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Microbiome Ecology Laboratory, Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Apply Now Job Number: FAC395
Work Type: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Categories: Sciences

Job Title

Microbiome Ecology Laboratory, Postdoctoral Research Assistant



University Expectation

MTSU seeks candidates committed to innovative teaching and meaningful service. We also seek to attract culturally and academically diverse faculty who value working with diverse students.


Salary is commensurate with education and experience.

Job Summary/Basic Function

The Microbiome Ecology Lab at Middle Tennessee State University is seeking an outstanding postdoctoral research assistant position (K06010) for an NSF-funded project entitled “Fungal pathogen induced dysbiosis alters microbiome assembly along host resource gradients: implications for biodiversity conservation.” This position is a one-year temporary appointment with a possible annual renewal for up to four years. The start date of the position is November 1, 2023.

The microbiome is an important component of host health and can provide disease resistance to wildlife pathogens. Dysbiosis is defined as disruption to a microbiome's typical function or composition, potentially resulting in adverse effects to host health. Studies spanning multiple scales in ecology (field, live animal, lab-based) allow for explicit hypothesis tests, cross-validation of observed ecological trends, and the establishment of fundamental rules governing pathogen-induced dysbiosis. The proposed work will use the snake fungal disease system to improve understanding of disease ecology, bacterial-fungal interactions, and dysbiosis to skin microbiomes across scales in biology. The postdoctoral scholar will be expected to work with a team to produce the most comprehensive census of bacterial and fungal microbiome diversity on any reptile species to date to inform experimental systems focused on microbial interactions and disease ecology. The postdoc will develop a tractable model system to experimentally test for the effect of pathogen-induced dysbiosis on resource gradients and microbiome structure and function.

The successful candidate is expected to have excellent quantitative skills and substantial experience in R, excellent written and oral communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to publish as first author in peer-reviewed journals, and be self-motivated with an excellent work ethic.

Required Education

A PhD in community ecology, microbiology, molecular biology, microbial ecology, wildlife disease, or a closely related field is required. Applicants who are ABD will also be considered.

Other Desirables

Applicants with field experience or experience with reptile or amphibian animal husbandry will receive special consideration.

Documents Needed to Apply

To successfully apply, applicants must include the following documents as separate attachments at the time of online application submittal: a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and Research Statement (as appropriate to the discipline). 

Special Instruction to Applicants 

If you need help applying, please contact Mitzi Dunkley, Faculty Recruitment Specialist, at (615) 898-5128.

If you have position-specific questions, please contact Donny Walker at

MTSU offers a comprehensive benefits package, including but not limited to the following:  

  • Sick Leave
  • Vacation Leave for Administrative/Classified Staff/12-month Faculty
  • 13 paid University holidays
  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Optional 401K and 403B Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Educational benefits for the employee and their spouse and dependents
Click here for additional information. 


MTSU is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that values diversity in all its forms. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Proof of U.S. citizenship or eligibility for U.S. employment is required before employment (Immigration Control Act of 1986). Clery Act crime statistics for MTSU are available at or by contacting MTSU Public Safety at (615) 898-2424.

MTSU is a Tobacco & Drug-Free campus.

This position requires a criminal background check. Therefore, you will be required to provide information about your criminal history to be considered.

For individuals requiring reasonable accommodation to apply: In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation to apply for a position with MTSU, please call 615-898-2929 or email

Application Review Date: 09/06/2023

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