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Post-Doctoral Associate in the Division Science Biology, Selective Coral Breeding, Dr. John Burt

Employer
New York University Abu Dhabi
Location
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Job Details

Description


The Burt Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join our team in a forward-looking project aimed at using innovative breeding techniques to enhance the thermal tolerance of corals. The candidate will lead a selective breeding program to cross heat tolerant corals from the Arabian Gulf, home of the world s hottest coral reefs, with less resilient conspecifics from within and outside of the region to enhance offspring thermal tolerance, and will use the tools of quantitative genetics/genomics and molecular biology to analyze the underpinnings and follow-on implications of these processes. The individual will collaborate with a larger team of researchers investigating related aspects of coral biology (e.g. molecular mechanisms driving variation in thermal tolerance in wild populations; the host-associated microbial assemblage; etc.). 


Located in a region with the highest recorded coral thermal tolerance, NYU Abu Dhabi provides a distinctive platform for research and innovation in coral breeding and research on adaptation to thermal extremes, and our proximity (2.5 hr drive) to more thermally-benign reefs of the Indian Ocean make this an unparalleled setting for comparative research. 


The candidate will operate under the supervision of Prof. John Burt, head of the NYUAD Marine Biology Lab, and will be affiliated with the Arabian Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences (ACCESS), working with a growing team of Post-doctoral Researchers, Research Assistants, and Aquarists/Technicians who are collaboratively investigating the biology of the uniquely adapted corals and other reef fauna from the Arabian Gulf. In the interdisciplinary ACCESS research center, where Burt serves as co-PI, the candidate will collaborate closely with researchers across NYUAD units including ACCESS, the Marine Biology Laboratory, the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB), the Water Research Center (WRC), and the CITIES Center, thus integrating into a diverse and dynamic team with research spanning genomics and molecular biology to ecosystem-level ecology. 


The position will be for two or three years (length depending on the candidate s interest, and potentially renewable depending on performance; funding is available for up to 5 years) and will begin in mid-2024 (between May July, with some flexibility for the right candidate).


Principal Responsibilities:



  • Develop and implement innovative selective breeding programs aimed at enhancing thermal tolerance in coral offspring. This includes strategic cross-breeding of heat-tolerant corals from the Arabian Gulf, a region with the highest recorded coral thermal tolerance, with less resilient conspecifics, both locally and from outside the Gulf.

  • Utilize advanced molecular biology techniques to analyze the genetic diversity and heritability of key coral traits. This involves a deep focus on understanding and maximizing thermal tolerance, stress resistance and other critical physiological traits.

  • Engage in research and application of strategies for heritability and selective breeding. Investigate the genetic inheritance of key traits like thermal tolerance, and design breeding programs that balance enhancing desirable traits with the potential for physiological trade-offs.

  • Collaborate in a team to enhance coral offspring survival, health, and growth throughout their life cycle to support efforts to scale-up larval production and enhance post-settlement success. This includes involvement in all stages from gamete collection, larval rearing, to assessing and improving post-settlement performance. [This will be led/managed by the candidate, but can be supported through engagement of a Research Assistant].

  • Actively collaborate with other Post-doctoral Researchers and participate in research on related aspects of the larger program (e.g. an individual who will be identifying thermally tolerant individuals (for use in this and related studies) and investigating drivers of population-level variation in hosts; another who would collaborate to inoculate larvae/spat with priobiotic treatments and another infecting individuals with varied strains of cultured Symbiodiniaceae, etc.). 


Qualifications


The qualifications and experience serve as the primary criteria for selecting candidates:


Required Education, Certifications, Licensing or Training



  • PhD in biological sciences, evolution, genetic molecular ecology, or a related (must be completed by May 2024)

  • Advanced SCUBA certification, with research-based diving experience


Preferred Education, Certifications, Licensing or Training



  • Experience conducting lab (e.g. aquarium/CBASS) and field-based coral thermal stress experiments

  • Drivers license in home country

  • Boat operator certification would be an asset

  • Scientific Diver (e.g. AAUS) certification would be an asset


Required Work and Related Experience 



  • Experience with coral spawning for experimental purposes is required

  • A track-record of first-author publications relevant to the position

  • Proficiency in lab techniques in molecular biology/genetics

  • Demonstrated competence with statistical analyses/bioinformatics


Preferred Work and Related Experience 



  • Multi-omics experience would be an asset

  • Coding experience (R, Python) would be a strong asset

  • Supervision experience of students and/or research staff


Application Instructions


Applications must be submitted via Interfolio by 12 December 2023; interviews will be conducted over the following two weeks for those selected. The application should consist of a 1-2 page cover letter elaborating the candidate's background, as well as how each qualification criterion is met. Also include a detailed curriculum vitae, including contact information for three references. For any questions, please reach out to Dr. John Burt jb3532@nyu.edu.


