Postdoctoral Research Associate
Delmore Lab, Texas A&M University
Behavioural genomics has seen a substantial increase in research interest over the last years, with an interest in the evolutionary literature to expand beyond studying the genetic basis of morphological traits to study behaviours in this context. Seasonal migration is a great candidate for this expansion; advances in movement ecology are allowing us to track organisms like songbirds on migration and are paralleled by advances in sequencing technologies that have allowed us to apply these tools to non-model organisms. Work on the genetic basis of migration also has important conservation implications, as there is considerable concern in whether migratory organisms will be able to respond to current and future changes in their environments.
Our work on the genetic basis of seasonal migration focuses on the Swainson’s thrush that includes two subspecies that differ in both the orientation and timing of migration. We have listed a couple relevant publications below where we have used next generation sequencing data to identify sequence variants that underlie migratory variation in the Swainson’s thrush. We are currently searching for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to lead a project expanding on our present findings using alternate sources of data (e.g., analyses of differential gene expression and/or epigenetic markers). That being said, we encourage applicants to bring their own ideas as well and are open to work on different aspects of behavioural genomics.
Delmore KE et al. 2016. The genetics of seasonal migration and plumage color. Current Biology, 26:pR1155-R1157.
Delmore KE et al. 2015. Genomic analysis of a migratory divide reveals candidate genes for migration and implicates selective sweeps in generating islands of differentiation. Molecular Ecology, 24:1873.
Delmore KE, Irwin DE. 2014. Hybrid songbirds employ intermediate routes in a migratory divide. Ecology Letters, 17:1211.
We are part of the Biology Department at Texas A&M (https://bio.tamu.edu) along with the interdisciplinary programs of Genetics (https://genetics.tamu.edu) and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (https://eeb.tamu.edu). These programs bring together members of many departments across campus from international backgrounds.
We have considerable expertise in the fields of evolution, behavior, genomics and molecular biology including groups who work on comparative genomics, quantitative genetics, neurobiology, biological clocks, insect and mammal migration.
The atmosphere is collaborative, enthusiastic and supportive. You will be able to develop substantial genomic and computational skills while you’re here, collaborate and build your own career.
Texas A&M is a Tier 1 institution with an amazing number of facilities to support research. College station itself is a small, friendly university town that is located between Austin and Houston. It is the perfect venue for getting work done while having access to vibrant city centers full of entertainment and culture.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Applicants should have a PhD in Biology or a related field. They should also have experience working with next-generation sequencing data familiarity with the use of data on gene expression and/or epigenetic markers.
There will be a large phenotypic aspect of this study that will involve tracking or monitoring the behavior of birds. Experience with these methods would be great but is not required.
We expect applicants to exhibit a desire to work collaboratively and help maintain a supportive environment in our lab. This could include helping undergraduate and/or graduate students working on similar topics but will require a good degree of self-motivation as well. It’s important to be able to present ideas and research to others so we also value good oral communication skills.
Applicants should send (1) a letter of motivation that includes their research interests and career goals and (2) a CV that includes the names, emails and phone numbers of at least two references to Kira Delmore (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications will be reviewed as received with a final deadline of Nov 1. Please get in touch if you cannot make this deadline or have any additional questions.
Edited by delmore