Title: Postdoc In the Biology of Dung Beetle Microbiome Interactions:

Position Summary: A full-time postdoctoral position is available in Dr. Armin Moczek’s lab, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington. Our lab conducts research in evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) and ecological developmental (eco-devo) biology, focusing on the genetic, developmental and ecological mechanisms that mediate the origins and diversification of novel complex traits in insects. The postdoctoral fellow will be co-advised by Dr. Irene Newton, an expert in microbiomes and mechanism of host-microbe interaction.

The position advertised will focus on the interactions between dung beetle hosts and their microbiome. Our recent work has shown that dung beetles (genus Onthophagus) rely on a maternally transmitted, complex microbiome in order to process dung (a recalcitrant diet), support their larval development (especially under stress), and defend themselves against entomopathic fungi. Yet the microbial, physiological and other mechanisms underlying these interactions remain unknown.

Likewise, Onthophagus beetles are extraordinarily speciose, including invasive species currently undergoing range expansions paralleled by rapid local adaptation. Yet the role of host-microbiome interactions in host invasions, local adaptations, and the evolution of reproductive isolation remain to be explored.

The main objective of this position is therefore to advance our mechanistic understanding of roles played by dung beetle-associated microbes in host development, physiology, ecology, and evolution, and likewise how varying degrees of host dependency have impacted the evolution of select microbial taxa. The postdoctoral researcher will also have opportunity to develop independent lines of research in these and related areas.

Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment based on individual qualifications. Indiana University prohibits discrimination based on age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, disability status or protected veteran status.

Basic Qualifications:       

The biology of dung beetle microbiome interactions is a tremendously exciting and promising study system, and it is also very young; interesting and important questions remain to be explored and many resources and techniques remain to be developed. We therefore seek a collegial, self-motivated, resourceful, and intellectually curious individual with a PhD in Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Genomics, Microbiology, or related fields.

Applicants must have strong bench skills and familiarity with basic microbiology techniques such as aseptic culture and identification of microbes. Experience with bioinformatics is not required but strongly desirable. In addition, candidates must have demonstrated written and oral communication skills. The position is initially available for 12 months, with possible extension for at least 1 additional year pending performance. Salary will be commensurate with experience, and full benefits are included. Expected start date is August 1, 2023 and the best consideration date is May 1, 2023.

Indiana University has a large and interactive group in evolutionary developmental biology, microbiology, and allied fields. Bloomington is situated in scenic, hilly southern Indiana, near several parks and wilderness areas. The cultural environment provided by the University is exceptionally rich in art, music, and theater. Department Contact for Questions            

To apply, please send a statement of purpose, resume and contact information for 3 references to https://indiana.peopleadmin.com/postings/16573,  using ‘Moczek Postdoctoral Fellow’ as the subject line. Review of applications will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Inquiries about the position can be directed to Armin Moczek (armin@iu.edu).  Additional information about research in the Moczek lab can be found at www.ecoevodevo.com   


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