Postdoc at University of Auckland, New Zealand on bacterial genome evolution

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    Postdoctoral Research Fellow Position in Bacterial Genome Evolution at the University of Auckland, New Zealand

    We are seeking a postdoc to work on a project investigating coevolution between prokaryotes and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as viruses and plasmids. The successful candidate will work on either the computational modelling of bacterial genome evolution or bioinformatic sequence analysis of bacterial genomes (or both if desired).

    The aim of the project is to test the hypothesis that evolutionary conflict between prokaryotes and MGEs substantially impacts the distribution of genes and the dynamics of horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes. This impact is thought to arise from the interplay of the two types of interaction between prokaryotes and MGEs: ecological interaction, where MGEs serve as selfish elements that exploit prokaryotes, creating host-parasite conflict; and genetic interaction, where MGEs serve as vectors that mediate horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes, increasing gene mobility. By considering both types of interaction, the project will develop a theory of prokaryote genome evolution. The project will consist of two parts: modelling part, where we develop computational models of prokaryote genome evolution; and bioinformatics part, where we analyse prokaryotic genome sequences to inform and validate the modelling. The successful candidate will work on either (or both if desired) of these parts, depending on expertise and interest.  The candidate will also have the opportunity to design their own research related to the evolution of prokaryotes. The opportunity to gain teaching experience, such as lecturing and supervising, is also available if desired.

    The successful candidate will work with Nobuto Takeuchi at Bioinformatics Institute, the School of Biological Sciences, the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Our lab is lunched in October 2018 and interested in the evolution of biological complexity. For Takeuchi’s CV, please see

    The position is funded for two years. Anticipated start date is April 2020, but an earlier or later start date (until November 2020) can be accommodated. The salary is based on the Academic Staff Collective Agreement of the University of Auckland (, and the annual gross salary for a research fellow (RF1) in 2020 is NZ$81,963.

    The successful candidate will have a PhD in computational biology, bioinformatics, theoretical biology, physics, computer science, or a related field at the start of the appointment, experience in research involving either bioinformatics or the modelling of evolutionary dynamics (or both), and programming skills (scripting language for bioinformatics or high-performance language for computational modelling).

    To apply, please email the following documents as PDF (combined or separate) to Nobuto Takeuchi at by January 31, 2020:

    1) a cover letter of 1-2 pages describing your background relevant to the position
    2) a CV with a publication list
    3) a research statement of 1-2 pages
    3) the names and contact information of two scientists familiar with your work who can act as referees
    4) one published or accepted original research article to which you made a major contribution and which best represents your research

    For questions about this position, please contact Nobuto Takeuchi at

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