University of Washington – Bothell — Postdoctoral Scholar, Biological Sciences, Zaneveld Lab

The Zaneveld lab at the University of Washington Bothell, in collaboration with the Global Coral Microbiome Project, would like to hire a postdoctoral scholar to test hypotheses about the relationship between coral innate immunity, disease susceptibility and the coral microbiome. This position is expected to begin October 1, 2020. However, both the start date and physical relocation date are negotiable in light of the ongoing SARS-Cov2 pandemic.

Over the past several years, the Global Coral Microbiome project has sampled diverse tropical reef-building corals in order to study the evolution of coral-microbe symbiosis. This has resulted in >1440 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries across 126 species of corals. In combination with available coral genomic data, these studies uncovered an intriguing potential connection between coral innate immune repertoire and microbiome diversity. However, existing coral genomes are insufficient to fully explore this hypothesis. Therefore, this work involves using a genome skimming approach to profile innate immune genes from 128 species of coral already represented in the GCMP dataset using the Illumina NovaSeq platform. These innate immune gene profiles will then be correlated against microbiome structure (accounting for phylogeny) to test competing hypotheses about how and whether innate immunity shapes the coral microbiome.

For more details about the work, please contact Jesse Zaneveld at Opportunities for postdocs to participate in career development workshops, to mentor undergraduate researchers, to present research at conferences, and to develop their own research ideas within the framework of the grant will be provided.

The Zaneveld lab is in the Biological Sciences Division in the School of STEM at University of Washington Bothell. UW Bothell is a primarily undergraduate institution that is about 12 miles northeast of Seattle and the main UW campus. The student body of UW Bothell is quite diverse and many students are the first in their families to attend college. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with these students on their research projects. The Zaneveld lab is committed to ongoing and self-critical work to provide an excellent educational and research environment for all of our students and postdocs, regardless of their race, gender, class, nationality, physical ability, religion, age, or sexual orientation. We recognize that science and the lab community are richer when diverse people participate.

Term of appointment: This position is a full-time, 12-month (one-year) appointment that may be extended up to a maximum of three years. The ideal start date is October 1st, 2020. The Postdoctoral Scholar title is limited to five years, including postdoctoral experience(s) at UW and other institutions.

Postdoctoral Scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website.


  • Prepare GCMP DNA samples for NovaSeq sequencing
  • Develop genomics workflows to establish the innate immune profiles of sequenced cnidarians from genome skimming data
  • Iteratively test and refine molecular and computational genome skimming methods using an already sequenced Cnidarian as a gold-standard reference
  • Maintain all project analyses as reproducible and open-access workflows (e.g. Jupyter Notebooks on GitHub)
  • Test the associations between innate immune profiles and existing microbiome data for the GCMP samples
  • Work collaboratively with Global Coral Microbiome Project partners (e.g. in the Medina, Vega Thurber, Lamb, and McMinds labs) to coordinate analysis
  • Prepare results and lead efforts for writing peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific conferences
  • Work collaboratively with other lab members, including undergraduate researchers from diverse backgrounds

Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD (or foreign equivalent) in computational biology/bioinformatics, microbiology and/or evolutionary biology
  • Competency in computational biology and bioinformatics (especially genome assembly and analysis and microbiome analysis)
  • Experience writing and publishing manuscript(s) that report original research and presenting such research at conferences
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds


  • Experience analyzing genome sequence data
  • Experience analyzing microbiome data using packages like QIIME2

Instructions/How to Apply:
Applicants should submit a current CV, a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position, how it will help your career, and highlighting your qualifications; and a statement describing your experience and interests in working with diverse people.

All applications must be submitted through Interfolio. For more information about how to apply for this position see:

The University of Washington Bothell is one of the most dynamic public universities in the state of Washington. We offer a participatory student experience grounded in hands-on learning, close relationships with faculty members as teachers and mentors, and the personalized support of staff who are dedicated to student success. The academic work of the campus focuses on cross-disciplinary research and creative practice, connected learning, and community engagement. UW Bothell’s current enrollment is approximately 6,000 students. More than 90 percent of undergraduates are from Washington State, and approximately half are first-generation college attendees or come from underrepresented groups. Located along wetlands and a river north of Seattle, UW Bothell builds vibrant regional partnerships, creates and disseminates new knowledge, and prepares students for leadership throughout Washington and beyond.

Diversity is a core value of University of WA Bothell. We believe the power of diversity enriches all of us by exposing us to a range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions. To learn more, read our Diversity Statement.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:
University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.