Postdoc position in the lab!

We’re hiring a postdoc to work on the lab’s new NIH R35 MIRA grant on the genetics and evolution of parasite resistance. Link and ad below:

The Department of Biology at the University of Virginia invites applicants for a post-doctoral research associate position to work in thew lab or Professor Amanda Gibson.

The Gibson lab ( at the University of Virginia studies the evolutionary ecology and genetics of host-parasite interactions with the goal of understanding how organisms adapt to rampant uncertainty – uncertainty in the species and strain of parasite a host might encounter and uncertainty in the environment in which that encounter will unfold.  We are starting a five-year NIH-funded project to determine how genetic and environmental contexts changes the selective advantage of resistance alleles.  This research will make use of the fabulous experimental tools and resources available for the model nematode C. elegans and its natural parasites.  These tools include experimental evolution with cryogenic preservation, high-throughput phenotyping, a variety of transgenic methods, and wild isolates with whole genome sequences.  Researchers on the project will 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.

The lab is recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Associate to contribute to this work.  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 will 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.  The postdoc will receive mentorship from the PI and support to pursue independent research projects.

QUALIFCATION REQUIRMENTS: An ideal candidate would have:

  • A PhD in Biology or a related field
  • 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
  • Experience with analysis and interpretation of genomic data and design of mapping studies
  • Interest and confidence in developing new techniques, notably molecular genetic tools, for hypothesis testing
  • Experience in mentoring undergraduate students and a dedication to promoting underrepresented groups in STEM
  • An enthusiasm for nematodes

The Biology Department at UVA ( is an excellent training environment for curious, highly motivated scientists.  The successful applicant can expect to interact frequently with the department’s strong, collegial group of evolutionary ecologists and geneticists ( There may be opportunities for research, training, and outreach at Mountain Lake Biological Station (, in southwestern Virginia.  

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:  Apply online at and attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae, 2-3 writing samples (preferably first-author publications, published or in prep), 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 all underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged.

Please note that multiple documents can be uploaded in the box.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of applications will begin on August XX,  2020, but the position will remain open until filled. The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment.

This is a one-year appointment; however, appointment may be renewed for an additional two, one-year increments, contingent upon available funding and satisfactory performance.

Interested applicants are invited to email Amanda Gibson, Assistant Professor, at to discuss the position. 

For questions about the application process, please contact Richard Haverstrom, Faculty Search Advisor, at

For information on the benefits available to postdoctoral associates at UVA, visit and

NIH Grant!

The lab has been awarded an R35 MIRA through the National Institute of General Medical Science! Our project “A general test of the genetic basis of parasite resistance across genetic and environmental contexts” will study the evolution of parasite resistance across genetic and environmental contexts.  We plan to use experimental evolution, evolutionary theory, transgenic lines and GWAS and QTL mapping withC. elegans and its natural parasites.

Stay tuned for a postdoc ad!

New grant: Jeffress Trust Award!

The lab has received a Jeffress Trust Award in Interdisciplinary Research for our project “Modeling the Evolution of Disease Resistance in a Variable World”! This grant funds research that merges computational and quantitative scientific methodologies and supports undergraduate researchers in the lab.

Technician ad coming soon.

Welcome Fabiane!

Fabiane Mundim – a nematologist, ecologist, and plant physiologist – has joined the lab as a postdoctoral researcher! She comes to us from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she worked on the impact of root parasites on the stability of ant-aphid mutualisms above ground. Welcome Fabiane!

catching nematodes!

new paper in Integrative and Comparative Biology

Asexual parasites and their extraordinary host ranges:

Extensive musings on a problem nicely summarized White (1973, Animal Cytology and Evolution)

“It is not entirely clear…how forms whose genetic system must be very inflexible manage to become adapted to new environments when they do get transported to them: the apparent ecological versatility in space seems to be at variance with their lack of ecological versatility in time.”

Thanks to Simran for help in data collection, Ryan Earley for inviting the paper, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin for the time to think.


Anna with her certificate for earning 2nd place in the Undergraduate Poster Competition!

The Gibson lab had a blast at the Southeastern Population Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics Conference at Clemson this weekend! Big congratulations to Emily and Anna for presenting awesome posters on their work.

Left to right: Anna, Mandy and Emily at the Clemson Outdoor Lab