Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

Application for the Gerstner Postdoctoral Scholars program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Now Available! Deadline: December 13, 2021

The American Museum of Natural History seeks highly qualified applicants for a postdoctoral position for its Gerstner Postdoctoral Scholars program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. In addition to seeking outstanding applicants pursuing comparative biology research through computational and bioinformatics methods in the broad range of disciplines noted below, the 2021-22 application cycle also includes a special call for applicants who want to pursue aspects of comparative biology research relevant to human health or biomedicine.

Successful applicants will pursue independent and collaborative computational research in areas such as evolutionary genomics, spatial bioinformatics or biodiversity informatics, phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genetics, or high-throughput phenomic/phenotypic evolution studies. Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (GSB&CB) also will contribute to the design, development and implementation of new algorithms and other bioinformatics tools that are customized for Museum research and address emerging big data issues in phylogenetic and comparative biology analyses. In association with their professional development and contributions to the Museum, a portion of each Scholars’ efforts will include teaching and workshops (with the Richard Gilder Graduate School and Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics) and assistance to Museum scientists and students with their bioinformatics and computational biology research through participation in the Museum’s Bioinformatics Core Team.

The initial appointment will be for one year, potentially renewable for one to two additional years based on performance, and includes a highly competitive salary and generous benefits.

Requirements: Applicants must have a PhD in the biological sciences, bioinformatics, comparative biology, computational biology, computer science, evolution/ecology, genomics, molecular biology, or a related discipline, with substantial experience in the computational analysis and bioinformatics of large biological data sets. Proficiency in Python and/or R is required, and familiarity with other languages, such as C++/C is desirable. Candidates should have skills in genome informatics and/or processing phenomic, transcriptomic, or phylogenomic datasets. Candidates should have extensive research experience with a solid publication record, and excellent interpersonal, writing, and problem-solving skills.

Applicants are encouraged to contact potential research mentors/collaborators in advance to develop a research statement (see: RGGS Faculty List or RGGS Faculty Search). This program encourages applications from scholars with research interests that may have broad implications for such themes as advancing our understanding of the evolution and diversity of species and the "tree of life," genomics, and/or human and medical research. In addition, this year’s recruitment also includes a special call for applicants who want to pursue comparative biology research relevant to human health or biomedicine, with and contributing to the AMNH Bioinformatics Core and other AMNH colleagues to investigate the molecular biology of emerging pathogens; infectious diseases and their vectors; virology; and epidemics and public health; including collections-based work where relevant. Further information on the Gerstner Scholars program and prior Scholars are at GSB&CB Program and Prior GSB&CB.

Application Deadline: Monday December 13, 2021. Applications must be completed by 11:59pm, Eastern Standard Time.


Required Documents:

1.   Cover Letter - indicating your interest, experience, and qualifications for the position

2.   Research Prospectus - provide a 150-word summary abstract AND a short (2-4 page, including figures, if relevant) prospectus of the type of research project(s) and bioinformatics-computational biology tools you propose to develop during the postdoctoral appointment; also specify potential research mentors you have contacted, if relevant. (Note: 1-2 additional pages are permitted for references cited in the prospectus. All abstracts and references are in addition to the 2-4 page limit).

3.   CV and Names of References

4.   2 Academic Letters of Recommendation - letters of recommendation are required from people knowledgeable about your work (exclusive of AMNH curators).

5.   Publications - Files of up to five recent publications, or other documentation of relevant accomplishments in bioinformatics/computational biology.

For assistance with the application process, you may contact [email protected]

DUE DATE for all materials: Monday December 13, 2021.

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. Additional protections are afforded in employment based on arrest or conviction record, status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses, unemployment status, and credit history, in each case to the extent provided by law. The Museum’s Diversity Statement and Reasonable Accommodation procedures are available at: 

Current Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

Dr. Kevin Deitz

Research Interests: Evolutionary and population genomics, speciation, vector biology

Ph.D.: Texas A&M University, Department of Entomology. " Population genomics, hybrid sterility, and gene expression in the Anopheles gambiae species complex". 2017


Alumni Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

Dr. Victor Sojo

Research Interests: Origin of eukaryotes; origin of life; evolution of lipids and membrane proteins in archaea, bacteria and eukaryotes; bioinformatic and computational analyses of horizontal gene transfers across the three domains; unravelling the tree of life.

Ph.D.: University of London - University College London (UCL), Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment;: "Membrane bioenergetics at major transitions in evolution". 2016

Dr. Marcelo Gehara

Research Interests: Population genetics; Bioinformatics; Molecular Ecology; Speciation; Comparative Phylogeography

Ph.D.: Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany; “Molecular Analyses of Neotropical Amphibians”. 2013

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, Department of Biological Sciences; “Studying Within-Host Viral Evolution Using Pooled Next-Generation Sequencing Data”. 2016

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

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

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


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