Postdoc: Merging top-down and bottom-up approaches to partition carbon and water fluxes


Carnegie Institution for Science


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Start Date

Friday, March 1, 2019

The Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS) is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to contribute to a project funded by NASA that aims to leverage new theory and observations in land, atmosphere and space-based research to accurately partition global carbon fluxes between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere at high spatial and temporal resolution. This project is a collaboration between the Dr. Anna Michalak’s lab at CIS in Stanford, Dr. Trevor Keenan’s lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) in Berkeley, and Dr. Joshua Fisher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. The position is based in Dr. Michalak’s lab and will involve extensive collaboration with researchers at the other two institutions, offering excellent opportunities for joint mentoring and career development.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be responsible for developing innovative strategies for using atmospheric modeling together with available in situ and satellite-based observations to inform the improvement of models representing carbon and water fluxes between the atmosphere and biosphere. There will be considerable flexibility regarding specific scientific questions to be examined, but these may include evaluating temperature versus water controls on the spatial and temporal variability of CO2 fluxes, identifying missing processes in mechanistic representations of gross primary productivity and ecosystem respiration, and assessing the impact of improved parameterizations on the constraint on global, continental, and regional carbon balance.

Position Duties

·         Coordinate with collaborators at CIS, LBNL, and JPL to identify key scientific opportunities and modeling strategies.

·         Together with collaborators at CIS, LBNL, and JPL, design experiments to elucidate the degree to which atmospheric observations inform mechanistic understanding of terrestrial carbon balance.

·         Lead and contribute to research papers to be published in the peer reviewed literature.


·         Ph.D. in atmospheric science, earth science, or related field

·         Experience working with atmospheric transport models at regional, continental and/or global scales

·         Experience exploring questions about terrestrial fluxes of greenhouse gases.

·         Experience in the design and solution of atmospheric inverse problems a plus.

·         Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Informal inquiries about this position can be made by emailing Dr. Anna M. Michalak at  Formal applications for employment must be submitted through the Carnegie employment portal, and must include a cover letter, CV, and list of at least three references.

The review of applications will begin immediately and the position will remain open until it is filled. Compensation is competitive and will be commensurate with work experience and skills.

All applicants will receive consideration of employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Contact Name

Dr. Anna M. Michalak

Contact Email