Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

The American Museum of Natural History seeks highly qualified applicants for its Gerstner postdoctoral fellowship program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Successful applicants must be able to work effectively in applying innovative techniques to pursue independent and collaborative bioinformatics and computational research in integrative studies of genomics or spatial bioinformatics or biodiversity informatics, alongside faculty and other researchers interested in phylogenetics, phylogeography, evolutionary studies, and phenomics (the use of high-throughput computational methods to analyze morphological, physiological, and other phenotypic form and function). Fellows will also participate in the design, development and implementation of new algorithms, bioinformatics tools and infrastructure and computational methods to facilitate genomic assemblies and analyses, as well as developing methods to catalyze ongoing synthesis of phylogenetic information and address ‘big data’ issues from a computational perspective.

A portion of each Scholar’s efforts also will include: 1) teaching, training and workshops, 2) research collaboration with and assistance to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students, and other Museum colleagues in accessing computation resources, including data storage, retrieval, and assembly; and 3) maintaining software and related resources.

The initial appointment will be for one year, potentially renewable for one to two additional years based on performance.

Requirements: Applicants must have a PhD in Biological Sciences, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Computer Science, Molecular Biology, Genomics, or a related discipline, with experience in computational biology, bioinformatics, creating databases and computational pipelines, and analysis of large biological data sets. Proficiency in programming and scripting required (ideally Python, Perl, and R), and familiarity with other languages, such as mysql, C++/C, or Java, is desirable. For bioinformatics and computational biology tool development, candidates should have documented skills in various areas of expertise, such as next-generation sequence processing (quality screening and error correction), de novo and reference guided assembly for non-model eukaryotic whole genomes and transcriptomes, read mapping, gene annotation and discovery, and/or processing phenomic, transcriptomic, and phylogenomic datasets. Experience in a bioinformatics setting and in operating and maintaining high performance linux/unix servers preferred. Candidates should have extensive research experience with a solid publication record, ideally with some experience in phylogenetic methods, and excellent interpersonal, writing and problem-solving skills.

This Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of the Gerstner Family Foundation.

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Notice of Non-Discrimination

The American Museum of Natural History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The Museum does not discriminate with respect to employment, or admission or access to Museum facilities, programs or activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, marital status, partnership status, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, current or former participation in the uniformed services, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin, or on account of any other basis prohibited by applicable City, State, or Federal law. If special accommodations are needed in applying for a position, please call the Office of Human Resources. Inquiries or complaints regarding any form of harassment, discrimination or retaliation may be directed to Dan Scheiner, Vice President of Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, and EEO Coordinator at or 212-769-5109, or Kala Harinarayanan, Senior Director of Environmental Health & Safety, Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Deputy EEO Coordinator at or 212-769-5226. Individuals may also file complaints, as applicable, with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which has its regional enforcement office at Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 32 Old Slip, 26th floor, New York, NY 10005-2500, 646-428-3900, or and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, located at 33 Whitehall Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 10004, 800-669-4000.

Current Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology


Dr. Martine Zilversmit

Research Interests: Evolutionary biology, statistics, and bioinformatics to explore genome evolution in eukaryotes, using malaria parasites as a model.

 Ph.D.: Harvard University, Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; “Recombination and Genome Evolution in Plasmodium falciparum”. 2007

Dr. Chase Nelson

Dr. Chase Nelson

Research Interests: Bioinformatic, population genetic, and geographic information systems approaches for studying therapeutically relevant and theoretically informative evolutionary processes, chiefly utilizing within-host viral, cancer, and human immune allele data.

Ph.D.: University of South Carolina, Dept. of Biological Sciences; “Studying Within-Host Viral Evolution Using Pooled Next-Generation Sequencing Data”. 2016

Dr. Robert Harbert

Dr. Robert Harbert

Research Interests: Using spatial bioinformatics and primary biodiversity data to study plant community ecology, species distributions, and biogeography and paleoclimate of the American Southwest during and following the terminal Pleistocene glaciation.

 Ph.D.: Cornell University, School of Integrated Plant Science, Section of Plant Biology; “The intersection of climate and niche: Likelihood estimation of modern and past climate using plant biodiversity”. 2016

Alumni Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology


Dr. Matthew Aardema

Research Interests: The relationship between selection efficacy, host range and effective population size in butterflies and bacteria.

 Ph.D.: Princeton University, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; “Natural Selection in Lepidoptera Across Biological Scales”. 2015