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Post Doctoral Research Fellow

University of Massachusetts Boston
UMass Boston

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Job Details

Job no: 513877
Position Type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Boston
Department: Biology
Pay Grade: No Pay Grade
Date opened: 13 May 2022 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: 17 Jun 2022 Eastern Daylight Time

General Summary:

The Post-Doctoral Research Fellow will participate in the fields of community ecology and evolutionary biology within the Department of Biology. The incumbent will assist the laboratory Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Mayra Vidal (, in new and on-going research projects focused on a laboratory-based yeast mutualism. Specifically, the incumbent will develop a four-year project and will participate in and assist with the organization of the laboratory’s experiments and data analysis. The Post-Doctoral Research Fellow will help expand the department’s current research program, which focuses on understanding the processes that promote and maintain diversification, and how disturbances can alter ecological and evolutionary processes. The incumbent will participate in cutting-edge research in ecology and evolutionary biology; and will offer a stimulating academic environment with opportunities to collaborate in a team setting, gain valuable written/oral communication skills, and co-author publications.

The current project involves experimentally manipulating community structure of budding yeast to examine the coevolutionary dynamics of multi-species mutualisms. The overall goal of the project is to evaluate predictions of mutualism coevolution by using an easily replicable and fast-growing community of organisms. This project will involve close collaborations with the Segraves and Althoff labs at Syracuse University and educational materials will be developed in association with the University of Idaho.

Examples of Duties:

  • Assist the laboratory Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Vidal, in new and on-going research projects;
  • Participate in and assist with the organization of the laboratory’s yeast work and experiments;
  • Assist with multi-institution collaborations;
  • Assist with maintenance of yeast cultures and materials supply;
  • Manage and analyze large datasets, preferentially using R.
  • Assist with training and monitoring undergraduate and graduate students;
  • Assist with writing of scientific publications and grants;
  • Participate in other departmental activities such as seminars and journal clubs;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


PhD in Ecology, Evolutionary Ecology, Community Ecology, Evolutionary Biology or a closely related field is required. Pipetting experience is required. Proficiency in basic microbiology skills such as making solutions, culturing microorganisms, and sterile technique is preferred, but not necessarily required. Ideal candidates would have strong interests in linking experimental data with theoretical and conceptual models, but experience with mathematical models is not required. Applicants should have demonstrated knowledge of concepts and theories related to species interactions, with preference for mutualistic interactions. Strong publication record is also necessary.

Application Instructions:

Please apply online with your resume, cover letter and list of three references.

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date.

Salary Range: Commensurate with experience

This is a non-union exempt position. This is a grant funded position with a current end date of May 30, 2023, subject to renewal contingent on funding and university needs.

All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

UMass Boston requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to confirm proof of their vaccination status including booster. Exemptions from the vaccine requirement will be permitted only for qualifying religious or medical reasons. Regardless of vaccination status, you must wear a face covering in public indoor spaces on campus.

Applications close: 17 Jun 2022 Eastern Daylight Time


Working at University of Massachusetts Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston is nationally recognized as a model of excellence for urban public universities. The scenic waterfront campus is located next to the John F. Kennedy Library, with easy access to downtown Boston. 

The second-largest campus in the UMass system, UMass Boston combines a small-college experience with the vast resources of a major research university. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students easily interact with professors because most teaching occurs in small class sizes. Ninety-three percent of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their fields.

UMass Boston’s academic excellence is reflected by a growing student body of nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university’s eight colleges offer more than 100 undergraduate programs and 50 graduate programs. The University Honors Program serves 300 students who thrive on intellectual challenge. Enriched courses probe more deeply into theory or venture further into application.

UMass Boston’s diverse student body provides a global context for student learning, and its location in a major U.S. city provides connections to employers in industries such as finance, health care, technology, service, and education, offering students opportunities to gain valuable in-school experience via internships, clinicals, and other career-related placements.

More than 100 student organizations — including clubs, literary magazines, newspaperradio stationart gallery, and 16 NCAA Division III sports teams — offer a rich campus life. Students live throughout Greater Boston and in apartment communities just steps from the campus, and enjoy the rich amenities, cultural attractions, and educational opportunities that make the city the biggest and best college town in the nation.

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