Postdoc in Evolutionary/Population Genomics – available immediately

Location: Whitehead lab, University of California Davis; remote work options will be considered.

Background Info: Our research group studies evolutionary change in human-altered environments. We seek applicants for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to study population genetic change through space and time in Pacific herring. The causes of the collapse of the Prince William Sound (PWS) Pacific herring stock are controversial, and the reasons for the lack of recovery remain a mystery. We hypothesize that interactions between the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and a subsequent viral epidemic were influential. We have collected whole genome sequences from ~1,300 individual fish from across Alaska and across time (four times spanning three decades), and throughout the rest of their range, to explore genomic change associated with the collapse and the period since; with these data we seek to explore and test hypotheses about the causes and consequences of the collapse, and test hypotheses about the genetic basis of parallel local adaptation. This huge population genomics dataset is ready for the right candidate to make rapid progress. Data are collected, and curated; we have a filtered variant data set where summary population genetics statistics have been estimated. Collaborations are in place with scientists in academia and with State and Federal agencies. The ideal candidate has experience in population genetics, statistical genetics, and computational biology. We are especially interested in candidates with a passion for open science and for connecting their work to decision makers, the public, and the broader conservation biology and evolutionary biology communities. There is funding for one year, with possibility of extension. We are open to the candidate working remotely. Our group is committed to creating a safe, inclusive, diverse, optimistic, and equitable work environment.

Responsibilities: Contribution to analysis strategy, code development, data analysis and interpretation, review of relevant literature, preparation of project reports and manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals, presentation at professional conferences.

Minimum qualifications: PhD in genetics, population biology, evolution, genome science, data science, or another relevant field.

Preferred qualifications: Preference will be given to applicants with 1) expertise in population genomics and computational biology; 2) strong communication and organizational skills; 3) can code in R and python and have an interest in transparent and reproducible science; and 4) strong publication records, or the potential for developing one. Our team believes in and values the power of diversity; candidates from groups that have historically been underrepresented in science are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application: Interested candidates should submit:

  • a one‐page cover letter,
  • your CV, and
  • names and contact information of at least three references familiar with your work.

Please submit materials to Andrew Whitehead ( with “Popgen Postdoc” in the subject. Applications will be reviewed as they arrive, interviews will be over Zoom, and the position will remain open until filled. The position is available immediately, with preferred start dates between late spring and early summer 2021.

Email any questions to Andrew Whitehead (

About whiteheadresearch

Andrew Whitehead is a Professor in the Environmental Toxicology Department at UC Davis, and a member of the Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, the Center for Population Biology, the Graduate Group in Ecology, the Integrative Genetics and Genomics Graduate Group, and the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group.
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