Postdoctoral Position in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California Los Angeles Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
United States


Job #JPF06082

Recruitment Period

Open date: January 4th, 2021

Next review date: Thursday, Feb 4, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Feb 28, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Postdoctoral position: Hawaiian plant phylogenomics, systematics, and historical biogeography

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Zapata Lab, University of California, Los Angeles


We are hiring for a NSF-funded postdoctoral research position.The research will join the lab of Dr. Felipe Zapata, located in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The Zapata Lab studies questions in evolutionary and comparative biology integrating field biology, natural history collections, genomics, and computational biology. Learn more about the Zapata Lab at

The postdoctoral researcher will use available collections supplemented by collaborative fieldwork in Hawaii to perform molecular work for phylogenomic analyses to study the systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, and ecology of one dozen largely unsequenced clades of Hawaiian endemic plants. The research will advance the systematics of understudied Hawaiian plant groups as well as inform the biogeography and evolution of the Hawaiian flora using new phylogenetic models for historical biogeography. The postdoc will have opportunities to mentor undergraduate researchers, to teach at computational biogeography workshops, publish first-author articles, and present at national conferences.

The postdoctoral researcher will also interact regularly with other collaborators on the project, including Dr. Michael Landis (Washington University in St. Louis-WUSTL), Dr. Nina Rønsted (National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii), Dr. Warren Wagner (Smithsonian Natural History Museum), Dr. Bruce Baldwin (UC Berkeley), and Dr. Will Freyman (23andMe). In addition to this position, the team will recruit a postdoctoral researcher to be hired by WUSTL, who will develop inference methods for modeling historical biogeography, lineage diversification, and paleogeographical dynamics in the Bayesian phylogenetic modeling framework, RevBayes ( Both postdocs will be in close contact to validate and inform theoretical models with empirical data. A third postdoctoral position based at NTBG in Hawaii focused on plant systematics of a selection of the twelve lineages will be advertised later and could be an extension of the position in the Zapata lab at UCLA.


Candidates must hold a PhD in biology, evolution, systematics, or a related field, and have a track-record of publishing research in phylogenomics, preferably with a strong botanical interest. The applicant must have significant experience in wet lab techniques for genomics, preferable with plants and non model systems. Relevant techniques include DNA extraction from difficult/limited tissues and taxa (from fresh, silica dried, and herbarium samples) and library preparation approaches. Previous experience with the Angiosperm 353 technique is preferable, but not required. In addition, the candidate must have demonstrated experience with standard bioinformatics practices in phylogenomics including familiarity with Unix-based Operating Systems, use of high performance computing environments, and analysis and manipulation of high throughput sequence data, including but not limited to, quality control, assembly of loci (from enriched libraries and reference-based approaches), and phylogenetics software. Experience with biogeographical analyses is an advantage but not required.


The position is 1 year full-time (~37.5 hrs/wk) with potential for extension up to 2 years and follows the UCLA payscale, starting at $53,460. Intended starting date is May 1st, 2021, subject to covid19 restrictions and potential visa requirements. The candidate must hold a PhD degree at the start date of the position. UCLA offers outstanding benefits, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance ( Los Angeles is a large, multicultural metropolis in Southern California, with excellent access to food, music, art, and nature.


Application review will begin on Feb 1st, and continue until a candidate is hired.

To apply for this position, visit and enter job ID JPF06082. The application will require you to submit (i) your current CV, (ii) a 1-2 page cover letter that briefly addresses your background and research interests, previous research experience and accomplishments, and your fit for this position, (iii) two relevant research papers (preprints, submitted, published, etc.) that you authored, and (iv) contact information for two potential references.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy: (

Please email with any questions regarding this posting.

Job location

Los Angeles, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter
  • Two relevant research papers - Please upload two relevant research papers that you authored (preprints, submitted, published, etc.)
  • Statement of Research (Optional)
  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)
  • Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - An EDI Statement describes a faculty candidate’s past, present, and future (planned) contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion. To learn more about how UCLA thinks about contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, please review our Sample Guidance for Candidates and related EDI Statement FAQ document.
  • (Optional)
Reference requirements
  • 2-6 required (contact information only)

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