Duke University, Biology

3 23269
Position ID:Duke-Biology-PD_MR [#23269, 1826]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Durham, North Carolina 27708, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Biology
Appl Deadline:2023/01/15 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2022/10/13, listed until 2023/01/15)
Position Description:    

*** the listing date or deadline for this position has passed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

POSITION: I am seeking a postdoctoral scholar interested in investigating the evolution the genetic and developmental evolution of floral color patterns in the genus Clarkia. Please see references listed below for work our lab has published on this project. I am particularly interested in someone who can bring innovative approaches to identifying the genes controlling the expression of various pattern elements such as spots, speckling and white patches. While the transcription factors responsible for activating the anthocyanin enzyme-coding genes that produce these elements (e.g. R2R3Mybs) are pretty well understood, the genes regulating those transcription factors are largely unknown, as is true generally for the anthocyanin pathway. Identifying genes involved in this second level of regulation will key to understanding how the regulatory networks controlling pattern formation evolve. In addition, because Clarkia is a non-model organism, development of tools such as permanent or transient transformation, in situ hybridization, and/or viral induced gene silencing (VIGS) will facilitate progress on this project.

POSITION DETAILS: The position is a full-time appointment initially for one year, with the possibility of extension depending on grant funding. The postdoc will have the opportunity to participate in writing a grant proposal for additional funding. The salary is $54,840/year with benefits. Target start date is 1 January 2023, but there is flexibility.

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates for this position should have obtained, at the time of the position start date, a Ph.D. degree in the biological sciences. They should have a record of first-author publications demonstrating competence in critical scientific thinking and research creativity. Experience with one or more of the following is desirable: transcriptomic assessment of gene expression, including associated bioinformatic skills; single-cell or small-scale RNA sequencing; experience with plant transformation, VIGS, and/or in situ hybridization; training in population genetics, evolutionary biology or evolutionary developmental biology (EVO-DEVO).

DUTIES: The primary duty is to investigate the developmental processes that determine the spatial expression domain of floral pattern elements and how those domains evolve. The successful candidate will be given latitude in deciding which floral pattern elements to investigate. Opportunities for mentoring undergraduates will be available. There will be significant opportunities for professional growth and career development activities.

APPLICATION: Applications should include the following :

* Cover letter that describes your interest in the position and your experiences relevant to the project * CV * Copies of up to 3 published papers demonstrating your skills and preparation relevant to this position * Names and contact information for three professional references * A detailed description (not more than 1 page) explaining how you would address the following problem:

Clarkia xantiana petals have a red spot surrounded by a white (non-pigmented) halo against a more lightly colored background. The background and spot are controlled by separate R2R3Myb pigment initiators. There are three naturally occurring mutants: (1) lacking halo, but with spot and background pigmentation present; (2) lacking both spot and halo, but with background pigmentation throughout the petal; and (3) spot present, background pigmentation absent. The flowers are small, the spot being 3-5 mm in diameter and the halo being another 2-4 mm wide. Explain how you would attempt to determine the developmental basis of the halo and how it evolved as a novel character in this species.


Lin, Rong-Chien and M. D. Rausher. 2021. Ancient gene duplications, rather than polyploidization, facilitate diversification of petal pigmentation patterns in Clarkia gracilis (Onagraceae). Molecular Biology and Evolution 38:5528–5538.

Lin, Rong-Chien and M. D. Rausher. 2021. R2R3-Myb genes control petal pigmentation patterning in Clarkia gracilis ssp. Sonomensis (Onagraceae). New Phytologist 229: 1147-1162.

Martins, T. R., P. Jiang, and M. D. Rausher. 2016. How petals change their spots: cis-regulatory re-wiring in Clarkia (Onagraceae). New Phytologist 216: 510-518.

Martins, T. R., Berg, J. J., Blinka, S., Rausher, M. D., and Baum, D. A. 2013. Precise spatio-temporal regulation of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway leads to petal spot in Clarkia gracilis (Onagraceae). New Phytologist 197: 958-969.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Contact Mark Rausher at mrausher@duke.edu if you have any questions.

Applications must be submitted January 15th.

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:
Box 90338
Durham, NC 27708