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Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Computational Phylogenomics
University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Position Close date: 
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is seeking to fill a postdoctoral level position in computational genomics and phylogenomics. The applicant will participate in an NSF-funded project to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among the Dixidae, commonly known as meniscus midges.

The position will be responsible for computational aspects of the project, including building a novel open source workflow to utilize short read DNA sequencing to identify exonic regions of single copy loci, identify phylogenetically informative genes specific to the input data set (which may be of varying evolutionary divergence), and perform total evidence- and coalescence-based tree reconstructions to yield an evolutionarily predictive classification. The computational workflow will be developed for wide reuse by the phylogenomics community, including detailed online documentation, availability of a container such as Docker with all software pre-installed, and development of an alternative graphical user interface (GUI) version substituting in commercial application such as Geneious and CLC Genomics Workbench for certain steps. The workflow will be initially used for the Dixidae dataset generated for the grant then tested on other publicly available phylogenic datasets. The merit of the new approach will be assessed through a detailed comparison to other phylogenic pipelines and approaches and benchmarking across computational platforms.

The position will encompass activities such as writing software pipelines for processing sequence data, performing phylogenetic reconstruction and statistical tests, interpreting analysis results for biological meaning, and writing scholarly publications. The job will also require use of high-performance computational resources for analysis and interpretation of large, complex datasets. The successful applicant will be exposed to interdisciplinary, cutting edge research in the area of phylogenomics and bioinformatics and will have the opportunity to perform high-impact research, present at international academic conferences, lead publication of their research, and expand their computational and genomic skillset.

The option for entirely remote work is available.


• PhD in bioinformatics, computer science, genomics and/or the life sciences.
• Proficient in a Linux operating system environment with minimal systems support
• Demonstrated experience in a programming language such as R or Python
• Excellent communication and problem-solving skills
• Ability to interact with scientists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds.
• Ability to work independently, prioritize and manage a variety of tasks, and shift priorities rapidly.


• Experience in the field of computational genomics that has led to proficiency with next generation sequencing analysis.
• Experience performing phylogenetic analysis (maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, Bayesian) and understanding of the underlying genomic, evolutionary, and statistical principles.
• Experience with deploying and/or running software on high performance computational systems
• Experience with writing scripts or software to perform data analysis in a language such as R or python
• Experience with containers (e.g. Docker, Kubernetes, Vagrant, etc.)
• Experience with workflow development software (e.g. nextflow, snakemake, cwltool, Galaxy, Toil, taverna, etc.)
• Authorship on peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Regular full-time position with benefits

Pay Range: Based on qualifications and experience
Location: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Institute of Agriculture, AgResearch

Required documents to apply: CV, transcripts, 2 professional references (upload as one PDF or DOC file)

Job Research Professional

Primary Location US-Tennessee-Knoxville

Organization Entomology & Plant Path - Res

Schedule Full-time

Campus/Institute Institute of Agriculture

Job Posting Sep 8, 2020, 12:28:23 PM

How to apply: 
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