Postdoctoral Research Scientist (Bioinformatics)
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How quickly can microbes adapt to newly colonized environments?
In typical microbiomes (human gut, soil) hundreds to thousands of colonizing microbial species (mostly bacteria and fungi) can be found, that often differ substantially in their genome architecture between conspecific strains. Genes are frequently lost or introduced as these species are consistently adapting to their environment.
The candidate will work in the group of Dr Falk Hildebrand, who has a joint appointment between the Earlham Institute and Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich, UK. Both Institutes are part of the large, multinational Norwich Research Park (NRP), hosting the largest accumulation of microbiology focused groups in the UK. Norwich is a multinational and modern city with a large (20k+) student community, a historical center city that is situated between Cambridge and the Norfolk coast.
To understand microbial evolution, the candidate will investigate genome plasticity using classical bioinformatics (such as assembly, genome binning, gene predictions) and 3rd generation sequencing in combination with recent advances in deep learning. This combination will allow us to explore microbiomes at unprecedented resolution, to resolve eco evolutionary processes determining resilience and functional plasticity of microbial communities. The output of this research will help shape environmental and health policies by defining operational borders of microbial communities. Please see recent opinion article outlining some of the possible research questions: (doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00881-21).
The ideal candidate:
If you are interested in microbial communities (such as gut microbiome), genetics, evolution and novel technologies, this post will give you the ideal starting conditions for a scientific career. Candidates should have a PhD in topics such as Bioinformatics, Genetics, Ecology or Evolution. Previous experience in either publishing scientific articles, metagenomics, population genetics, comparative genomics (eukaryotic or prokaryotic) will be beneficial. Good organizational skills and the ability to communicate and work productively within a multidisciplinary team will be crucial. Visiting international conferences, trainings and exchanges with international collaborators are part of this post.
Salary on appointment will be within the range £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a contract of 36 months.
As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.
The closing date for applications will be 11 December 2022.