Opportunties to Join the Johnson Lab
Despite the URL, we are interested in phylogenomics of all plants, not only mosses!
The Johnson Lab is accepting applicants at all levels! Our lab is broadly interested in plant phylogenomics– using the phylogeny to ask questions about the evolution of plant genomes. We are interested in any group of plants, but we often work with bryophytes. As a result of often working on non-model organisms, we are frequently adapting existing bioinformatics tools to work more efficiently for non-model organisms.
Prospective scholars at all levels should check out our Publications and Projects pages to get an idea of the current research going on in the lab. Applicants of diverse backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply, including women and members of underrepresented minority groups. Texas Tech recently received designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution, and we welcome young Hispanic scholars at all levels!
All members of the Johnson Lab are expected to follow the Code of Conduct.
The Johnson Lab is accepting undergraduate students interested in any of our research projects. Student projects generally fall into three areas:
- Working with specimens in the E.L. Reed Herbarium.
- Laboratory projects (DNA extraction, PCR, electrophoresis).
- Bioinformatics projects (working with high-throughput DNA sequencing data).
Within each of these project areas, students can get involved in several ways:
For BIOL4100, students are expected to participate in data collection activities for an average of 2-3 hours per week. Activities may include preparation of herbarium specimens, digitization of collections, and participation in Herbarium group events (lab meetings, outreach events, etc).
For BIOL4300, students are expected to conduct an independent project that typically spans two semesters. In each semester, students prepare a “final product.” Previous final products have included research papers, detailed protocols, poster presentations, data visualizations, and computer programs. Projects will usually take 8-10 hours per week on average, though it is flexible week-to-week.
Interested students should contact me (matt.johnson
@ttu.edu) for further questions.
The lab is currently accepting graduate students for both the Masters and Doctoral track. Students interested in the interface between plant evolution and genomics or the development of new bioinformatics methods for phylogenomics, are encouraged to apply. Some examples of the kinds of questions we are hoping to address in the lab:
- What genomic events (i.e. gene/genome duplications) are associated with major phenotypic shifts in plant evolution?
- How has genetic diversity changed in natural populations over time?
- How can we efficiently analyze high-throughput DNA sequence data for phylogenetics?
The most important considerations for graduate school will be prior academic transcripts, statements of research interests, and a brief informal interview (e.g. Skype/Zoom).
More information about applying to grad school at Texas Tech can be found on the TTU Biology Website. The Texas Tech Biology Department has a rolling admissions deadline, but applicants should ideally contact me before the end of October for enrollment the following fall semester.
We are willing to sponsor potential post-doctoral fellows through programs such as the National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellows in Biology, the Ford Foundation or the L’Oreal Women in Science fellowship programs.
Prospective post-docs should send a cover letter that includes the names and contacts for three references and a short statement of research interests, along with a current CV to matt.johnson
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