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Postdoctoral job opening: functional and evolutionary genomics of wood-decaying Fungi; Hibbett Lab, Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts, USA

Nov 5

Written by: SuperUser Account
11/5/2018 8:08 AM 

The Hibbett lab at Clark University seeks an outgoing, creative, and highly collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow to conduct research on functional and evolutionary genomics of wood-decaying Fungi (Agaricomycetes and Dacrymycetes). Up to two and half years of support are available. The starting date is flexible, as early as January, 2019, but the Fellow should be in place by early summer 2019.

The principle responsibilities of the Postdoctoral Fellow will be to conduct comparative functional and evolutionary analyses of transcriptomic data from fungi growing on wood wafers. The central goal of the project is to understand the derivation of the brown rot wood decay mechanism from white-rot ancestors in terms of shifts in the timing and spatial dimension of gene expression (complementing prior analyses of changes in gene copy numbers). Applicants should have strengths in evolutionary genetics and genomics, including phylogeny-based analyses of gene expression data, analyses of selection on genes and genomes, and comparative phylogenetic analyses of gene family expansion/contraction. Familiarity with fungal diversity and genetics, and the biochemistry of decay, will be helpful but are not essential. Strengths in oral and written communication, and excellent graphics capabilities, are required.

This project is supported by a grant from the US Department of Energy, and is part of a collaborative research effort led by Dr. Jonathan Schilling, at University of Minnesota and involving several other partner laboratories. The consortium will offer opportunities for collaboration and exchange beyond Clark University.

The candidate will also have opportunities to participate in an ongoing comparative genomic study of shiitake mushrooms and related species, which is supported by the DOE Joint Genome Institute Community Science Program. Clark University is one of the oldest PhD-granting institutions in the United States. Currently, there are about 2300 undergraduates and 1000 graduate students. The Biology Department at Clark University has a small but close-knit community with ten tenure-track faculty members (four women, six men), with several full-time Visiting or Research Professors and Postdoctoral Fellows, 16 PhD students and six Master’s students. The Department prides itself on meaningful integration of undergraduate education and research. The Postdoctoral Fellow will have opportunities to mentor undergraduates.

Worcester is the second-largest city in Massachusetts, and includes seven colleges and universities, including the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester State University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the College of the Holy Cross. The Boston/Cambridge area is about a one-hour drive from Worcester, and is connected by the MBTA Commuter Rail. Providence Rhode Island and the Amherst-Northampton area are within easy driving distance. Worcester is culturally and ethnically diverse, and includes an art museum, several performance venues, and numerous restaurants and microbreweries. Housing prices remain relatively low, particularly compared to eastern Massachusetts. There are many state parks, reservations and conservation areas that provide opportunities for hiking, skiing, mountain biking, etc. The mountains, rivers, and Atlantic coast of New England can all be reached in a day trip.

Prospective applicants should send a letter describing research interests and career goals (including teaching interests, if appropriate), a curriculum vitae, reprints, and names and contact information for three references via e-mail to dhibbett@clarku.edu. General inquiries are also welcome.

Applications from members of groups that are underrepresented in science are particularly encouraged.

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