Two postdoc positions on host-symbiont interactions available in Meghan Duffy’s lab at Michigan!

Two postdoctoral positions focusing on host-symbiont interactions in lake zooplankton are available in Meghan Duffy‘s lab at the University of Michigan. The successful candidates for these positions will be expected to carry out independent research relating to Daphnia-symbiont interactions in inland lakes. The overall project involves characterizing the diversity of symbionts associated with Daphnia (especially microsporidian symbionts), understanding interactions between symbionts that infect the same host, and uncovering the food web-level consequences of parasite outbreaks in inland lakes.

While there is some flexibility in exactly what each position will entail, two major themes are likely:

  • Theme 1, led by one postdoc: Molecular analysis & characterization of the diversity of microsporidia and other symbionts infecting Daphnia, as well as attempts to culture those symbionts in vivo and in vitro.
  • Theme 2, led by a second postdoc: Studies of the ecological dynamics of Daphnia­-symbiont interactions, including analysis of impacts of symbionts on food web processes.

The work will also likely involve studies aimed at uncovering mechanisms underlying shifts between parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism.

Research will involve using Daphnia and their symbionts as a model system, and will involve a combination of field work and lab experiments and analyses.

  • For Theme 1, experience in mycology, microbiology, and/or protistology is expected. Preference will be given to candidates with experience culturing symbionts from the wild or experience working with unculturable or fastidious microbes. This work will be done in collaboration with Prof. Tim James (UMich EEB).
  • For Theme 2, experience in disease ecology, population ecology, community ecology, food web ecology, and/or ecosystem ecology is expected. Experience working with Daphnia or plankton would be beneficial, but is not required.

More information on the Duffy Lab can be found at:

More information on the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan can be found at:

The start date for this position is somewhat flexible, but preference will be given to applicants who can start by July 2020. Funding is available for at least 2.5 years, but is contingent on satisfactory progress in year one. Interested individuals should send a CV, a brief description of research and professional goals, and the names and contact information for 3 references to Meghan Duffy by e-mail (

Review of applications will start on 10 March 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer.

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