Interested in joining the lab?

Great! We’re recruiting.

I’m always interested in working with people who like to ask big, interesting questions and design targeted experiments to answer those questions. I particularly welcome new members who are independent, self-motivated, collaborative, and excited to learn. I encourage applicants from all backgrounds: our work thrives on the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people with diverse interests and life experiences.

Right now, you might be a good fit for the lab if you’re interested in the evolution and ecology of host-parasite interactions and are excited about tackling fundamental problems in these fields using diverse approaches, from experimental evolution to field work to theory. Our lab and field work centers on nematodes, both free-living and parasitic, and their symbionts.

Please see below for specific guidance on how to contact me.

OPEN Postdoc position

There’s an open postdoctoral position in my lab as of 9/23/2021. I’d like to support a postdoctoral fellow broadly interested in studying the (co)evolutionary ecology or genetics of species interactions using our C. elegans system. The funding for this position is flexible, so while I have lots of ideas for projects to get started on, the fellow would be strongly encouraged to develop independent lines of inquiry that merge our interests and expertise.

The ad:

The Department of Biology at the University of Virginia invites applicants for a post-doctoral Research Associate position in the lab of Professor Amanda Gibson as part of a 5-year NIH-funded project.

The big questions we’re pursuing with this project are:

  • How do organisms adapt to rampant uncertainty?
  • In what ways does context, both environmental and genetic, change the alleles that matter for fitness? 
  • To what extent do these genetic interactions confound our ability to map genotype to phenotype? (and can we overcome this?)

We use resistance to parasites as a model trait to get at these questions.  The work will make use of the experimental tools and resources available for the model nematode C. elegans and its natural parasites, including experimental evolution, cryogenic preservation, high-throughput phenotyping, transgenic methods, wild isolates with whole genome sequences, and public resources for genetic mapping. 

About the lab: The Gibson lab (coevolving.org) at the University of Virginia studies the evolutionary ecology and genetics of host-parasite interactions with the broad goal of understanding how organisms adapt to uncertainty, which we model as uncertainty in the species and strain of parasite a host might encounter and uncertainty in the environment in which that encounter will unfold.  We tend to work on nematodes – C. elegans as well as plant-parasitic nematodes – because of their tractability in the lab and field and, of course, their amazing biology!  Researchers in the Gibson lab have ample opportunity for creative experimental design, independence, and training in a variety of skills and areas of scholarship.  In joining the lab, new members sign on to our commitment to promoting an inclusive and safe environment, supporting all the members of our team in realizing their full potential, and actively valuing the creativity and productivity that comes from the meeting of diverse minds.

About the position: The lab is recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Associate to contribute to our NIH-funded work examining the genetic interactions – GxG and GxE – underlying variation in host resistance to parasites.  The proposed research integrates techniques and concepts associated with the fields of host-parasite coevolution and evolutionary genetics, and eligible candidates will have demonstrated strengths in one of these areas or in closely allied fields.  The postdoc can expect to be involved in designing and implementing experimental evolution studies, quantitative trait mapping and high-throughput phenotyping (using e.g. qPCR, fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and other automated phenotyping schemes), mentoring of undergraduate trainees, data analysis, and writing of manuscripts.  They will receive mentorship from the PI and support to pursue independent research projects and develop themselves professionally.

Required qualifications:
– A PhD in Biology or a related field by the start date
– Excellent written and oral communication, demonstrated by a strong publication record, consistent with the candidate’s career stage, and presentations at conferences
– Demonstrated ambition, creativity, independence, and ability to work well with others
– A strong background in experimental design, data analysis, and data management
– Interest and confidence in developing new techniques for hypothesis testing
– Experience in mentoring undergraduate students and a dedication to promoting underrepresented groups in STEM

Preferred qualifications:
– Demonstrated strengths in evolutionary genetics, host-parasite coevolution or closely allied fields
– Experience with or interest in learning about analysis and interpretation of genomic data and design of mapping studies

Applying: Apply online at  https://uva.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/UVAJobs/job/Charlottesville-VA/Research-Associate-in-Biology_R0028762  and attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three individuals who can provide professional reference letters.  In the cover letter, please address your fit with the qualifications above and your experience in mentoring undergraduates.  Applications by members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged.

Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2021.  Start date is flexible.

Please email me at amandakgibson@virginia.edu to discuss the position.

Graduate Students

I look forward to hearing from prospective PhD students with strong research backgrounds and an interest in the evolution of species interactions. To start, you can find information about the department, our PhD program, and Charlottesville at the departmental website and the EEB group’s site. We also have a new NSF training program EXPAND and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship “Reintegrating the Phenotype” for incoming students to support interdisciplinary research, as well as broad career training and an inclusive community, with support from UVA’s PhD+ and a fellowship for entering students. After you’ve checked those out, reach out to me via email – please describe your research experience and interests, attach your CV, and tell me why you’d fit well in my lab and in the EEB group here.

Postdocs

See ad above.

In general: I encourage prospective postdocs whose research interests overlap with those of the lab. I’m excited to host postdoctoral fellows in the lab, so reach out to me via email to brainstorm funding options. USDA, NIH, and NSF are all potential sources of postdoctoral funding in the lab. We may also have positions funded through grants. When you contact me, please attach your CV, describe your research experience and interests, and tell me why you’re specifically interested in joining our lab group.

Undergraduates

We often have opportunities for undergraduates to contribute to research in the lab, both during the academic year and the summer. Depending on what we have going on, there may be positions or projects you can contribute to for research credit. To find out about current positions, email me with a description of who you are, why you’re interested in research, and what specifically appeals to you about our lab. Please include your CV and an unofficial transcript. Look here for helpful advice on how to contact faculty about joining their lab (credit: Britt Koskella). For summer and fall 2021, we will be primarily considering 1st and 2nd year students or transfer students.