Postdoctoral Scholar – UCSC Paleogenomics Laboratory

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Scholar position in the Human Paleogenomics section of the Paleogenomics Laboratory at the University of California Santa Cruz. The Paleogenomics lab uses genomic data isolated from archaeological human remains to better understand the population history of our species and how genetic diversity is generated and maintained within populations through time. We are especially interested in the role of the interaction of culture and biology in the formation and maintenance of human genetic variability. The Human Paleogenomics section is directed by Professor Lars Fehren-Schmitz (Department of Anthropology). The section was established recently and joined the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab, directed by Professors Beth Shapiro (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) and Richard Green (Department of Biomolecular Engineering). Together we combine experimental and computational approaches to address a variety of paleogenomics topics.

We seek a Postdoctoral Scholar to participate in an NSF funded collaboration project with the George Washington University and the Yale University whose general goal is to reveal the impact of the expansion of late pre-Columbian state societies (e.g. Inca) on the genetic structure of Central Andean populations. Beyond this general point we are interested in approaching a number of other factors relevant for the population history of South America using paleogenomic tools, including health/ disease and human adaptation to stress factor acting in high altitude. The Postdoctoral Scholar will be expected to use paleogenomic and population genetic/computational techniques to explore the population history of South America and beyond and preferably be interested in developing/adapting new statistical approaches to allow population differentiation in low diversity environments. Beyond that all members of our lab are encouraged and supported to develop their own project ideas. The successful candidate will attend and participate in lab meetings and journal clubs, and will work cooperatively with a team of scientists, including molecular biologists, archaeologists, biological anthropologists, historical linguists, ethno-historians and biostatisticians.

We have a preference for candidates with experience and expertise in paleogenomics, especially individuals with experience in population genetic approaches to the statistical analysis of genome wide ancient DNA data, and excellent organizational, verbal communication, and collaboration skills and willingness to travel to field sites and museums.

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS: A Ph.D. in biological anthropology, evolutionary biology, genomics, population genetics, bioinformatics, or other relevant fields; laboratory (wet lab or computational) experience; demonstrated record of research and publication; and experience with next-generation sequencing and analysis of paleogenomic NGS data, including phylogenetic and population genetic approaches to the statistical analysis of genomic data.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate has experience in the analysis and manipulation of large, population genomic data sets, has programming skills and familiarity working in a UNIX environment. Active wet lab work is not mandatory for this position but experience with ancient DNA extraction, PCR amplification, genomic library preparation, and DNA sequencing protocols would be a plus.

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