Cornell University, Entomology/CALS

3108 14494
Position ID:Cornell-Entomology/CALS-POSTDOCSEPT2019 [#14494, WDR-0020666]
Position Title: PostDoc-Danforth
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map]
Subject Area: Biology
Appl Deadline:2019/11/15 (posted 2019/09/06, listed until 2019/11/15)
Position Description:    

Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  

Postdoctoral Associate position:

SUMMARY: We seek a candidate to work on the characterization of bacterial and fungal communities in the pollen provisions of solitary bees. The “brood cell microbiome” forms an important component of bee larval nutrition and recent studies have indicated that disruptions to the brood cell microbiome can have significant negative impacts on larval growth and development. We seek a candidate with a strong background in molecular characterization of microbial communities who can apply a variety of methods, including amplicon sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, and culture-based techniques to explore the native microbial communities of ground and stem-nesting bees and how perturbations to these microbial communities impact bee health. We are working largely with mason bees (Osmia cornifrons). Expertise in wet-lab techniques of DNA and RNA extraction, Next-gen library development, and downstream bioinformatics analyses is essential. The successful candidate should have excellent oral and written communication skills, should be capable of independently writing research articles arising from the research, and should be comfortable communicating with collaborators at other institutions. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to lab management and supervision of graduate and undergraduate students in the lab.  This is a one-year term position, renewable for a second year depending on funding, available work, and performance.

 Background and full details on the project can be found at:

 BASIC FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITY: The Postdoctoral Associate will coordinate and carry out the proposed project under supervision of Bryan Danforth including all laboratory and field experiments, and analyze the data and prepare written summaries of the projects for publication in peer-reviewed journals.


 Laboratory research (35%)

 o   Conduct standard molecular laboratory procedures, including DNA extraction and quantification, PCR, gel electrophoresis, etc..

o   Construct Illumina libraries for sequencing on the HiSeq or MiSeq Illumina platforms using standard protocols developed by project participants

 Data analysis/interpretation (30%)

 o   Develop and utilize software pipelines for editing, parsing, annotating, aligning, concatenating and analyzing bacterial and fungal amplicon and metatranscriptomic data sets.

o   Conduct analyses of bacterial and fungal sequence data using the DADA2, HUMAnN2, Phyloseq, Qiime2 pipelines.

o   Develop new data analysis pipelines using R, Perl, and/or Python.

 Laboratory management (10%)

o   Maintain a clean and organized laboratory

o   Maintain equipment and computers in the lab

o   Place eShop orders for equipment and supplies

o   Approve Kronos timecards for undergraduate assistants

o   Mail pinned and frozen insect specimens and DNA samples to colleagues and collaborators

o   Adhere to chemical safety procedures, and responsible disposal of waste and hazardous material.

o   Ensure that all protocols and procedures adhere to safety requirements as mandated by the Cornell Office of Occupational & Environmental Health and the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.

 Communication (10%)

 o   Communicate with collaborators via phone and email

o   Write protocols for field and laboratory procedures

o   Maintain lab and project websites

o   Present results at scientific conferences

 Supervision (10%)

 o   Oversee and manage general lab operations

o   Train graduate and undergraduate students in field and laboratory protocols

o   Assist graduate students, other postdocs, or other staff in the field or laboratory when necessary

 Personal and professional development (5%)

o   Seek out and attend educational seminars and training workshops relevant to the research

o   Attend weekly lab meetings

o   Continuously maintain all required educational and position qualifications to fulfill job requirements.

 QUALIFICATIONS: A PhD in entomology, microbiology, or related fields is essential. We seek a candidate with previous experience with microbial amplicon and metatranscriptomic sequencing and a strong background in molecular characterization of microbial communities. A strong commitment to expanding and fostering diversity is required. Successful applicants will be self-motivated, detail-oriented and possess excellent oral and communication skills, with a strong record of peer-reviewed publications.


Applicants should submit a Cover Letter, CV, Statement of Research Background and Interests, and Contact Information for three people who can provide professional references. Additionally, a Statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion.  We welcome discussion about the position in advance of application, and candidates may directly contact Bryan Danforth at to discuss research interests and potential future directions.

 All components of the application must be submitted through this application portal:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
2126 Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

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