Opportunities in the Lab

Postdoctoral Bioinformatics Fellowship: Genetic Analysis of Marine Invasions

Opening 5/16/2014
Closing 5/31/2014
Contact: Laura Falsone

General Internship information:

Our lab measures patterns of marine and estuarine non-indigenous species transfer, invasion, and impact. We also test specific and general mechanisms that underlie these patterns and assess the efficacy of management strategies to limit the spread and impact of non-indigenous species. Although our research is focused on marine invertebrate species, we are also interested in the unique opportunities that invasions offer to understand fundamental processes in population, community, and evolutionary ecology. A large component of our research on transfer examines the volume, content, dynamics, and management of ballast water, but we also look into other means of introduction such as the live bait trade and hull fouling. We have several projects that focus on removal of introduced species and basic research on population and community ecology. We also have two research projects that aren’t focused on non-indigenous species: our nearshore survey and our ocean acidification project. More information on some of our recent projects can be found under Feature Story.

Interns in our lab will participate in all aspects of field and laboratory work and will assist with other projects in the lab as needed. Interns are strongly encouraged to conduct an independent research project and present their findings to the SERC community in an oral presentation and written report. To learn more about the experience of some of our interns see the August 2011 feature story.

The following projects are taking on interns this year (2014):

Ocean Acidification Project (OAP): This is an interdisciplinary project that examines the role and effects of rising CO2 levels on nearshore ecosystems across different latitudes and on different ecological communities. OAP utilizes both carbon chemistry and experimental ecology methodologies to study ocean acidification in these habitats, with interns participating in all aspects of the research, from field experiments to executing lab analyses and analyzing data. Desirable: Interest and knowledge in both biology and chemistry or oceanography.

There may be the opportunity for an intern to work on a project at our lab in Tiburon, California, for the summer.

For information on SERC internships and the internship application process, click here .

For information on Smithsonian fellowships, click here .

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Salary: $45,000 plus health benefits

Duration: 1 year, with good prospect of renewal.

Start Date: Position ideally to begin in July 2014. For full consideration, please submit application by 31 May 2014.

Description: We seek a postdoctoral researcher in the area of bioinformatics for a project to characterize marine invertebrate (including plankton, fouling, and soft sediment) communities using both morphological and metagenetic approaches. The successful candidate will focus on processing and analysis of several genetic datasets, including comparisons with morphological analyses conducted in parallel, as part of a group research project.

Location: This position is with the Marine Invasions Research Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), in partnership with the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) in Moss Landing, California. SERC is a research center of the Smithsonian Institution, with facilities in Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and in San Francisco Bay, California. This position is most likely to be based in California, working jointly with laboratories of Jonathan Geller (MLML) and Greg Ruiz (SERC), but location is negotiable.

Education/Experience: Ph.D. in bioinformatics, computer science, metagenomics or a closely related field. Candidates with a background in marine biology, ecology or a related field are especially encouraged to apply. Candidates must have (a) knowledge of molecular methods including next-generation DNA sequencing and analysis of metagenomic data; (b) demonstrated experience with one or more of the following programming languages: Perl, Python, Java, C/C++, Ruby, Bash or other scripting languages, in addition to R or Matlab; (c) knowledge of statistics and database management. Knowledge of marine invertebrates is desirable, but not required. Applicants must be organized, self-motivated, independent and proactive. Strong communication skills and ability to work as part of a research team are required, as is a proven talent to write reports and publications. Experience giving presentations to various audiences (e.g., scientific conferences, agencies and the public) is desirable. Some travel will be required.

To Apply: Please submit current CV, letter describing research experience and interests, as well as contact information (names, phone numbers, and email addresses) for 3 references. Applications should be submitted to Laura Falsone, falsonel@si.edu, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, MD 21037 USA. Email submission preferred.