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Research Associate - Petroleum Microbiology Research Group, Faculty of Science

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Job ID: 13912

Updated: October 5, 2017

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science invites applications for a Research Associate - Petroleum Microbiology Research Group. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 6 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

As a member of the Petroleum Microbiology Research Group, this position will provide support in the area of mesophilic and thermophilic sulfate-reducing bacteria to souring in high-temperature oil fields.  The work performed is an important component of the three primary research areas, Sulfur Cycle Management, Corrosion Control and Improved Production, of the Primary Investigator's NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Petroleum Microbiology.  The nature of the work requires that the individual have a strong knowledge of general laboratory policies and procedures. This position works 35 hours per week and is part of the AUPE group.

This position provides technical expertise and assistance for the set up, operation, maintenance and collection and analysis of data resulting from high and low temperature bioreactor incubation experiments. 
The Research Associate will conduct his/her own experiments analysing effects of various biocides in combination with or without nitrate from model bioreactor systems operated under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions, and analysing microbial communities in these bioreactors, as well as providing support to other team members who need to set up similar experiments. This work will involve operating pressurized syringe pump systems and assembling bioreactor columns.  It will also involve molecular biology techniques (DNA isolation, PCR amplification, DNA quantification), anaerobic culturing techniques and chemical analysis of samples using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), and others instruments.


Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):


  • Set up of bioreactor columns that will be run under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions with syringe pump systems.  Establish microbial communities in these bioreactors for subsequent treatment to test biocide and nitrate combinations to control souring

  • DNA isolation from select bioreactor columns and subsequent analysis for microbial communities active in the experiments

  • Implementation and monitoring of anaerobic microbial incubations of received environmental samples that will be used in the bioreactors

  • Data analysis of bioreactor experimental results (water chemistry, and microbial communities, etc.) and interpretation

  • Prepare reports and manuscripts for publication

Reporting and Publications

  • Maintain a clear and well-documented log of all data

  • Meet with supervisor monthly to provide update on status of experimental results from the various bioreactor experiments

  • Will present pertinent results to the research team in lab presentations and to industry sponsors

  • Expected to make contributions to publications for submission to research journals and to technical reports provided to sponsors

Safety and Environment

  • Understanding of operating procedures of the equipment used in the experimental protocols.

  • Maintain a clean and safe laboratory work area

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • PhD in area of Microbiology or Bioscience Engineering, Molecular Biology or similar area
  • 2-3 years of experience Petroleum and Anaerobic Microbiology
  • Experience in and knowledge of Petroleum and Anaerobic Microbiology
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Programs and  MetaAmp data analysis pipeline
  • Knowledge of WHMIS
  • Ability to multi-task and deal with some repetitive tasks
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Must be comfortable working in a diverse research team and have good interpersonal skills

Application Deadline:  September 29, 2017

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.


Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase II.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website. For more information about the Faculty of Science visit Careers in the Faculty of Science.


About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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