Postdoctoral position in developmental plasticity, Indiana University

Postdoctoral position: Genetics and evolution of developmental plasticity, Ragsdale Lab, Indiana University

A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Erik Ragsdale, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington. Our lab investigates the genetic regulation and evolution of developmental plasticity, specifically a polyphenism that involves novel morphological and ecological traits. The focal species of this research is the nematode Pristionchus pacificus, an emerging model system for evolutionary developmental genetics, which our lab studies using forward and reverse genetics, transgenics, and genome-wide approaches.

P. pacificus alternatively develops into a microbe-feeding or a predatory morph in response to different environmental cues. Recent work has begun to characterize the genes that make up a developmental switch for the polyphenism, providing an entry point into the genetics of a morphological dimorphism in a tractable animal model. Moreover, this species is embedded in a solid phylogenetic infrastructure with a broad range of feeding morphologies and ecologies. Given the laboratory availability of many species and populations of Pristionchus, this system offers a unique opportunity to discover how genetic factors and their interactions evolve to modify developmental plasticity.

The goal of the project is to determine the significance of an increasingly understood polyphenism mechanism in evolutionary process. Approaches will involve population genetics, evolutionary modeling, and/or experimental evolution. For the position, we seek a collegial and intellectually driven individual with a recent Ph.D. in evolutionary biology or a related field. A strong background in population genetics and/or evolutionary modeling is essential. Molecular biology skills are a plus but relevant training will be provided as necessary. The position will be funded for two years, with the potential to extend for an additional year. Salary will be commensurate with experience, and full benefits are included.

To apply, please submit (i) a letter of application, (ii) a full CV, (iii) a statement of research interests, and (iv) contact information for three references electronically to ( Review of applications will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The exact start date is flexible. Inquiries about the position can be directed to Erik Ragsdale ( Additional information about research in the Ragsdale lab can be found at:

Bloomington is a vibrant college town located in scenic southern Indiana, close to several natural parks and wilderness areas, and it enjoys a local culture exceptionally rich in music, art, and theater.

Indiana University is an Equal Employment and Affirmative Action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.