Postdoc position in evolutionary genomics


Postdoctoral position in evolutionary genomics at the Institute of
Life- and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

A postdoctoral position in population and evolutionary genomics is
available in the research group of Einar Arnason at the Institute of
Life- and Environmental Sciences (ILES) at University of Iceland. We
are looking for a highly motivated individual with strong
computational skills, extensive experience working in the Linux
environment, and strong interest in evolutionary and population
genomics, to analyze and interpret extensive and unique whole-genome
sequence data sampled from various gadid populations.

Field of work

Project title and description

Population genomics of highly fecund codfish

Our research focus is on understanding evolutionary processes in
highly fecund organisms. We use highly fecund gadids as study
organisms. With a recently awarded Icelandic Research Fund Grant of
Excellence (id 185151-051) we will obtain unparalleled amount of
whole-genome sequence data from various gadid populations.
Whole-genome sequence data holds huge promise in furthering our
understanding of the mechanisms of selection, speciation and
adaptation in natural populations. The grant of excellence project is
concerned with, among other things, understanding the mode of
reproduction of gadids, mechanism of speciation, inferring the
phylogeny of gadids, and identifying genetic units which may be under
strong selection. This collaborative project is joint with Katrin
Halldorsdottir at ILES, Alison Etheridge at the Department of
Statistics in University of Oxford, and Wolfgang Stephan and Bjarki
Eldon at the Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science
in Berlin. Among our collaborators are Montgomery Slatkin and Rasmus
Nielsen at University of Berkeley in California, Fernando Racimo at
Copenhagen University, and Tim Sackton which is Director of
Bioinformatics at Harvard University. This is a highly
interdisciplinary project combining latest molecular technology, and
advanced statistical and bioinformatic analysis. We will maintain
good communication and collaboration between all participants. The
position therefore comes with possibilities to visit participating
labs and groups in Berlin, Berkeley, and Cambridge (MA). We would
expect the postdoc to (i) work on ideas already developed in the
project, and (ii) develop new ideas and new methods to analyze and
understand the data.

Qualification requirements

PhD in computational biology, evolutionary or population genetics, or
related fields;

demonstrated research ability in the form of publications and
presentations; ability to work both independently and within a team;

proficiency in written and spoken English

Strong experience working in the UNIX/Linux environment.

Strong interest in evolutionary and population genomics is an asset.

Experience in analyzing whole-genome sequences is an asset.

Programming experience in e.g. Python, R, Perl, C, C++, also is an asset.

How to apply

Please include in your application:

i) A 1-3 page motivation letter, which should state your interest in the
project, what makes you qualified for the position, and your ideas for
how to move the project forward;

ii) CV and publication list;

iii) transcripts from B.Sc. and M.Sc. studies, and a list of courses
during postgraduate studies;

iv) contact information for 2-3 letters of reference

APPLY by filling out form for vacancy nr. 355

The successful applicant could anticipate to start work as early as
July/August2018, with funding guaranteed for three years. This is a
full-time position.

Salary will be according to the current collective wage and salary
agreement between the Union of University Teachers and the Minister of

All applications will be answered and applicants will be notified of
the employment decision when a decision has been made. Applications
will be valid for six months from the end of the application deadline.

Some relevant articles

Einar Árnason and Katrín Halldórsdóttir. 2015. Nucleotide variation
and balancing selection at the Ckma gene in Atlantic cod: analysis
with multiple merger coalescent models. PeerJ
e786. doi:10.7717/peerj.786

Bjarki Eldon and John Wakeley 2006. Coalescent processes when the
distribution of offspring number among individuals is highly
skewed. Genetics 172:2621-2633. doi:10.1534/genetics.105.052175

Bjarki Eldon, Matthias Birkner, Jochen Blath and Fabian Freund
2015. Can the site-frequency spectrum distinguish exponential
population growth from multiple-merger coalescents? Genetics 199:
841-856. doi:10.1534/genetics.114.173807

Katrín Halldórsdóttir and Einar Árnason 2015. Whole-genome sequencing
uncovers cryptic and hybrid species among Atlantic and Pacific
cod-fish. BioRxiv, doi:10.1101/034926.

Fernando Racimo 2015. Testing for ancient selection using
cross-population allele frequency differentiation. Genetics

Joshua G. Schraiber and Steven N. Evans and Montgomery Slatkin
2016. Bayesian inference of natural selection from allele frequency
time series. Genetics 203: 493-511. doi:10.1534/genetics.116.187278

Appointments to positions at the University of Iceland are made in
consideration of the Equal Rights Policy of the University of Iceland.

The University of Iceland has a special Language Policy

The School of Engineering and Natural Sciences employs ca. 360 people
in academic positions. The School offers an international working
environment, with the number of international employees and students
increasing each year. Currently about quarter of all employees and
graduate students are international. There are around 2900 students at
the School, divided into six faculties, including approximately 350 MS
students and 150 doctoral students. Research institutes at the School
are the Science Institute that divides into the Institute of Earth
Sciences and Institute of Physical Sciences, Institute of Life and
Environmental Sciences, Engineering Research Institute and the
Institute for Sustainability Studies which is an interdisciplinary
institute and belongs to the five schools of the University of

The University of Iceland is the largest teaching, research and
science institute in Iceland and is ranked among the top 250
universities in the world by Times Higher Education.

More information about the University of Iceland can be found at the
University of Iceland website, Relocation Service

Further information

For further information, please contact Einar Arnason (


The application deadline is through the 16th July, 2018

Contact and application information
Monday, July 16, 2018
Contact name: