The Bruns lab at the University of Maryland, College Park invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher to develop new evolutionary models of correlated disease resistance to multiple pathogens. Plant and animal species show substantial resistance variation to pathogens that a species does not normally encounter in nature. This resistance is often correlated, either positively or negatively, with resistance to endemic pathogens that are more frequently encountered. How do these correlations evolve? And what are the epidemiological consequences of resistance correlations for invasion by a foreign pathogen? The postdoc will work to develop general theoretical models that examine the co-evolutionary processes that give rise to resistance correlations between endemic and foreign pathogens. The project is in collaboration with Michael Hood’s lab at Amherst college and Janis Antonovics at University of Virginia. The theoretical models developed as part of the project at Maryland will complement empirical research into resistance correlations to anther-smut disease in the wild plant Silene vulgaris. The postdoc would have the opportunity to travel between labs to collaborate with a growing network of anther-smut biologists as well as to participate in field work in the western Italian Alps.
Ideal candidates would have a background in quantitative biology with a preference for experience in evolutionary biology, population genetics, or disease ecology. This is a two-year, funded appointment, with preference for a spring 2021 start date.