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Washington University of St. Louis Postdoctoral Research Associate - Biology - 50059 in St. Louis, Missouri

Job Type/Schedule

This position is full-time and works approximately 37.5 hours per week and is funded for up to three years. Intended starting date is May 1, 2021, subject to Covid-19 restrictions and potential visa requirements.

Department Name/Job Location

This position is in the Department of Biology. This position is for the Danforth Campus.

Essential Functions

We are hiring for a NSF-funded postdoctoral research position. The Landis Lab studies problems in phylogenetics, biogeography, and trait evolution by designing statistical models, developing inference methods as software, and applying those methods to selected groups throughout the tree of life. Learn more about the Landis Lab at landislab.org.

The postdoctoral researcher will develop inference methods for modeling historical biogeography, lineage diversification, and paleogeographical dynamics in the Bayesian phylogenetic modeling framework, RevBayes (revbayes.com). The research will advance how evolutionary biologists model and understand the relationships between speciation, extinction, molecular evolution, biogeography, and time-varying geographical barriers. The postdoc will have opportunities to mentor graduate and undergraduate researchers, to teach at computational biogeography workshops, publish first-author articles, and present at major conferences. The researcher will develop within the phylogenetics modeling software, RevBayes (revbayes.com), and collaborate with an international team of researchers and developers.

The postdoctoral research will also interact regularly with other collaborators on the project, including Dr. Felipe Zapata (University of California, Los Angeles), Dr. Nina Rønsted (National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii), Dr. Warren Wagner (Smithsonian Natural History Museum), Dr. Bruce Baldwin (UC Berkeley), and Dr. Will Freyman (23andMe). In addition to this position, the team will recruit a second postdoctoral researcher to be hired by and based at UCLA who will collect plants and perform phylogenomic analyses to study the systematics, biogeography, and ecology of one dozen largely unsequenced clades of Hawaiian endemic plants. A third postdoctoral position based at NTBG in Hawaii focused on plant systematics of a selection of the twelve lineages will be advertised later.

WashU offers outstanding benefits, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance (https://hr.wustl.edu/benefits/postdoctoral/). St. Louis itself is both an exciting and family-friendly city, with affordable housing and excellent access to food, music, art, and public spaces.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. degree in quantitative biology, bioinformatics, computer science, statistics, or a related field (must hold at the start date of the position).
  • Track-record of publishing research for biological methods.
  • Demonstrate their experience developing models and methods for phylogenetics and/or population genetics.
  • Programming experience, with preference for C/C++/Java over Python/R.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with biogeographical methods.

Salary Range

Base pay follows the NIH NRSA postdoctoral stipend guidelines.

Pre-Employment Screening

All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.


This position is eligible for full-time benefits. Please click the following link to view a summary of benefits: https://wustl.box.com/s/8wkhs25yssf0775x9d6nd6vqa7obpth7.

Applicant Special Instructions

Application review will begin on Feb 1, 2021, and continue until a candidate is hired.

To be considered for this position, submit your application:

Provide one document with application materials (i) through (v). The application will require you to submit (i) your current CV, (ii) a 1-2 page cover letter that briefly states your research interests, previous research experience and accomplishments, and your fit for this position, (iii) two relevant research papers (preprints, submitted, published, etc.) that you authored, (iv) links to any examples of code you wrote (e.g. GitHub), and (v) contact information for two potential references.

Please email michael.landis@wustl.edu with any questions regarding this posting.

EOE Statement

Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

Job Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate - Biology - 50059

Job ID: 50059

Location: School of Arts & Sciences

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular