Open Position

Postdoctoral Researcher: Microbiomes in Extreme Environments

We are searching for a motivated and independent postdoctoral scholar interested in developing a research project investigating how microbiomes of fish vary along environmental gradients, how genetic and environmental factors interact to shape microbiomes, and how variation in microbiomes may shape the ecological function of individuals and populations. The postdoctoral scholar’s research is expected to be integrated with our studies of phylogenetically-independent lineages of livebearing fishes that have colonized and adapted to toxic, hydrogen-sulfide-rich springs in Mexico. A core objective of the project is to use comparative analyses and experimental approaches to understand how microbe-animal interactions may facilitate adaptation to extreme environmental conditions and shape concomitant changes in ecological function.

The position will be available in the laboratory of Dr. Michi Tobler in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. The Division of Biology provides a highly interdisciplinary research environment, with focal strengths in genomics, ecology, and evolution. Our division provides excellent opportunities for collaborative networking with microbial ecologists, particularly through recently funded initiatives that bring together researchers from different universities in the state of Kansas to study microbiomes of plants, soils, and aquatic environments. In addition, candidates can leverage collaborative ties with the laboratory of Dr. Joanna Kelley at Washington State University, which will provide added expertise in bioinformatics. Beyond research, we will provide additional professional development opportunities, emphasizing improvement of teaching and mentoring skills, grant writing, and obtaining skills for getting a permanent job.

Candidates are expected to have completed or be completing a PhD degree, to have strong written and oral communication skills, and to be able to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team. Our lab provides a diverse and inclusive environment for students and researchers, and we particularly welcome applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds. First and foremost, we are interested in recruiting creative minds that have an interest in developing and leading independent projects. Ideal candidates will also have at least two of the following core competencies: (1) experience with the analysis of microbiomes or a background in microbial ecology; (2) bioinformatics skills relevant to the analysis of next-generation sequence data; (3) experience with fish/aquatic biology in an experimental or field setting.

The appointment will be for up to two years, with an initial appointment of one year and an extension based on performance. Salary will be commensurate with experience, and full benefits are included. Interested applicants should email Michi if they have any questions. Applications have to be submitted directly through Kansas State University and include a curriculum vitae, a cover letter that includes a statement of research interests that explicitly describes professional qualifications for the position in the context of research goals, and contact information for three references.

The preferred start date is February 2018, and review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.