A Postdoctoral Scholar position is available in the Rodriguez-Verdugo lab in Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine

We are seeking a highly motivated and independent postdoctoral scholar to work on an NSF-funded project investigating the role of cross-feeding interactions in the formation of new species in microbial communities. Using a two-species consortium composed of Acinetobacter johnsonii and Pseudomonas putida, the successful candidate will (1) assess the conditions promoting phenotypic and genotypic divergence by evolving species under lab conditions; (2) characterize fitness tradeoffs and test frequency-dependence selection; and (3) assess coevolution and divergence by tracking the fate of adaptive mutations in populations. To achieve this, the candidate will employ a combination of experimental evolution, physiological assays, whole genomes and population sequencing, and reciprocal invasion experiments.

The postdoc will work directly with Dr. Alejandra Rodriguez-Verdugo (https://faculty.sites.uci.edu/verdugolab/) in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Irvine. The successful candidate will work in a dynamic, inclusive, and collaborative research environment to advance the field of microbial ecology and evolution. There will be opportunities to mentor graduate and undergraduate students. The initial appointment will be for 2 years.

Application due date: Postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to apply by February 16, 2023, but the position will remain open until filled.
Start date: Flexible, ideally between April 2023 – June 2023.

The primary responsibilities of this position include:

  1. Conducting laboratory experiments (~40%), including evolution experiments, physiological assays (e.g. growth performance assays, biofilm assays…), and competition fitness assays.
  2. Analyzing data (~25%), including physiological and sequencing data, using R and Matlab, among others.
  3. Writing and presenting research results (~25%) Draft and submit manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals: present results at professional meetings, conferences, and seminars.
  4. Student mentoring (~10%) Mentor undergraduate and graduate students in related research.

Qualifications: The successful candidate is expected to have a PhD. in the following or related fields: microbial ecology, evolutionary biology, molecular microbiology, and ideally, will have experience in microbial experimental evolution, synthetic communities, and whole genome sequencing.

For more information about this position, contact Dr. Alejandra Rodriguez-Verdugo at alejanr1@uci.edu.

Qualified candidates should submit 1) a Cover letter indicating research interests, previous research experience, and fit with the advertised position, 2) curriculum vitae, and 3) Contact information for three references to the following on-line recruitment URL:


Salary range: The salary range for this position is $55,632-$66,600. The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by experience level. See Postdoctoral Scholar Scale for the salary range. “Off-scale salaries”, i.e. a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated experience, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.

The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.