- Job Title
- Postdoctoral Research Scientist
- Post Number
- Closing Date
- 4 Nov 2020
- Starting Salary
- £32,255 - £39,345
- Hours per week
- Project Title
- DNA methylation and the evolution of pesticide-resistance genes in aphids
- Expected/Ideal Start Date
- 02 Nov 2020
- Months Duration
Main Purpose of the Job
Be part of a collaborative project examining DNA methylation and the evolution of host adaptation in the green peach aphid (GPA) Myzus persicae. Perform genome analyses of Bisulfite sequencing (BS-Seq) to explore the role of DNA methylation in responding to host change. Analyse RNA-Seq data to identify genes that are differentially expressed / spliced and perform evolutionary analyses of these genes among insect species.
Reporting to David Swarbreck (Head of Core Bioinformatics) and interacting on a daily basis with members of the Swarbreck group. This is a collaborative project co-supervised by Saskia Hogenhout (Project Leader in Plant-Biotic Interactions, Department of Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich) and Cock van Oosterhout (Reader in Evolutionary Genetics, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich). The postholder will work closely with members of the Hogenhout and van Oosterhout groups including a postdoctoral researcher based at the John Innes Centre who will conduct all laboratory experiments. Will liaise with the EI Genomics Pipelines and project management teams regarding sequencing.
Main Activities & Responsibilities
- Run and interpret the results of analysis pipelines for the study of gene expression and epigenetics and apply annotation approaches to improve gene structure and function calls
- Conduct evolutionary genomic analyses
- Analysis of insect genomes including the Green Peach Aphid genome. Perform high-quality annotation of genomic and transcriptomic datasets using annotation pipelines/tools and related bioinformatic techniques
- Communicate progress and data, including reporting progress to the group
- Give presentations, attend conferences, write reports and scientific publications
- Keep up to date with technological and research developments relevant to the project and wider research of the groups involved
- Assist with supervising of PhD students and visiting scientists
- As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post
Education & Qualifications
- PhD in bioinformatics, computational biology or related subject
Specialist Knowledge & Skills
- Significant knowledge and understanding of transcriptomics, genomics or epigenomics analyses
- Familiarity with methods for evolutionary analysis
- Familiarity with programming languages including Perl, R, Linux and/or Python
- Experience with Unix
- Familiarity with Statistics
- Excellent record-keeping and time management skills to work on several different projects at the same time
- Knowledge of large-scale comparative genome analyses approaches
- Experience of working on genomics and transcriptomics data and bioinformatics
- Experience with next generation sequencing (RNA-Seq, DNA-Seq) and large-scale data analysis
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well as part of a team
- Able to communicate with an interdisciplinary group including data analysts, computer scientists and biologists
- Networking and influencing skills and the ability to build effective collaborative links
- Evidence of presenting research findings to internal and external audiences
- Attention to detail
- Promotes equality and values diversity
- Must be able to travel and work a non-conventional work pattern on occasion
- Ability to adapt to new techniques and methodologies
- Willingness to participate in occasional training of other institute members and visitors, and as part of formal training programmes hosted at the institute
Who We Are
Earlham Institute is a vibrant, contemporary research institute and registered charity, working in an area of rapid technological development and innovation.
Earlham Institute is strategically funded by the BBSRC to lead the development of a skill base in bioinformatics and a genomics technology platform for UK bioscience. The Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park, together with its partners: the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The research park has an excellent reputation for research in plant and microbial sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science and food, diet and health, to which Earlham Institute contributes strengths in genomics and bioinformatics. Close links exist between the NRP partners and new opportunities for collaboration in exciting new initiatives are under development. The NRP recently received £26M of government investment to facilitate innovation and further develop infrastructure to attract science and technology companies to the Park to enhance the vibrant environment and realise economic impact from research investment.
Earlham Institute is a UK hub for innovative Bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. This has been boosted recently by an e-Infrastructure grant to expand the data storage capacity to a multi-petabyte unit, deploying a high performance cluster and large-memory server enabling the allocation of processes requiring several terabytes of computing memory.
Earlham Institute’s state of the art DNA sequencing facility operates multiple complementary technologies for data generation that provide the foundation for analyses furthering our fundamental understanding of genomes and how they function. We aim to be at the forefront of technological advances and are developing and implementing technologies to generate and analyse new types of data. We also develop novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational bioscience. Earlham Institute has one fully owned subsidiary, Genome Enterprise Ltd (GEL) via which it offers genomic and bioinformatics services on a trading basis and works with commercial providers on a partnership basis. Earlham Institute also receives specific funding to enable knowledge exchange programmes which are supported across the institute teams.
The Core Bioinformatics Group led by David Swarbreck provides high quality computational analyses of a range of sequence data types and develops software and analysis pipelines that support the Institute's Core Strategic Programmes and National Capability in Genomics and Single Cell Analysis (NCGS). The National Capability provides access to state of the art genomics technologies for research groups throughout the UK as well as delivering sequencing and genomics services to the associated Science Faculty groups and commercial customers. The group is involved in the analysis of sequence data from a wide variety of sequencing platforms and work alongside Earlham research groups to establish new software tools and analysis methods.
Management and Leadership
- Experience of supervising PhD students and visiting scientists
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the group of David Swarbreck (Earlham Institute) in a collaborative project with Saskia Hogenhout (John Innes Centre) and Cock van Oosterhout (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia) to conduct research on a BBSRC funded project studying the population genomics and evolution of host adaptation in a (largely) clonally evolving pest species, the green peach aphid (GPA) Myzus persicae.
The Postdoctoral Research Scientist will undertake innovative research utilising next generation sequencing and functional genomics tools to understand how the green peach aphid Myzus persicae is able to colonize multiple plant species and evolved resistance to a large range of pesticides. The Researcher will be based in the group of David Swarbreck (EI) and interact closely with the groups of Hogenhout (JIC) and van Oosterhout (UEA) on the Norwich Research Park. They will perform genome analysis and annotation, identify genes that are differentially expressed and spliced, correlate this with DNA methylation data and conduct evolutionary analyses of genes among insect species.
The ideal candidate:
The successful applicant will be highly motivated with an interest in insect genomics, various aspects of RNA biology such as (small) RNA sequencing and annotation, be familiar with the analysis of next generation sequencing data and have experience of bioinformatics software, unix and scripting languages. They will work within a larger team and hence good interpersonal communication skills and an excellent track record for reporting, organising and sharing data is required. Data and analyses have already been generated and candidates with good writing skills are likely to be able to publish quickly.
Salary on appointment will be within the range £32,255 to £39,345 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.
The project is for a minimum of five months with a possible five month extension, and the start date is immediate. The genome and transcriptome data for the project has been generated already, and hence, the successful candidate would be able to conduct the bioinformatics remotely, communicating with the research team by MS Teams, Skype or Zoom.
Please note, this post does not meet UKVI requirements to provide Tier 2 visa sponsorship.
As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.