Postdoctor / Researcher within Environmental Microbiology

Deadline: 15.01.2024

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU will contribute to securing the future of life through outstanding research, education, communication and innovation. We have the country's most satisfied university students, who receive research-based education in a unique student environment. Our graduates gain a high level of competence in interdisciplinary collaboration and are popular in the labor market. NMBU has internationally leading research environments in several subjects. Together with our partners in society and business, we contribute to solving some of the biggest societal challenges of our time.

We focus on innovation, communication and entrepreneurship because we believe these challenges are best solved with joint efforts. We believe that a good working environment is characterized by diversity.

If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at  www.nmbu.no/en.

About The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science

The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) employs about 160 people. Currently about 50 PhD students are enrolled into our PhD program. KBM represents a broad range of scientific fields encompassing basic natural sciences such as microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry as well as the application of these towards food chemistry, technology and safety, biotechnology, bioprocessing and environmental issues. The Faculty is responsible for education, research and information within our fields of expertise and also has state-of-the-art instrumentation to perform research within these fields. KBM collaborates in networks and research projects both nationally and internationally. 

Further information here.

Join our team, developing biotechnology for reducing N2O emission from farmland

About the position

The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 2-year Postdoctor/Researcher position within environmental microbiology, with a possible extension depending on funding.

The successful candidate will be anchored in the research group Microbial Ecology and Physiology at KBM which is part of the NMBU Nitrogen group.

The postdoc/researcher will work in the team developing effective biotechnology for reducing the emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) from farmland, utilizing organic wastes as substrates and vectors for bacteria which can consume but not produce N2O, so called NNRB (non-denitrifying N2O respiring bacteria). The technology was developed in the laboratory by deliberate enrichment (and isolation) of NNRB’s which thrive both in the organic waste and in soil.

Field experiments with the first NNRB-strain provided very promising results. Further development of the technology will be to broaden the scope by isolating new NNRB-strains that can grow in a specter of relevant organic wastes, characterize their capacities as N2O sinks, and to test promising strains at first in the laboratory, and then in field experiments. In collaboration with industries (VEAS, Yara, N2Applied) we will explore various applications, develop robust routines, and verify the effects on N2O emissions in field experiments monitored by our field robots. Selected strains will be genetically modified by knockout of unwanted genes (nitrate- and/or nitrite reductase), both by random mutations and by CRISPR.

All these activities, including the postdoc/researcher position, are financed by two projects funded by the Norwegian Research Council; NOX2N and NRBOW. Key persons involved in these projects are Kjell Rune Jonassen (researcher), Lars Bakken (professor) and Åsa Frostegård (professor)

Main tasks

The postdoc/researcher will participate one or several of the following tasks, depend on skills and interests:

1. Enrichment, isolation, phenotyping and testing of new NNRB strains.

2. Molecular work: making knock-out mutants of nitrate-nitrite reduction genes; and the development of a Nanopore sequencing based technique for tracing the survival of NNRB’s in soil

3. Determine effects of NNRBs on N2O emissions from soil. Experiments using robotized gas measurements in lab and field.

4. Isolation and characterization of drought tolerant NNRB, for use in dry products.

The main purpose of a post-doctoral position is to qualify for work in high-level scientific positions.


Required Academic qualifications

  • The successful applicant must have a PhD degree on a relevant subject.

Skills on one or several of the following list will be emphasized:

  • Microbiology techniques
  • Molecular techniques and bioinformatics
  • Enzyme- and gas-kinetics
  • Biogeochemistry

Other desired skills and knowledge:

  • Knowledge on biogeochemistry of the N-cycle
  • Experience with R and/or Python

Personal qualities:

We need an ambitious person who sees our projects as an opportunity to develop his/her career. 

The ideal candidate will combine the following personal qualities: 

  • Hard-working, ambitious and accurate. 
  • Good social and collaborative skills
  • Proficient in English and scientific communication.

Good understanding our field of research. Selected candidates will be required to give a presentation of one of our core publications, as a part of the recruitment process

Remuneration and further information

The researchers will be placed in government pay scale position code 1352 Postdoctoral Fellow, salary grade 62-70 (NOK 604 900-692 400), or position code 1109 Researcher, salary grade 62-84 (NOK 604 900 – 966 300) on the Norwegian Government salary scale, depending on qualifications. The positions follow ordinary meriting regulations.

For further information, please contact:

General Information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 15.01.24

Your CV must be entered in JobbNorge's CV form and not just included as an attachment. This is to be able to comply with the regulations of §15 of the Public Administration Act.

Up to ten publications selected by the applicant as most relevant must be attached to the application. If it is difficult to identify the contribution of the applicant in multiple-author publications, a short explanation about the applicant’s part of the work is suggested.

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within 15.01.24 . Please quote reference number 23/05316

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