First listed on: 17 May 2019

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Metabolic Engineering 

  • Are you an early career scientist keen to make a real and positive impact in combating global warming?
  • Conduct research into the production of feed supplements for methane reduction in ruminant livestock
  • Receive broad scientific training ranging from basic biology to applied scientific delivery

The Position

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years relevant postdoctoral work experience. 

A major contributor to global warming is anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, one of which is methane. Rumen enteric methane from livestock is a major contributor from agriculture and is responsible for over 13% of global greenhouse gases and is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Recently CSIRO has shown that methane production can be dramatically reduced in cattle if they are fed a red seaweed that accumulates a naturally occurring antimethanogenic compound called bromoform. The Postdoctoral Fellow will work as part of a team to engineer yeast strains and algae capable of producing and accumulating bromoform and develop these strains into viable livestock feed additives.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will undertake multidisciplinary research in novel trait engineering in yeast and apply this technology to livestock industries. They will play a leading role by independently developing and implementing innovative research ideas with the support of an enthusiastic research team. This will be an exciting opportunity to make a real and positive impact in combating global warming. The Postdoctoral Fellow will receive broad scientific training ranging from basic biology to applied scientific delivery making this an ideal career advancement opportunity. The Postdoctoral Fellow will undertake research at both CSIRO Agriculture and Food (Black Mountain Laboratories, Canberra) and the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Platform (Brisbane).

Your duties will include:

Under the direction of senior research scientists and engineers:

  • Undertake extensive molecular biological and biochemical analyses in red algae to increase understanding of bromoform production in these species.
  • Isolate and transfer algal genes required for bromoform production to yeast using advanced genetic engineering approaches.
  • Undertake biochemical analyses including GC-MS for metabolite detection.
  • Investigate molecular caging opportunities for volatile compounds in yeast cells.
  • Use applied livestock analysis to determine methane emissions.

Location:      Black Mountain, ACT
Salary:          AU$83k- AU$94k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:         3 years full time or part time equivalent
Reference:   61692

To be successful you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as molecular biology, microorganism engineering, biochemistry or related areas.  Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated research experience in molecular biological and biochemical experiments in yeast, algae or plants.
  • Demonstrated experience in the molecular and biochemical analysis of transgenic organisms.
  • Experience in gene cloning, producing transgenic organisms and metabolite characterisation.
  • High level written and oral communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively internally and externally, including the presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences.

For details about who to contact and for more information please view the Position Description

We’re working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure all our people feel supported to do their best work and empowered to let their ideas flourish.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance


At CSIRO you can be part of helping to solve big, complex problems that make a real difference to our future. We spark off each other, learn from each other, trust each other and collaborate to achieve more than we could individually in a supportive, rewarding, inclusive and truly flexible environment. 

Apply Online

To apply online, please provide a CV and cover letter together with a statement addressing the selection criteria.

Applications Close at 10.59 AEST 19 June 2019

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