Postdoc on gymnosperm genomics


Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics

School of Public Health

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University


A Postdoctoral Research Fellow position is available in Dr. Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis’ research group at the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, NY. The successful applicant will join a large, collaborative NSF-funded project to disentangle the genome evolution of gymnosperms, the oldest surviving lineage of seed plants. Three of the four extant gymnosperm lineages contain species which Darwin termed “living fossils.” These have been present since the Devonian Era and have survived an incredible range of climatic changes, mass extinction events, and adaptation challenges. The genomes of almost all the gymnosperms are extremely large and complex and have been somewhat refractive to genomic characterization as a result. Through the use of nanopore sequencing, transcriptomics, and epigenetics, we have been characterizing the genomes of these species, asking questions on evolutionary radiations and genome resilience. In this project, we interact with the genome assembly and annotation group, and contribute to orthology assessment. We investigate gene family evolution by adopting macroevolutionary phylogenetic methods, phylotranscriptomics, as well as natural selection scans. Our wider interests draw from population genetics, phylogenetics and community ecology, using bioinformatics  and computational biology to understand organismal diversification and adaptation across landscapes and time scales. Our group is located in the new Public Health Academic Building on the SUNY Downstate campus in Central Brooklyn. We interact with a diverse group of health research investigators in the Institute for Genomic Health, and through our affiliations in the School of Public Health and the Division of Infectious Diseases in the College of Medicine. Our lab is outfitted with an Illumina NovaSeq 6000 instrument for high-throughput sequencing, and we have been expanding our HPC capacity on site and on the cloud. HPC access is also available at partner institutions through the PI. More information can be found at and

Candidates should have a doctoral -or equivalent- degree in life or computational sciences. A training background in bioinformatics, computational biology, molecular evolution and comparative genomics is required. A keen interest in plant biology and infectious disease systems is desirable. The successful candidate must be capable of working independently in an interdisciplinary, diverse, collaborative environment, and have strong analytical, quantitative, and English writing skills, evidenced by scholarly peer-reviewed publications. In addition to formal collaborations with our partner institutions in this project (CSHL, NYBG, NYU, AMNH, JHU, Purdue, NY Plant Genomics Consortium), opportunities exist to branch out in research on genomic epidemiology of infectious and chronic diseases (funded by NIH and NSF), grant proposal writing, mentoring of students, and teaching.

Salary is commensurate with experience. Start date is ASAP. Applications should include in this order: 1) a Statement of Research Interests, 2) a CV, 3) two (2) manuscripts, and 4) the contact information of 3 referees in a single PDF file emailed to with this Subject line “Postdoc-NSF Plants”. Referees should be notified that they might be contacted.

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal conviction, and all other protected classes under federal or state laws. Women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities and members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. If you are an individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, or in order to perform the essential functions of a position, please contact Human Resources at 718-270-3025.