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Aquatic Ecologist (Remote Eligible)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, US
Closing date
Oct 4, 2023

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Requisition Id 11762

Annual Salary Range:$100,710.00 -$151,070.00

Work-Site Type:Remote

ORNL offers a flexible work environment that supports both the organization and the employee. In addition, this position is considered remote-eligible for ORNL in pre-approved locations. Remote-eligibility is not a continued guarantee and could be subject to change based on evolving organizational needs.

Note about pay range:

Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay. Salary for this position will be commensurate with the final candidate's qualifications and experience, including skills, knowledge, relevant education, certifications, plus also aligned with the internal peer group. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Link to benefits.


We are seeking an Aquatic Ecologist who will contribute to multiple research projects investigating how energy technologies and environmental stressors affect aquatic ecosystems. This position resides in the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Group in the Biodiversity and Sustainable Systems Section , Environmental Sciences Division , Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

As part of our team, you will contribute to several research projects, including studies on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from hydropower reservoirs, long-term dynamics of aquatic organism responses to remediation activities, and watershed-scale biogeochemical dynamics. We are interested in qualified candidates with a suite of field and laboratory-based skills and expertise in processing and analyzing large ecological datasets.

As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation's biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL's broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Organize and conduct field campaigns and design sampling strategies to measure GHG emissions from hydropower reservoirs.
  • Contribute to the development, testing, and application of novel GHG measurement technologies.
  • Apply statistical and visualization techniques to analyze large biogeochemical and ecological datasets.
  • Present findings at national/international scientific conferences.
  • Publish results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • Work as part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists.
  • Interface directly with internal and external collaborators and stakeholders.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.
  • Deliver ORNL's mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace - in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.
Basic Qualifications:
  • A PhD and a minimum of 2 years of experience in Aquatic Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Freshwater Biology, or a related field.
  • Experience conducting fieldwork in freshwater ecosystems (reservoirs, lakes, streams, rivers).
  • A strong record of independent and productive research, as indicated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience measuring GHG dynamics in freshwater ecosystems.
  • Experience working with environmental sensors.
  • Experience with experimental design and statistical analyses, including analyzing multivariate and time series data.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.
*Work will involve various physical requirements and certain working conditions and as such a post offer, pre-hire physical is required.*

Physical Requirements:
  • Candidates must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Candidates must be able to endure exposure to all types of weather, nuisance plants and insects and uneven and steep terrain conditions.
  • Candidates must be able to carry and set up testing equipment, which can involve some heavy lifting and frequent bending and crouching.
  • Ability to wear protective gear such as chest waders, life vests and PPE.
Letters of Recommendation:

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You may upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.

Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:
  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document

Benefits at ORNL:

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits includethe following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan,Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.

For Remote eligible positions:

ORNL offers a flexible work environment that supports both the organization and the employee. In addition, this position is considered remote-eligible for ORNL in pre-approved locations. Remote eligibility is not a continued guarantee and could be subject to change based on evolving organizational needs.

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply. UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville

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