Updated, April 17, 2017, a postdoctoral research position is available in the Whiteman Laboratory, UC-Berkeley:
A postdoctoral research position in the Whiteman Laboratory in the Department of Integrative Biology at University of California-Berkeley is available starting in the summer 2017 and for up to three years. The ideal candidate will be a member of the Drosophila research community and have excellent training and peer-reviewed publications in one or more of these areas: evolution of development, biochemistry (enzymology and protein structure-function), molecular and cellular biology and/or neuroscience. The specific area of research is open, but the researcher will leverage a host-parasite interaction system involving the drosophilid fly Scaptomyza flava and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. S. flava is in the fruit fly (Drosophila) lineage, but is an obligate parasite of mustard plants. Adult females cut holes in leaves, drink the exudates and then lay eggs in some of these wounds. The larvae mine (tunnel) in the leaves until they pupate--plants activate their anti-herbivore defenses upon attack. We are particularly interested dissecting the mechanisms underlying the the evolution of plant parasitism. This includes, identifying the molecular basis of adaptations that arose to overcome barriers to colonization, including attaching to the host, overcoming plant toxins and a nutrient-poor diet afforded by leaves and host-finding, particularly chemosensation. Projects and publications are available at www.noahwhiteman.org. The postdoctoral researcher will be encouraged to take their project with them when they leave the lab if they desire, and will be mentored according to their career goals. Interested candidates should email Dr. Noah Whiteman at: whiteman [at] berkeley [dot] edu by April 30th and include their CV and a 1 page statement that includes their research experience along with two ideas for potential research projects.
Note to prospective students: I expect students to take graduate school seriously and to pursue grant proposals, scholarships and fellowships (see bottom of page for links) that will allow them to focus on their research and take ownership over their dissertation projects. I expect Ph.D. students to have deep familiarity with at least one taxon by the time they take their comprehensive exams (e.g., bacteria, birds, insects, plants). All lab members present their research plans and findings at weekly laboratory group meetings and will be expected to present at scientific conferences. Students will leave the lab with a broad skill set in ecological and evolutionary genomics, population genetics and molecular biology, and will be comfortable working with a variety of organisms, including plants, insects, bacteria and/or birds, depending on the research project that they pursue. We try to go as low and as high as we can, across levels of biological organization, in understanding adaptation.
We are always looking for talented undergraduate students. I encourage applications from self-motivated, creative and enthusiastic individuals who have a passion for ecology and evolutionary biology. I take an active role in mentoring students but expect students to develop their own research projects and I look for students with whom I can collaborate; I look for future colleagues. Prospective graduate students should examine the Integrative Biology website.
My perspective on training future biologists is encapsulated by what Professor Doug Futuyma (Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at SUNY-Stony Brook) called a "scientific naturalist" approach in his address to the American Society of Naturalists [Futuyma, D.J. (1998) Wherefore and Whither the Naturalist. Am. Nat. 151, 1-6]: "I think of a scientific naturalist as a person with a deep and broad familiarity with one or more groups of organisms or ecological communities, who can draw on her knowledge of systematics, distribution, life histories, behavior, and perhaps physiology and morphology to inspire ideas, to evaluate hypotheses, to intelligently design research with an awareness of organisms' special peculiarities. Even more, perhaps, he is the person who is inexhaustibly fascinated by biological diversity, and who does not view organisms merely as models, or vehicles for theory but, rather, as the raison d'etre for biological investigation, as the Ding an sich, the thing in itself, that excites our admiration and our desire for knowledge, understanding, and preservation."
If interested in applying, please send me your resume or CV, a statement of research interests, undergraduate and graduate GPA, undergraduate major, and the names of two or three individuals who can evaluate your potential as a research scientist. Note that I am *not* supportive of using GRE scores to determine admission into graduate school or for any other purpose, including for fellowships and scholarships, because they are *not* helpful as predicting success in science and in fact, using these scores may bias admissions decisions: http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/articles/10.1038/nj7504-303a.
Obtaining an outside fellowship is the most ideal way in which to fund your graduate and postdoctoral research, because these usually provide one with a stipend and research expense allowance.