Postdoctoral Fellow in Behavioral Genetics

Fayetteville, AR
Mar 14, 2018
Position Type
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Posting Number NC1018P

Quick Link for Posting

Working Title Postdoctoral Fellow in Behavioral Genetics

Position Number 14617

Department Biological Sciences

About the University

Founded in 1871 as a land grant institution, the University of Arkansas is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the top two percent of universities in the nation with the highest level of research activity. Ten colleges and schools serve more than 27,100 students with more than 200 academic programs. University of Arkansas students earn nationally competitive awards at an impressive rate and represent 50 states and more than 120 countries.

Located in the stunning Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas campus, known for its spectacular views and ample green spaces. Fayetteville is considered one of the country's finest college towns, and the surrounding northwest Arkansas region is regularly ranked one of the best places to live in the U.S. Some of the nation's best outdoor amenities and most spectacular hiking trails are within a short drive of campus.

As an employer, the University of Arkansas offers a vibrant work environment and a workplace culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance. The benefits package includes university contributions to health, dental, life and disability insurance, tuition waivers for employees and their families, 12 official holidays, immediate leave accrual, and a choice of retirement programs with university contributions ranging from 5 to 10% of employee salary.

About the College/Department

About the College:

The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with 3 schools, 16 departments, and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president, and longtime U.S. senator.

The University of Arkansas is committed to providing an educational and work environment in which thought, creativity, and growth are stimulated, and in which individuals are free to realize their full potential. The J. W. Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences promotes these ideals and welcomes applicants who foster an inclusive environment through an open exchange of voices and ideas from populations of diverse backgrounds.

About the Department:

The Department of Biological Sciences emphasizes cell and molecular biology, ecology and evolutionary biology. Biological sciences maintains one of the largest undergraduate majors in the university. Special topics courses, interdisciplinary graduate programs and undergraduate research opportunities expose students to a rigorous background in basic and advanced biology and allow for specialized coursework.

Department Home Page

Job Type Staff

Summary of Job Duties

The Westerman Lab at the University of Arkansas is seeking a creative and motivated Postdoctoral Fellow in Behavioral Genomics to investigate the genetics and neurobiology of mate preference plasticity in butterflies, to begin as soon as late Spring/Early Summer 2018. The Westerman Lab studies mechanisms underlying behavioral diversity and plasticity, with a focus on sensory system development and visual learning in butterflies. Current research topics include the role of genetics and social environment in mate preference development, behavioral and developmental plasticity, and sensory biases. The lab is an integrative animal behavior group, and integrates a wide range of techniques, including, but not limited to, genomics, transcriptomics, controlled laboratory experiments, histology, and field ecology. Research incorporates both tropical butterflies and those native to Northwestern Arkansas, and takes advantage of multiple species-rich field sites within a 30-minute drive of campus. For more information, please visit the lab website at

The successful candidate will be expected to work in close collaboration with Dr. Westerman on a comparative behavioral genomics project, as well as to develop independent research projects within the scope of the lab. In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to collaborate with fellow lab members, and will have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Westerman is building collaborations within the Biology Department, as well as with faculty in both the Entomology and Psychological Sciences Departments at UARK. Postdocs in the lab will have the opportunity to work across discipline, and will be encouraged to initiate and develop innovative collaborative projects.

This technically integrative lab embraces creative approaches to studying animal behavior. Candidates with a strong background in genomics, neurobiology, and development are particularly encouraged to apply.

Funding is currently available to support this position for two years, with the possibility for extension depending on funding and project progress.

Regular, reliable, and non-disruptive attendance is an essential job duty, as is the ability to create and maintain collegial, harmonious working relationships with others.

Minimum Qualifications: Please ensure that all relevant application materials include details addressing the minimum qualifications. Applicants not meeting the minimum qualifications will be disqualified from consideration.
  • Ph.D. in biological sciences or a related field conferred by the start of employment
  • Demonstrated expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, neurobiology, or developmental biology techniques
  • Experience with either multivariate statistics or statistical analysis of genomic data
  • Demonstrated evidence of excellent writing skills

Does this job require any license(s)/certification(s)? No

If yes, please specify

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience using CRISPR/Cas9
  • Experience in animal behavior experimental design
  • Experience in live animal husbandry
  • Experience in chemical ecology
  • Experience in microscopy

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)
  • Ability to work in close quarters as part of a research team

Physical activities associated with this position

The following physical activities are associated with the position and will be performed with or without an accommodation. All individuals are encouraged to apply.

Physical Conditions The worker is subject to both environmental conditions. Activities occur inside and outside., The worker is subject to extreme heat. Temperatures above 100 degrees for periods of more than one hour. Consideration should be given to the effect of other environmental conditions, such as wind and humidity., The worker is subject to hazards. Includes a variety of physical conditions, such as proximity to moving mechanical parts or vehicles, electrical current, working on scaffolding and high places, exposure to high heat or exposure to chemicals, biological o

Work Schedule Monday - Friday, 40 hours per week (flexible, schedule may vary based on department needs)

Overtime Eligible No

Is this position weather/event essential? If yes, the employee in this position will report to work at the scheduled time when the University is closed due to inclement conditions. No

Work Location/Building Fayetteville Campus - Science Engineering Hall

Benefits Eligible Yes

Appointment Percent 100

Salary Commensurate with Education and/or Experience

Does this Position require a Motor Vehicle Reports Check? No

Does this position require a background check? Yes

If yes, please specify
  • Criminal background check
  • Sex offender registry check

Does this position require a substance abuse test? No

Pre-employment Screening Requirements

The University of Arkansas is committed to providing a safe campus community. We conduct background checks for applicants being considered for employment. Background checks include a criminal background check and a sex offender registry check. For certain positions, there may also be a financial (credit) background check, a Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) check, and/or drug screening. Required checks are identified in the position listing. A criminal conviction or arrest pending adjudication or adverse financial history information alone shall not disqualify an applicant in the absence of a relationship to the requirements of the position. Background check information will be used in a confidential, non-discriminatory manner consistent with state and federal law.

Posting Detail Information

Future Open Date

Close Date 04/15/2018

Open Until Filled No

Anticipated Start Date

Anticipated End Date (for temporary appointments)

Recruitment Contact Information

Dr. Erica Westerman
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Arkansas

All application materials must be uploaded to the University of Arkansas employment system at Please do not send to listed recruitment contact.

Special Instructions Summary

Applicants must submit a cover letter/letter of application, curriculum vitae, and a two-page description of research accomplishments and future plans uploaded to the 'Other Document' link.

A list of three professional references (name, title, email address, and contact number) will be requested during the application process.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Hiring Location 222 Administration Building Fayetteville, AR 72701.

EEO Statement

The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The university welcomes applications without regard to age, race/color, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran status, military service, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity. Persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment. All applicant information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Internal Posting No

City, St. Fayetteville, AR

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Will you have a Ph.D. in biological sciences or a related field conferred by the Fall of 2018?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. * Do you have expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, neurobiology, or developmental biology techniques?
    • Yes
    • No
  3. * Do you have experience with either multivariate statistics or statistical analysis of genomic data?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply
Required Documents
  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover Letter/Letter of Application
  3. Other Document
Optional Documents
  1. Proof of Veterans Status


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