PhD Assistantship – Population Genomics of Urban Raccoons

North Carolina State University; North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Raleigh, NC
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
25,000 per year + tuition remission + benefits, additional opportunities with teaching
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Kierepka Laboratory combines genomic and bioinformatic analyses to investigate the effects of environmental heterogeneity on wild animal populations. We focus on multiple questions within these interests including landscape effects on gene flow, spatial mark-recapture of elusive species, detection of cryptic evolutionary lineages, and how human-dominated landscapes influence contemporary evolution. For this position, the PhD student will lead an evolutionary and population genomics study of urban raccoons across the United States. This project aims to elucidate how raccoons adapt to urban environments within and outside the eastern rabies endemic zone. The position will involve extensive laboratory work (DNA extraction, PCR, and genomic library preparation) as well as bioinformatic analysis of whole genome sequencing. Field work will be very limited. The student will be housed in the Forestry and Environmental Resources Department at NCSU as well as at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The museum offers numerous opportunities for outreach and science communication in beautiful downtown Raleigh. The student will also have opportunities to explore their own research questions in conjunction with the project. This position is fully funded for 5 years. North Carolina State University is an R1 institution located in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is located approximately two miles from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Raleigh is a vibrant city within the world famous Research Triangle and offers numerous attractions including a thriving restaurant and brewery crowd, William B. Umstead State Park, numerous bike and walking trails, museums, and open air markets. Diversity and inclusion are a high priority in my lab; I highly recommend all interested applicants contact me directly prior to applying to the graduate program. To apply for this position, please submit a letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for three potential references as a single pdf document to Dr. Liz Kierepka ( Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. Applications will be evaluated as they arrive, but final deadline is October 20, 2021. Interviews will begin in early November.
M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology, Genetics/Genomics, Zoology, Biology, or related fields. Interest in pursuing genomic questions in wildlife is a must; the majority of work is laboratory-based for projects in my lab. Previous experience with genomic or genetic methods methods including DNA extraction, PCR, general wet laboratory skills, and genomic analysis are desirable. Although familiarity with bioinformatics and molecular techniques are desirable for this position, previous experience in all areas is not required. Please do not self-select yourself out of applying.
Contact Person
Liz Kierepka
Contact eMail
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