Postdoc: Study Island dwarfism using Reptile Cell Culture , Genomics

Posted on November 9, 2023
Expires: January 31, 2024

The Schwartz Lab at Auburn University is accepting applications for an enthusiastic, creative postdoctoral scholar to join a growing research team on an NSF-funded project that uses the repeated evolution of body size on island to extends our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate evolution of body size and reproduction, using island/mainland comparisons. This research extends across the genomics, cell physiology, endocrine function, morphology, reproduction, and ecology. See more about this project here:

How to get SMAL: Using island dwarfism to understand the Shared Molecular mechanisms Across Life History Traits

The postdoc will work closely with Dr. Tonia Schwartz to lead one of the aims of this grant:

  1. Developing cell cultures from wild reptile populations and use them to conduct common garden cell culture experiments, OR
  2. Conduct population/conservation and functional genomics use whole genome sequencing across mainland and island populations for multiple species of reptiles.

The postdoc will be expected to produce first authored papers, contribute to co-authored papers, and assist training graduate students. Additional research experience opportunities available to the postdoc include the following based on their interests: extended reptile field work (weeks to months) on mainland California and the Channel Islands; reptile population/functional/conservation genomics (from library preps, bioinformatics, through statistical analyses); reptile cell culture experiments; endocrine and reproductive physiology; metagenomics; morphometrics; demographic modeling; working with high school teachers to develop teaching modules in island evolution; pedogeological training.

Required criteria:

  • Candidate must have a track record of addressing scientific problems in an innovative, thoughtful, and systematic manner
  • Candidate must possess excellent written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Candidate must have a publication record the focal area of research
  • Candidate must have a PhD at time of employment and meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States at the time appointment is to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of the appointment.

Selected applicants will also benefit from presenting at national meetings, attending workshops, opportunities for teaching as instructor of record, and career development. Persons from groups typically under-represented in science are strongly encouraged to apply. The Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University is a highly collaborative and friendly place to work. The Schwartz Lab is family-friendly and values diversity to create an inclusive and equitable environment, along with the efforts by the College of Sciences and Mathematics. Learn about the Schwartz Lab.

This is a full-time, twelve-month, non-tenure track position beginning of 2023 or 2024, for a term of one year with up to 2.5 years possible depending on performance. Applicants should email the following to Dr. Tonia Schwartz ( with header:  SMAL Postdoc.  

  1. CV including a list of three references.
  2. A letter of interest that describes:
    1. your general research interests,
    2. your past experiences with demonstrated evidence of your accomplishments and skills including writing and statistical analyses,
    3. why you think you would be a good fit in for the project and my research team, and
    4. what you hope to gain from your post-doctoral experience
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