Microbial Physiologist/Bioprocess Engineer

Menlo Park, CA
Competitive compensation commensurate with position and experience
Jan 12, 2021
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Zero Acre Farms recently launched in the San Francisco Bay Area to stop chronic disease, deforestation, and climate change.

If you strive to have a quantum impact on health and sustainability, have a green thumb when it comes to cutting-edge synthetic biology, bioanalytical, or industrial biotechnologies, and would jump at an opportunity to build a collaborative work environment from the ground up, we would love to hear from you.

Please share your CV and interest in an email to join@zeroacrefarms.com. Please include in the subject line the position title you feel is a good fit (i.e. “Microbial Physiolopgist/Bioprocess Engineer”).

Zero Acre Farms seeks a PhD scientist/engineer to join our Cultivation Team and spearhead the development of our fermentation process. The successful candidate will initially investigate and enhance the fermentative production of specific intracellular primary metabolites and apply the most advanced tools to identify and engineer environmental and genetic variables to optimize product yield, productivity, and titer. This scientist/engineer will have a strong background in microbial physiology, biochemistry, and central metabolism, and have relevant working experience the biosynthesis and accumulation of lipids.  The successful candidate will have a background working with controlled bioreactors and analyzing, interpreting, and presenting the resulting analytical data, including those from bioreactor monitoring equipment, liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry. The new team member will work closely with one or more research assistants and scientists and contribute to the development of the Cultivation Team. As an integral part of the core R&D team, this position requires exceptional organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills and working collaboratively with all teams and their members. We are open to both early stage and senior candidates, with title being commensurate with experience.


  • PhD or equivalent in microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology, biochemical engineering, or related discipline.
  • 3 or more years working in an industrial environment.
  • Experience with quantitative microbial physiology and lipid biosynthesis and accumulation.
  • Experience developing and optimizing media and protocols for growing yeast, with practical knowledge of D.O.E.
  • Experience with small-scale fermentations from plate formats to lab-scale controlled bioreactors (1-10 L)
  • Experience successfully developing and applying high-throughput experimental strategies.
  • Expertise in the use of software packages to analyze, graph, and present of bioreactor and analytical data.
  • Experience with Bioinformatic software for the analysis of metabolic models and information.
  • Exceptional ability to design, execute and analyze conclusive experiments.
  • Ability and desire to learn new techniques and technologies (e.g. RNA-Seq, synthetic biology, metabolic modelling, AI, etc.)
  • Successful experience and desire to work within and contribute to a diverse multi-disciplinary team.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills

Nice to have

  • Experience in scaling up microbial cell cultures into large-scale fermentations
  • Experience with how the genetic manipulation of whole cell biocatalysts is carried out and applied to strain and process improvement.
  • Experience in the design and interpretation of RNAseq and/or metabolomic experiments.