Postdoctoral Research Associate in Environmental Soil Chemistry

Lubbock, Texas
Compensation is commensurate upon the qualifications of the individual selected and budget.
Jan 31, 2021
Mar 02, 2021
Field of specialization
Environmental, Geological
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Position Description

A Postdoctoral Research Associate position is available in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, Texas, USA. The research focus is on adsorption, precipitation, and dissolution reactions of dissolved cations, particularly potassium, in soil clay and metal oxide mineral systems. Potassium bioavailability in soils is problematic, directly linked to fixation within clay minerals, and critical for cotton and crop production. The selected candidate will utilize high-energy, synchrotron radiation techniques, as well as microscopy and ICP-OES, to characterize the solid and aqueous phases of sample and reactions.

This is a two-year position. Applications must be submitted through the TTU job portal ( under staff positions (job number 22366BR). Full consideration will be given to applications received by March 1, 2021. Inquiries can be sent to Dr. Matthew Siebecker (; or to Dr. Katie Lewis (; Please use “Postdoc position for soil potassium” in the subject line.

Major/Essential Functions

The selected candidate will be responsible for conducting independent laboratory research, performing data analysis from synchrotron beamlines, writing peer-reviewed scientific publications, attending conferences to present results, and contributing to meetings with stakeholders to discuss research findings. The candidate will also mentor undergraduate students and work with graduate students.

Required Qualifications

A Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in soil chemistry, geochemistry, environmental chemistry, or a closely related area is required. The selected candidate will have a strong background in soil or sediment geochemistry, as it relates to physical, chemical, and spectroscopic characterization of minerals and aqueous solutions. The candidate should be familiar with the common wet-chemical techniques used in soil chemistry, such as batch and/or stirred-flow reactions. The candidate should have well-developed laboratory skills for sample and standards preparation, for example, with Inductively Coupled Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The candidate should have skills and experience with both spectroscopic and chemical characterization methods for soils and aqueous samples.

The candidate must be able to establish and maintain positive and effective work relationships with other employees, supervisors, and the public. The candidate must be able to plan and allocate the workload of undergraduate researchers, providing direct training and supervision as needed.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience in X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) is highly desired, especially shell-fitting of the Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) spectra. Experience in Scanning Emission Microscopy and/or Transmission Microscopy is a plus. Experience with microwave digestion and ICP-OES is helpful. A strong publication record is desired.

Required documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Research statement
  • Copy of at least one peer-reviewed original research publication (first author)
  • Unofficial transcripts from BS, MS, and/or PhD degrees
  • Contact information for three professional references

Travel Required

                Up to 25%

EEO Statement

As an EEO/AA employer, the Texas Tech University System and its components will not discriminate in our employment practices based on an applicant’s race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or status as a protected veteran.