28 Sep 2017

The Johnson Lab at Texas Tech University is looking for Ph.D. or Masters students interested in plant phylogenomics and/or bioinformatics to start Fall 2018. Our lab is motivated by a central question in evolutionary biology: what influences the origin and maintenance of plant biodiversity? Research in the lab integrates field work (collection and field experiments), wet lab (tissue culture, high-throughput DNA/RNA sequencing), and computational analysis to test hypotheses about genome evolution in non-model organisms at both deep and narrow timescales. Topics currently being studied in the lab include:

  • Phylogenetic systematics using hundreds of nuclear genes via targeted sequence capture (HybSeq).
  • Identifying genomic events (gene/genome duplication, changes in molecular evolution) associated with key innovations in plant evolution.
  • Optimization of HybSeq using herbarium specimens.
  • Identifying the hybrid origin of polyploid species through targeted sequencing.
  • Development of novel bioinformatics tools for sequence analysis and visualization.

We are especially interested in students who would like to employ herbarium specimens in their research. The E.L. Reed Herbarium in the Biological Sciences building contains 20,000 plant specimens including an important collection of the vascular plants of West Texas. Students interested in bioinformatics, genomics, and data visualization are also encouraged to apply. More information about the Johnson lab can be found at: www.mossmatters.com

Requirements: (1) Bachelor’s degree in biological or computer sciences or related field; (2) interest in integrating wet lab, field work, and computational skills; (3) ability to work both independently and collaboratively; and (4) effective communication skills, necessary for both teaching and for sharing results through papers and presentations at scientific meetings. For Ph.D. applicants, prior research experience is preferred but not required.

The lab has financial support for multiple students through a combination of research and teaching assistantships, including summer support. Interested students should first contact Matt Johnson at matt[DOT]johnson[AT]ttu[DOT]edu .

Deadline for applications The Texas Tech Biological Sciences Department has rolling admissions, but students who wish to be considered for scholarships or fellowships must apply by January 15, 2018 for enrollment in Fall 2018.

Texas Tech University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and I welcome applications from qualified persons regardless of nationality, race, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or age. Texas Tech recently received designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution, and we are excited to support Hispanic scholars.

More information about applying for graduate school at Texas Tech can be found here: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/biology/graduate/graduatestudies.php

Matthew G. Johnson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences Director, E.L. Reed Herbarium Texas Tech University E-mail: matt[DOT]johnson[AT]ttu[DOT]edu