Computational Microbiologist
, Missouri
October 24, 2017
Monsanto is a sustainable agriculture company focused on enabling farmers around the world to produce more from their farms, both large and small. As our climate changes and population grows, we are striving to feed additional billions safely, affordably, and with minimal environmental impact. To meet this need, Monsanto has launched the world's largest effort to develop naturally-sourced microbial traits that enhance plant health, productivity, and fertility. We believe microbes offer tremendous potential to deliver ecologically responsible and cost-effective benefits to crops around the world. We're looking for a creative Computational Microbiologist to help transform unprecedented microbe and plant data into higher yielding crops. In this role, you will leverage metagenomes to source novel microbes to enhance yield and protect crops from pests, apply your expertise in functional metagenomics to identify new traits for laboratory and field testing, design large biological and computational experiments that encompass thousands of metagenomes and isolates in diverse field and controlled environments. You will be on the leading edge of method development in this field by developing, optimizing, and sharing the latest computational and analytical methods for analyzing a wide variety of data collected on a massive scale to generate biologically meaningful and testable hypotheses. Wherever possible, you will be encouraged to publish results and contribute code to public repositories.

Role and responsibility: 
  • Create testable hypotheses using computational methods and biological knowledge to integrate and interpret metagenomic, genomic, phenotypic, environmental and field data.  
  • Collaborate to design and analyze microbiological experiments involving individual isolates, host-microbe interactions, and microbial communities.
  • Mine microbial genomes and metagenomes for candidate isolates and trait genes.  
  • Help build and continually improve our community's computational capabilities along with our ability to leverage metagenomes for discovery.
  • Think creatively about big biological data. 

Required Skills:

  • Ph.D. in microbial ecology, environmental science, microbiology, computational biology or a related field; or a Masters degree in one of these fields and 5+ years of relevant experience.
  • 4+ years academic or industry experience in computational biology and/or microbial ecology (including Ph.D. and postdoc research).
  • Experience with simulations, statistics or modeling of complex biological systems.
  • Facility with the programmatic use of at least one statistical package such as R.
  • Scientific programming skills in at least one scripting or high performance language (e.g. R, Python, Julia, C, C++, Java, etc).
  • A commitment to reproducible data science.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn methods and technologies as necessary to meet objectives.
  • Successful experience working closely with experimental collaborators to test computationally derived hypotheses.
  • Ability to work on cross-functional teams to meet milestones and deadlines.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong publication record.
Desired Skills/Experience:

  • Ability to apply ecological concepts to a range of questions and microbially-relevant environments.
  • Experience in projects where soil microbiology is linked to functioning at the ecosystem scale.
  • General understanding of soil microbial ecology and nutrient cycling in soils.
  • Experience using high performance or cloud computing environments such as SGE, LSF, or AWS.
  • Past laboratory experience, along with an appreciation for when to use a computational approach and when to do a physical experiment.
  • Experience acting as a liaison between experimentalists and informaticists to generate conclusive and applicable results.
  • A highly collaborative approach, with the drive and ability to actively create new connections across the global Monsanto Technology organization.
***This role can be based in San Diego OR St. Louis

A little about us:
At Monsanto, we believe that diverse perspectives solve big challenges and deliver a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world.

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