Postdoctoral Associate in Microbial Soil Health and Water Quality

800 437 Stroud Water Research Center

Stroud Water Research Center is searching for a postdoctoral associate to study the impacts of agricultural cropping and conservation practices on soil microbiome, water quality/biogeochemistry, and hydrology as part of a multiple year grant-funded collaboration with the Rodale Institute.

Position Description

The preferred candidate will have a Ph.D. in microbial ecology, aquatic chemistry/biogeochemistry, soil hydrology, or closely related field. The ideal candidate should (1) have core competencies in microbial ecology, water quality/biogeochemistry, or soil hydrology; (2) possess a strong basic and theoretical understanding of soil microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, or hydrology; (3) a publication record that demonstrates integration of biological, geological, and hydrological sciences; (4) have a proven ability to work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team; (5) be flexible about field work and travel, especially beyond routine work hours; and (6) be knowledgeable about the emerging technologies within their discipline. Experience with agricultural practices and soil health, extracellular enzyme activity assays, or soil environmental sensor networks is a plus.


The successful candidate will coordinate a multiple year, interdisciplinary, and collaborative project between the Stroud Center and colleagues at the Rodale Institute (Kutztown, Pennsylvania). Working as a coordinator of research activities, the postdoctoral associate will coordinate sample collection, organize personnel for field and laboratory work, conduct data analyses, produce progress reports and peer-reviewed publications, and assist in developing grant proposals for additional funding. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with other Stroud Center senior scientists, technical staff, graduate students, environmental educators, outreach communicators, watershed restoration professionals, as well as with external partners and colleagues. This is a full-time, salaried position. Some weekends and early/late working conditions may occasionally be required. This position will require extensive fieldwork and local travel between field sites within southeastern Pennsylvania.

Project Summary

This project investigates how different agricultural crop management strategies and conservation practices influence water quality and soil health. Using Rodale Institute’s 37-year-old Farming Systems Trial and a newly established transition to organic farming at the Stroud Preserve (near West Chester, Pennsylvania, an approximately 20-minute drive from the Stroud Center), it examines the consequences of farming techniques for microbial soil health, water infiltration or runoff, and nutrient, contaminant, and sediment export. The findings will be used to inform practices that can reduce contamination and flooding in the Delaware River Watershed. Results will be disseminated through scientific publications, public messages, and training events.

Employment Requirements and Process

The application deadline is August 31, 2020, in anticipation of starting the position as soon as possible, but no later than fall 2020. Applicants with approved work permits in the USA will be given priority. To apply, use the form below to submit application materials that include a cover letter, curriculum vitae/resume, and the names and contact details for three professional references as a SINGLE ATTACHMENT (PDF file preferred). The name of the attached file should start with the applicant’s last name in the file name (e.g., LASTNAME_RESUME.PDF). Applications will be reviewed immediately and be given consideration before the application deadline. Finalists will be interviewed in person or by video conference.

The Stroud Center is continuously implementing and revising COVID-19 related work protocols and the candidate will be trained in these protocols and will be expected to help various science teams implement safety measures and social distancing as part of routine collaborative work.

Salary and Benefits

The Stroud Center will provide a competitive salary based on the candidate’s experience and qualifications. This is a full-time position including a comprehensive employee benefit plan. We expect a two-year commitment from the candidate, with a possible one-year extension pending strong job performance and expected continuation of funding.

Application Form

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Stroud Water Research Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of fresh water through global research, education, and watershed restoration and to help businesses, landowners, policymakers, and individuals make informed decisions that affect water quality and availability around the world. Since its creation in 1967, teams of scientists have conducted pioneering research on streams and rivers locally, regionally, and throughout the world. Today, the Stroud Center’s research team blends its talents in chemistry, microbiology, aquatic entomology (insects and other invertebrates), ichthyology (fish), hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, and ecosystem modeling in collaborative studies of the physical, chemical, and biological processes of streams and rivers. The Stroud Center’s education staff helps to interpret our research findings and builds education programs about freshwater ecology, management, and stewardship for a wide audience. The Stroud Center’s Watershed Restoration Group develops and implements watershed restoration programs that connect landowners, stakeholders, and the general public with best management practices for conserving, restoring, and protecting watersheds. While we work in watersheds all over the world, most of our ideas are generated and pilot tested at the Stroud Center’s main campus in the White Clay Creek experimental watershed where the Stroud Center has a 50-year research and monitoring record within a unique facility that includes indoor “wet” labs and streamside flumes fed by flowing water pumped in from the creek on our property. In 2012, the Stroud Center expanded its campus to 50 acres and constructed a LEED Platinum-certified building for education and public outreach, the Moorhead Environmental Complex. Learn more at

Stroud Water Research Center is an independent, non-advocacy 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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