Research Associate

Research Associate

The University Of Western Australia | perth, WA, AU

Posted 13 days ago

Apply Now


  • Fixed term 24 months and full time appointment
  • Research intensive position with a start date as soon as possible
  • Salary range: Level A $74,236 - $99,905 p.a. plus 17% superannuation (appointment level will be dependent on qualifications and experience)
  • UWA School of Agriculture and Environment

    The University of Western Australia (UWA) is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world and a member of the prestigious Australian Group of Eight research intensive universities. With a strong research track record, vibrant campus and working environments, supported by the freedom to innovate and inspire, there is no better time to join Western Australia’s top university.

    About the team

    The UWA School of Agriculture and Environment is located in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Surrounded by a wealth of agricultural, natural and mining resources, our location allows us to produce innovative research with worldwide application. We have a strong track record in PhD supervision and external research grant success. The Australian Research Council rated Agricultural Science at UWA as 'above world standards' and Environmental Science at UWA as 'well above world standards' during the most recent Excellence in Research Australia assessment.

    About the opportunity

    You will be providing research services to project leaders and contribute to outputs in accordance with contracted requirements. Working under the supervision of Dr Bede Mickan and Emerita Professor Lynette Abbott, you will contribute to the delivery of within the project “Soil biological mechanisms underpinning the effects of biological amendments on soil health, productivity and resilience”. This project is a multidisciplinary project being led by The University of Western Australia, and funded by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (previously ‘Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’).

    You will be working with Dr Bede Mickan, Emeritus Professor Lynette Abbott, Professor Nanthi Bolan and Dr Sasha Jenkins, and collaborating with other scientists within the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment and nationally.

    To be considered for this role, you will meet the following criteria:

  • PhD qualification (or near completion) in Soil Science, or Molecular Ecology
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a select range of computing skills including molecular DNA analysis using bioinformatic software (QIIME, or Mothur) of bacterial and fungal sequence data, and generating in-silico functional gene prediction (PICRUSt2, Tax4fun, etc)
  • Expertise in ecological statistics and analysis (using R or Python), and preferably structural equation modelling
  • Demonstrated independent research skills, as evidenced by relevant publications and/or scientific reports
  • Experience in running soil incubations, plant growth experiments in the glasshouse, as well as experience with basic soil chemistry analysis, soil DNA extraction and preferably barcoded PCR preparations of DNA libraries ready for sequencing
  • Demonstrated knowledge of molecular ecology in relation to soil nutrient cycling
  • Highly developed and effective interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently, show initiative, problem solve and work collaboratively as part of a diverse team
  • About you

    You are a soil scientist or a molecular ecologist with knowledge of nutrient cycling. You will have experience in analysing molecular data frames for integrating relationships between dynamic soil processes in relation to soil bacteria and fungi. You will be proficient in a soil laboratory and DNA laboratory environments, and have a positive can do attitude.

    You will also possess excellent interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills with demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team.