12 Sep 2017

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.

Undergraduate students

The Johnson Lab is accepting undergraduate students interested in any of our research projects. Students interested in plant systematics may be interested in work study opportunities in the E.L. Reed Herbarium. We are particularly interested in how to process “big data” in the context of evolutionary biology, including the efficient processing of high-throughput DNA sequence data and novel methods for data visualization. No prior coding experience is necessary!

Undergraduates in the Honors College at Texas Tech may apply to work with me under the Undergraduate Research Scholars program.

Graduate students

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).

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.

Postdoctoral fellows

We are currently in search of a [Post-Doctoral Research Associate](/blog/PhylogenomicsPostDoc.htmlto continue development of targeted sequencing approaches in plant phylogenomics. Successful candidates will be responsible for conducting molecular biology experiments and developing an open-source code base for efficient processing of high-throughput sequence data for phylogenetics.

We are also 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. For additional funding sources, see our Funding page (coming soon)

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.johnsonobfuscate@ttu.edu

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