South Kensington




£38,037 per annum

Contract type:

Contract Contract


Full time



Postdoctoral Research, EXCALIBUR

The Natural History Museum (NHM) is a world-class visitor attraction, leading science research centre and commercial event space. We use our unique collections and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. We care for more than 80 million specimens, both in our London and Tring museums, spanning billions of years and welcome more than five million visitors annually.

We are at a pivotal moment in our history as we will soon launch a new strategy setting out our role as the natural world faces increasing threats. Building on our world-leading collection, global reputation for science and as one of the world’s leading visitor attractions, the NHM has ambitious plans leading up to the 150 anniversary of the opening of the Waterhouse Building in 2031, making this a truly exciting time to be part of the NHM team.

About the role

This is a multidisciplinary position including soil mineralogy, soil chemistry and soil microbiology within the H2020-funded EXCALIBUR project in Dr. Javier Cuadros’ and Dr. Anne Jungblut’s research teams at the Earth and Life Sciences Departments, Natural History Museum, London.

The project aims to gain a better knowledge of underground soil biodiversity and their synergistic effects with prebiotic and probiotic approaches in horticulture. Soil microbial bio-inoculants and bio-effectors are being tested on three model crops of economic importance such as tomato, apple, and strawberry under different experimental and open-field conditions across Europe. Feedback effects of and on native soil biodiversity and nutrient availability will be monitored.

The work will provide an excellent opportunity for a post-doctoral research scientist to train and carry out multidisciplinary investigation of soil microbial community modifications and mineral nutrient release effected by bio-inoculants.

The postdoctoral research scientist will take a leading role in designing and developing laboratory experiments with natural soils and bio-inoculants, and in testing how soil microbial assemblages respond to the presence bio-inoculants and how mineral nutrient availability is modified.

The investigation includes the use and integration of mineralogical and chemical methods as well as molecular methods, and it is foreseen that the successful candidate will require training to complement his/her previous experience.

About you

You will have a PhD in Earth sciences or biological sciences, with a background knowledge of soils, and experience on either X-ray diffraction techniques for mineral analysis and chemical analysis of soils OR extraction of DNA from soil samples, PCR techniques and bioinformatic tools for microbial community analysis.

As well as excellent written and oral communication skills, you will be interested to be trained and acquire advanced knowledge in new experimental techniques.

Fixed term contract: 18 months
Closing date: 9am on Monday 5 October 2020
Interviews expected by 15 October 2020

To apply, please visit and upload your CV with a covering letter, which clearly outlines how you meet our person specification.

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