Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Genomics

Germany (DE)
German Salary band TVöD/E13
April 27 2016
Position Type
Full Time


(Recombination Hotspots and Adaptive Evolution)


The Jones Lab at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory located on the Max Planck Campus, Tübingen, Germany, is looking for a talented researcher with skills in bioinformatics, statistical genetics, computer science, and/or evolutionary genomics to work on a novel project exploring genomic variation in meiotic recombination. The position is available for an initial 2 years with the possibility of extension (Postdoc level) or the duration of a PhD project.

We work at the cross-section between functional and evolutionary genomics with the aim of understanding the molecular mechanism and evolutionary processes underlying phenotypic variation, adaptation and speciation using stickleback fish. The Jones Lab is funded by the Max Planck Society, German Research Council and holds a prestigious European Research Council Consolidator Grant.

We are looking to recruit a talented and motivated team member to analyse meiotic recombination in extensive genomic datasets (including whole genome sequences from mulitple very large nuclear families, large population samples, and ChIP-seq data from proteins involved in meiotic cross-overs). You will work closely with other wet-lab members with a focus on development of statistical methods and pipelines with the aim of identifying, quantifying, and comparing genomic locations, and propensities of recombination cross-overs. Where applicable you may also participate actively in wet-lab data generation using our established high-throughput robotics platforms.

     Recombination Hotspots and Adaptive Evolution

By shuffling parental alleles to produce novel haplotypes, recombination impacts the strength of selection on nearby polymorphisms and can influence the rate of adaptation in natural populations. As part of a 2M€ ERC-funded project, you will use computational and statistical genetic methods to build high-resolution maps of recombination crossovers using extensive whole genome sequencing datasets of hundreds of related individuals and diverging species. You will quantify variation in recombination hot- and coldspots across the genome, among individuals, sexes & divergent species, search for genomic motifs and features, and intersect these maps with adaptive loci to investigate how recombination shapes adaptive evolution. Familiarity with haplotype phasing algorithms, and hidden Markov models will be an advantage. This unprecedented dataset offers exciting opportunity to explore molecular mechanisms and variation in a fundamental biological process and its role in adaptive evolution.

Requirements: We invite applications for the above positions at postdoctoral or PhD levels (MSc or 4-year BSc required). You will have training in genomics, bioinformatics or statistical genetics and in-depth research experience in these fields. You should demonstrate expertise and proficiency in one or more of the following areas:

  • handling and analysis of NGS datasets (eg whole genome, ChIP-seq)
  • advanced skills in statistical analysis (e.g. genotype imputation, Hidden Markov Models, haplotype phasing of whole genome data, QTL or GWAS approaches)
  • evolutionary genomics (eg empirical and/or theoretical population genetics)
  • handling large-scale computational data
  • familiarity with visualisation of genomic datasets and associated toolkits (e.g. UCSC/Ensembl genome browsers, proficiency with web-based programming and SQL relational databases desirable)

Experience with UNIX and fluency in statistical and/or programming languages (R, Python or Perl, C++, SQL, java knowledge desirable) is essential. Wetlab skills and experience in other types of data analysis (e.g., image processing) will be an advantage.

We are interested in candidates who are keen to apply new and innovative statistical approaches. Passion for research, team spirit and enthusiasm are essential. 

Our Team: You will work in a multidisciplinary team that focuses on applying genomics approaches to understand the functional basis of adaptation and speciation in mice and fish. Our research groups are funded by the Max Planck Society as well as the European Research Council (ERC) and the DFG. The Max Planck Campus in Tübingen, Germany is one of the leading campuses in evolutionary genomics research. Our campus hosts world-class research groups, including a Nobel laureate and >10 ERC-funded teams. We operate state-of-the-art sequencing and other core facilities. English is the working language. All seminars and communications are in English.

Our Offer: Positions at the Postdoc level will be initially offered for 2 years, with the possibility of extension. Funding for PhD is available for the entire duration. Positions will be supported by contracts with salary and benefits based on the German public service pay scale (TVöD) and are commensurate with training and experience. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are underrepresented, and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

To Apply: Consideration of applications will begin on 1st May, 2016, and will remain open until filled. Please send your application with 1. a cover letter outlining your background, achievements and motivations; 2. your CV, and 3. two reference contacts to Dr. Felicity Jones ( or the postal address below. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

Dr. Felicity Jones

Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society

Spemannstrasse 39

72076 Tübingen


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