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Job ID: 140696

Postdoctoral Scholar Integrative Biology - Molecular & Cell Biology
University of California Berkeley

Date Posted Mar. 26, 2020
Title Postdoctoral Scholar Integrative Biology - Molecular & Cell Biology
University University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Application Deadline 5/1/2020
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Post-Doc
  • Biology - Cell Biology
    Biology - Molecular

Postdoctoral Scholar Integrative Biology - Molecular & Cell Biology Koskella Lab

The Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley seeks applications for a Postdoctoral scholar in the Koskella Lab, in the area of disease ecology and microbiome sciences, at 100% time with an expected start date of September 2020.

Bacteriophage viruses (phages) impact microbial communities across habitats, including the host-associated microbiome, structuring both microbial composition and function. Since 2017, the Koskella lab has been developing a new urban disease ecology system that allows for temporal sampling of microbial communities from healthy and diseased tissues across a spatially structured population of Callery (Bradford') pear trees infected with the agriculturally relevant pathogen Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of Fire Blight.

The department is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to lead a new NSF-funded project that combines culture-dependent screening and culture-independent omics' approaches to explore bacteria-phage dynamics over both short (monthly) and long (yearly) time scales to better understand the ecology and evolution of phage host range, the scale of phage adaptation and bacterial counter-adaptation, and the role phages play in shaping pathogen invasion and disease. The project is based around a tight integration of research and teaching, and includes the development of a four module undergraduate research program with high-throughput, culture independent sequencing of both bacterial and viral communities to examine the role of phages in bacterial community turnover and disease in this Pear Tree disease system. The work will take place in the laboratory of Dr. Britt Koskella, at UC Berkeley, and will include a combination of fieldwork and bacterial viral community profiling/'omics' approaches.

Responsibilities include field sampling of trees, microbiological culturing, extraction and analysis of both amplicon and metagenomic data sets, statistical analyses, and preparation of manuscripts for publication. In addition, the researcher will work with the PI to lead a team of up to 12 undergraduate researchers to isolate and characterize phages from the phyllosphere. There also exists ample opportunity to design and implement additional projects of mutual interest.

Basic Qualifications (At the time of application):
PhD (or equivalent international degree) or enrolled in a PhD degree program (or equivalent international degree program).

Additional Qualifications (By start date):
Ph.D. or equivalent international degree. The candidate should have no more than four years of post-degree research experience

Preferred Qualifications (By start date):
Given the undergraduate research component of this project, the preferred candidate would have a keen interest in integration of teaching and research and undergraduate mentoring. Moreover, preference will be given to applicants with experience in bioinformatics, microbial ecology, molecular biology, statistics, and/or disease ecology, as well as excellent writing and communication skills. They should have a track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals.

This position reports to Britt Koskella. The initial appointment will be at 100% time for one year with the possibility of extension based on satisfactory performance.

Salary and Benefits:
This position provides full benefits. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and based on UC Berkeley Postdoc salary scale.

To Apply:

Specific questions regarding the recruitment can be directed to Professor Britt Koskella (

This recruitment will remain open until filled.

All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.

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, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:
The department is interested in candidates who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education through their work.


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