Postdoctoral Researcher, ERC MYCOREV
The Natural History Museum
London, GB
5d ago

About Us

We are a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. We use the Museum's unique collections and our unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today.

We care for more than 80 million objects spanning billions of years and welcome more than five million visitors annually and 16 million visits to our website.

Today the Museum is more relevant and influential than ever. By attracting people from a range of backgrounds to work for us, we can continue to look at the world with fresh eyes and find new ways of doing things.

We employ 900 staff in a variety of roles, all united by our vision of a future where people and planet thrive. We need everyone to have the passion and drive to help us with our mission to create advocates for our planet and inspire millions to care about the natural world.

Diversity and inclusion matter to us.

Our vision is of a future where both people and the planet thrive. Diversity is one of our core values and we strive to build a workplace where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

All new staff who join us learn about the importance of diversity and inclusion to the Museum and how to contribute to creating an inclusive environment.

We know we have more to do, but we are committed to ensuring that everyone who works at the Museum feels they can thrive and feel valued and respected.

About the role

The role of Postdoctoral Research Associate is an exciting ERC-funded post which is part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists from The Natural History Museum, London, the University of Sheffield and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

As a Research Associate in the laboratory of Dr Silvia Pressel, Life Sciences Department, Natural History Museum, you will be an essential member of the team working on the ERC funded project A mycorrhizal revolution : The role of diverse symbiotic fungi in modern terrestrial ecosystems .

Recently, it was revealed that Mucoromycotina fine root endophyte (MFRE) fungi form mutualistic symbioses with a wide variety of plants, spanning the entire land plant phylogeny.

Much of the fundamental biology of MFRE remains unknown, preventing us from understanding the true complexity, function and significance of plant-fungal symbioses in modern terrestrial ecosystems.

The project will explore the fundamental knowledge gaps surrounding the functional significance of plant-MFRE symbioses using a multi-scale approach, including lab experiments, field studies and microscopy.

About you

You will conduct extensive lab work, including in vitro cultivation of plants and fungi and will employ several approaches for the visualisation and characterisation of the plant-MFRE symbiosis, including confocal and electron microscopy and rRNA LSU fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).

You will have a PhD (or be close to completion) in plant sciences, ideally with expertise in mycorrhizal research, in vitro techniques and microscopy.

You should have strong analytical and experimental skills and must have the ability to work well independently and as part of team, together with excellent time management, laboratory and communication skills.

What we offer

  • 27.5 days holiday plus 8 bank holidays (full time equivalent)
  • Generous defined contribution Natural History Museum Pension Scheme (employer contribution 4 - 10%)
  • Season ticket, bicycle and rental loan
  • Life insurance
  • Free admission to our exhibitions and many other paid exhibitions at museums, galleries and institutions across London and the UK.
  • Staff discount at our Museum shops and cafes
  • We offer a wide variety of training initiatives and opportunities to build skills. Investing in staff development is important to us, and we are ambitious about helping staff to grow and fulfil their potential.
  • Affordable membership to the Civil Service Sports Council which offers a range of benefits including an extensive list of special offers and reduced entry fees at a selection of cinema chains, theme parks, theatres, retailers and supermarkets.
  • It also provides entry to up to 300 and other national treasures. For more details, visit

  • Membership to our Sports and Social Association (for a small fee), which includes access to our in-house gym and clubs such as football, softball, table tennis and tennis and classes in Middle Eastern dance, yoga and Tai Chi
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