Join the Matzkin Lab

The Matzkin lab is currently looking for dedicated memwelcomebers at all levels:undergraduate students, graduate students (MS and PhD) as well as postdoctoral associates. The nature of our work is quite broad, field-work, life history evolution, physiology, populations and evolutionary genetics, ecological genomics, speciation, transcriptomics, and computational biology, therefore all interested and dedicated applicants are welcomed.



I am currently recruiting a postdoc to work on a recently awarded NSF project on the genetic analysis and life history consequences of variation in larval behavior in cactophilic Drosophila.  I am seeking a highly motivated and creative individual with strong quantitative & evolutionary genetics, molecular and/or computational biology skills to join our evolutionary and ecological genomics lab.  Good writing and communication skills will be required for this position. Prior experience working with Drosophila is not necessary, but a plus. Postdoc will be based at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and will have the opportunity to interact with investigators at the HudsonAlpha Institute.   

 The funded three year project aims to examine the genetic basis and evolution of alternative larval behaviors and ultimately in the long term to understand how local ecological adaptation can lead to the divergence of populations, potentially leading to the formation of new species. The four specific aims of this proposal are:

  1. Assess the transcriptomic nature of the distinct larval behavior strategies among the D. mojavensis populations.
  2. Determine the genetic architecture of larval activity by performing a quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping study.
  3. Generate knockouts and transgenics (exchange alleles between populations) of candidate QTLs using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.
  4. Use the CRISPR-Cas9 knockouts and transgenics to quantify the functional role of the candidate behavior QTLs in an ecological context and examine the life history consequences of variation at these loci.

Additionally, the postdoc will have the opportunity to collaborate on other Matzkin lab projects on the genomics of adaptation and the evolution of reproductive incompatibilities.
The initial appointment will be for one year with the possibility of renewal for a second and third year contingent on satisfactory performance. The earliest start date for this position would be June 1st, 2016.

To apply please submit as a *single PDF*, a 1) cover letter briefly outlining the candidate's fit to the position and future goals 2) curriculum vitae 3) contact information (email and phone) for three references, preferably including doctoral advisor and/or postdoctoral advisor (if relevant) and 4) no more than three relevant publication PDFs.  Link to application site is  Please contact me for more information regarding the project and position.  


Please contact me regarding other possible sources of support (fellowships, grants, etc) for a postdoctoral position. I would glady support and work with you on a proposal. Below is a list of possble sources of postdoctoral funding:


Graduate Students

Perpective graduate students interested in any aspect of our research should contact me before applying to the program (either MS or PhD). I am currently accepting both MS and PhD students to the lab. The MS program is based in the Department of Biologial Sciences (click here for more information). The Department of Biological Sciences is also a member of the Biotechnology Science and Engineering PhD program (click here for more information). Currently funding is available through Graduate Teaching Assistanships, but it is limited, so please contact me early in your application process. There are many additional sources of funding for graduate students, please see the list below:


Undergraduate Students

The success of the lab has always been dependent on the work of our undergraduatestudents. Involvement in research as an undergraduate is an important component of an undergraduate's education. It allows students to see the process of science and in many instances it effects your career goals. In fact it is my research experience as an undergraduate at UC Irvine which largely fueled my desire to be an evolutionary biologist. The lab is always looking for dedicated students, not experience necessary. Please contact me if you would like to join.

Department of Biological Sciences