Employment is contingent upon successful completion of security, health, and reference checks, among other HR processes. The position is for a two-year fixed-term contract, potentially renewable subject to performance and funding. The compensation package is highly competitive and fully tax-free, including benefits such as housing allowance, annual flights, healthcare, and provisions for dependents, and the candidate will engage in a supportive work environment that has unparalleled opportunities for professional and personal development. Come join our vibrant research team in the Burt Lab, offering unparalleled research opportunities, professional growth, and a rich cultural experience in a dynamic international setting.


About NYUAD:


NYU Abu Dhabi is a degree-granting research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science undergraduate program in the Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Engineering. NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU New York, and NYU Shanghai, form the backbone of NYU s global network university, an interconnected network of portal campuses and academic centers across six continents that enable seamless international mobility of students and faculty in their pursuit of academic and scholarly activity. This global university represents a transformative shift in higher education, one in which the intellectual and creative endeavors of academia are shaped and examined through an international and multicultural perspective. As a major intellectual hub at the crossroads of the Arab world, NYUAD serves as a center for scholarly thought, advanced research, knowledge creation, and sharing, through its academic, research, and creative activities.


EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Employer


UAE Nationals are encouraged to apply.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement


For people in the EU, click here for information on your privacy rights under GDPR: www.nyu.edu/it/gdpr


NYU is an equal opportunity employer committed to equity, diversity, and social inclusion.


Deadline Dec 12, 2023 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time


Company

NYU's agreement with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to create NYU Abu Dhabi is the outcome of a shared understanding of the essential roles and challenges of higher education in the 21st century: a common belief in the value of a liberal arts education, concurrence on the benefits a research university brings to the society that sustains it, a conviction that interaction with new ideas and people who are different is valuable and necessary, and a commitment to educating students who are true citizens of the world. As the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university, NYU Abu Dhabi has been built on the following principles:

  • NYU Abu Dhabi is a research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science college. It draws students from around the world, and prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of our interconnected world.
  • NYU Abu Dhabi equips students for leadership in all arenas of human endeavor. It fosters curiosity, creativity, and critical reflection. At NYUAD, students extend themselves and the frontiers of knowledge.
  • The residential life of students is central to the University's academic mission. Learning takes place across the campus, not only in classrooms, but also in residential houses, through participation in clubs and sports, during informal campus gatherings, and being engaged with the wider community.
  • NYU Abu Dhabi stimulates advanced research. The NYUAD Institute is a major research center. Research is integral to the undergraduate experience at NYU Abu Dhabi, and it will also drive the University's graduate programs.
  • NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York form the backbone of a fully connected global network university. As one of the two major hubs in the global network, NYUAD creates a unique capacity for faculty and students to access the assets of the entire university system.
  • NYU Abu Dhabi advances the city of Abu Dhabi as a magnetic center of ideas and human talent.

Careers

NYU Abu Dhabi consists of a highly selective liberal arts and sciences college and a world center for advanced research and scholarship — integrated with each other and connected through technology to NYU New York.

Together, NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York form the backbone of a unique global network university that equips students for leadership in all arenas of human endeavor by fostering curiosity, creativity, and critical reflection.

NYU Abu Dhabi is a central component of Abu Dhabi's vision of becoming a leading world idea capital. For its first four years, the University is located in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi. In 2014, it will move to its permanent home on Saadiyat Island, where it will be joined by neighbors including the Guggenheim, the Louvre, the Zayed National Museum, and a world-class performing arts center.

In working for NYU Abu Dhabi, you will help to build the world's first truly global university and research institute. The University's faculty and staff come from around the world, and the first class of students, who arrived in the fall of 2010, is one of the most geographically diverse student bodies on the planet. To date, NYU Abu Dhabi's staff alone is comprised of individuals from more than 30 different countries. For NYU Abu Dhabi, creating a culture of inclusion contributes not only to our success, but also to the richness of the talented staff that we can attract. When you join us as an employee, we look forward to learning more about your culture and seeing things from your unique viewpoint.

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