[these positions have been filled]
The Hibbett lab at Clark University seeks a highly motivated, independent postdoctoral fellow to conduct research in evolutionary genomics in mushroom-forming fungi. The postdoctoral fellow will be involved in one or more of the following projects:
1. Evolutionary developmental biology of Agaricomycetes. This project focuses on Lentinus tigrinus, which is a polymorphic fungus that occurs in nature as a gilled mushroom or a gasteromycete-like “secotioid” form. Lentinus tigrinus also exhibits developmental plasticity in the form of light-induced pileus formation. The goals of this project are to determine the genetic basis of the secotioid form, characterize shifts in gene expression associated with exposure to light during fruiting body development, and compare developmental mechanisms of L. tigrinus to those of other fungi in a phylogenetic context.
2. Evolution of substrate-specificity in wood-decay fungi. Many wood-decaying fungi have well-documented substrate ranges (host tree species), but the genetic and mechanistic bases of substrate preferences are poorly understood. In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere, we are studying gene expression in wood decay fungi when grown on different tree species. This project seeks to assess the functional and genetic bases of substrate specificity and substrate-switching in wood-decaying basidiomycetes. Using transcriptomic data in a comparative framework, we will assess evolution of genes and gene families that play a role in substrate-specificity.
3. Phylogenomics of Lentinula (shiitake mushrooms and relatives). Lentinula includes the shiitake mushroom, Lentinula edodes, and approximately eight other species in Asia-Australasia and the Americas. With support of a recent award from the Joint Genome Institute Community Science Program, our laboratory is collaborating with partners in Asia and North and South America to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and the history of domestication in Lentinula. This project will involve estimation of coalescent species trees, population-genetic analyses of domestication, and historical biogeographic analyses in a phylogenetic context.
All three projects require expertise in evolutionary genomics and molecular phylogenetics. Experience in fungal genetics is also desirable. Projects 1 and 2 involve analysis of transcriptomic data. Research could include “wet bench” techniques, including culturing and production of fruiting bodies for transcriptomics, or could be entirely analytical, depending on the candidate’s skills and interests. Applicants should have a PhD in genomics, evolutionary genetics, fungal biology, or a relevant discipline, a strong publication record (appropriate for career stage), and excellent communication skills. Willingness to involve students in research is also important.
Clark University combines the qualities of a small liberal-arts college and a research university. The Biology Department includes ten faculty members, seventeen PhD students, and 22 Master’s students. All laboratories support undergraduate research. Other faculty member’s interests include fungal genomics, molecular genomics and development, evolutionary developmental biology, and phylogenetic comparative methods. Clark is located in the culturally diverse city of Worcester, Massachusetts, which is about a one hour drive from both Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.
To apply, send a letter of interest (to dhibbett<at>clarku.edu) that describes your background and career goals and that indicates which of the projects are of interest. Also include a curriculum vitae, reprints, and contact information for three references. Preferred starting date is June 1, 2016, but this is (somewhat) flexible. Up to three years of support is available, contingent on progress. In your letter, indicate when you would be available. Review of applications will begin by February 1 and continue until the positions are filled. Applications from women and members of underrepresented groups in science are encouraged. Clark University is an EEO/AA Employer.