molecular evolution from a paleo perspective
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As of Feb 2018: TWO Open Recruitments:

1. Post-Doctoral Scholar in Computational Genomics
University of California – Santa Cruz

The UCSC Paleogenomics lab is seeking a post-doctoral scientist for an NSF funded project investigating past episodes of cross-species admixture, to begin in Spring 2018. The goals of the project are to develop methods for detecting admixture from modern, historic and ancient DNA samples and to interpret the biological consequences of this admixture as it relates to organismal biology and evolution.

The UCSC Paleogenomics lab is co-directed by PIs Beth Shapiro and Richard Green. It is a diverse group of ecologists, molecular biologists, geneticists, and computational biologists. Our lab has state of the art ancient DNA clean room facilities, sequencing facilities, and computational infrastructure. We are members of the UCSC Genomics Institute and collaborate with the community of genome scientists at UC Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Qualified candidates will have experience in population genomics, analysis of high-throughput sequencing data, and facility with computational data analysis. A Ph.D. in computer science, computational biology, genetics, or equivalent is required. Candidates will demonstrate the ability to carry out a semi-independent research project by their record of publication.

The postdoctoral position is a minimum two-year appointment starting Spring 2018, with salary commensurate with experience and following the UC salary scales. To apply send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references to Beth Shapiro ( For inquiries about the position, please contact Ed Green ( or Beth Shapiro (

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

2. Postdoctoral Scholar in Environmental DNA Research, Education, and Outreach


UC Santa Cruz department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) is recruiting one full-time postdoctoral scholar to perform environmental DNA (eDNA) research and science education outreach. The position is ideal for a candidate with a background in molecular biology. In collaboration with project partners in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at UC Los Angeles, the postdoctoral scholar will help establish a new education program called eSIE: environmental DNA for Science Investigation and Education, supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) jointly awarded to UCSC and UCLA. The scholar will work with a team of researchers and science education experts on eDNA research that connects to the eSIE program.

Why eDNA?

eDNA is a highly sensitive molecular approach to catalog biodiversity in any ecosystem. The results can reveal a near complete diversity profile of the ecosystem from microbes to plants and animals, and can enable tracking biodiversity changes over time. UCLA and UCSC have pioneered cutting-edge methods to obtain eDNA data, from citizen science to packaged computational pipelines. Our goal with the eSIE program is to use the excitement and wide application of eDNA as a new gateway for students to enter research avenues in the environmental sciences.

The postdoctoral role in the eSIE program:

The postdoctoral scholar will help co-develop and manage eSIE program while receiving training focused on the advancement of science education. eSIE reaches a broad undergraduate constituency by involving hundreds of students annually in CALeDNA bioblitzes on UC Natural Reserves ( The postdoc will help select field sampling, ideally around research questions of their interest, and travel to do field collections at natural reserves around the entire state. eSIE will also launch a multidisciplinary flipped course to introduce undergraduates formally to STEM subjects through DNA and eDNA activities. The postdoc would co-design the course with the eSIE team, and receive training through the Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences ( at UCLA (remote learning possible). The eSIE program also supports students who enter research labs. The postdoc would be expected to occasionally work with student research interns.

Research scope:

The postdoc will be encouraged to pursue environmental science research that uses the eSIE-generated eDNA data and sample collections. They will join the lab group of Beth Shapiro (UCSC), who’s lab focuses on evolution, paleogenomics, and conservation genomics. They will also join the UC Conservation Genomics Consortium community that conducts many eDNA projects.


Candidates should have a PhD in biology or a related science field and molecular biology laboratory experience evidenced by a strong record of scholarship. The ideal candidate would have demonstrated interest or some experience working in science communication and education research, as well as undergraduate teaching or public outreach. Candidates should demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills, interest in pedagogical innovation, educational assessment, and scholarship, excellent organization and management abilities, experience working with diverse groups. Candidates also should possess skills in mentorship. They must be willing to travel within California, including multiple trips per year between Santa Cruz and Los Angeles, and lead fieldwork excursions to collect eDNA on UC Natural Reserves. Candidates must have a valid driver’s license.

The postdoctoral position is a minimum two-year appointment starting Spring 2018, with salary commensurate with experience and following the UC salary scales.  To apply submit a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references here, or send all documents directly to Beth Shapiro (

For inquiries about the position, please contact Robert Wayne ( or Beth Shapiro (

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. The PGL and UC Santa Cruz are committed to excellence through diversity, and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. You can viewthe complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy here. . Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to: Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064; (831) 459-2686.

PhD Studentships Available

We are always open to discussion with students interested in pursuing either Masters or PhD degrees with our lab. Projects can include wet lab work, computational work, or a combination, and fit within the overall research theme of the group. We recruit graduate students through several programs on campus; follow the links below for more details. Not: the EEB program is direct-admit; you must get in touch with a potential faculty advisor in order to be considered for the program.

Interested students should contact Beth Shapiro or Ed Green directly.

Information about application deadlines and procedures, and about fellowships that are available for graduate students through UCSC, can be found on the following pages:



loess bluffs near Dawson City, YT

inside the PGL




Postdoctoral opportunities:

While we are not advertising specific opportunities at present, we are always open to collaborating with potential postdocs who are interested in submitting applications for personal fellowships. We have hosted fellows from NSF, Marie Curie, Ciencias sin Fronteras, and others.

We have had postdocs work on a wide range of projects in our group, both continuing work that has been ongoing in our lab for some time and taking on entirely new (for us) research directions. We value diversity of experience and scientific training, and are always looking to grow!

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research opportunities are available in Ancient DNA and computational evolutionary biology.

We require undergraduate volunteers to have completed the 20 series and either evolution or genetics, or equivalent courses from BME.

Interested undergraduates are encouraged to email Beth or Ed, and to include in their email both a cover letter that explains your career goals and why you would like to work in our lab and an unofficial transcript.



Other Opportunities
This page will be updated regularly as opportunities become available.




Extracting and characterizing DNA from fossil remains.

Understanding the evolutionary constraints underpinning diversity and evolution in pathogens

Investigating patterns and processes in genome evolution.

We recruiting a postdoctoral fellow to work on an IMLS-funded project to improve methods to recover ancient DNA from museum specimens. The project will include developing and refining experimental methods and coordinating a workshop for museum professionals, and developing a focal project. The ideal candidate will have experience with molecular biology methods development and computational analysis of genomic data, and excellent organizational skills. Experience working with ancient DNA is not a prerequisite; we are looking for individuals whose expertise complements that of the lab. Individuals with biochemical expertise are particularly encouraged to apply. The position will be supervised jointly by Beth Shapiro and Ed Green, and will be part of the vibrant ancient DNA and genomics community at UCSC. The up-to-three year position is open as of November 2017. Please submit a cover letter and CV with the names and contact information for three references to