Postdoctoral position – Electric Fish Laboratory

A National Science Foundation-sponsored postdoctoral position is now
available in the Electric Fish Laboratory in the Department of Integrative
Biology at Michigan State University (
concerning the comparative genomics of weakly electric fish. In
sparky_lablogo_notextcontrast with most other vertebrate traits, there have
been six independent origins of electrogenesis, the ability to generate
electric discharges from an electric organ, within fishes. Despite their
clear benefit as a model for understanding general principles of parallel
evolution of complex vertebrate tissues, we know little about the molecular
and developmental processes underlying this tissue, which closely resembles
skeletal muscle see Gallant et al. 2012 Science. The long-term goal of our
laboratory is to characterize the evolutionary steps that have occurred to
modify the developmental program in skeletal muscle to give rise to the
electric organ. Thanks in part to recently available genomics resources,
we are embarking on new comparative approaches to identify gene regulatory
networks and regulatory regions that may be involved in the evolution of
electric organs. This position is available immediately, but start dates
are negotiable. Appointment for this position will be initially for 12
months, with the possibility of renewal for up to three years, contingent
on the continued availability of funds as well as satisfactory output of
successful applicant.

Duties: The successful applicant will be responsible for constructing
genomic and transcriptomic libraries, as well as their assembly and
analysis using bioinformatics tools in a high-performance computing
environment. Work will require the development of new research
methodologies and tools, and publishing results in high-impact journals.
In addition, successful applicants will be responsible for co-training
undergraduate, graduate students and technicians, as well as contributing
to the overall research environment of the University. Successful
applicant will be encouraged to participate in a one-of-a-kind
NSF-sponsored BEACON center for the study of evolution in action (, for which MSU is the host institution. Professional
development opportunities will be provided in conjunction with the MSU
Office of Postdoctoral Training and the Center For Academic Excellence.

Required qualifications: Ph.D. or equivalent degree in biology, evolution,
bioinformatics, genetics or related field. Publication of work based on
Ph.D. thesis is required, as well as teaching and supervisory experience.
Experience with comparative genomic and transcriptomic data, and a strong
working knowledge of next-generation sequencing technologies. Proficiency
in the use of UNIX/Linux command line operating systems. Competence in at
least one computer scripting language (R, Python, Perl, MATLAB). Must be
willing and able to perform fieldwork in Gabon, West-Central Africa.

Preferred qualifications: Experience with comparative genomic assembly and
analysis, population genetics, experience and background in communication
systems and aquatic vertebrates, fluency or competency in French.

Interested individuals can apply through the MSU Applicant page located at:

And search for position 4280. Please feel free to contact jgallant [at] for informal inquires or more information.

Jason Gallant <>

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