational and model-derived datasets
  • Ability to understand and use state-of-the-art land-surface biogeochemical models
  • Evidence of ability to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals
  • Ability and desire to work within an integrated, multi-institution team whose activities span from field research to Earth system model development

The position will remain open until filled. However, for full consideration, please apply by January 31, 2022 with the following application materials:


  • Contact information for three references (References will be contacted only after an interview)
  • PDFs of two journal publications

Want to learn more about Berkeley Lab's Culture, Benefits and answers to FAQs? Please visit: https://recruiting.lbl.gov/


  • This is a full-time, 2 year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 4 years of paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.
  • For questions, contact Margaret Torn (mstorn@lbl.gov) or Bill Riley (wjriley@lbl.gov)
  • The monthly salary range for this position is $4,636.00 - $7,887.00 and is expected to start at $6,746.00. Postdoctoral positions are paid on a step schedule per union contract and salaries will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates. Each step represents one full year of completed post-PhD Postdoctoral and/or related research experience

Based on University of California Policy - SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program and U.S Federal Government requirements, Berkeley Lab requires that all members of our community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. As a condition of employment at Berkeley Lab, all Covered Individuals must Participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program by providing proof that vaccination requirements have been met or submitting a request for Exception or Deferral. Visit covid.lbl.gov for more information.

Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments. Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab's mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

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