Careers in the Plant Sciences

Graduate Students - MS & PhD

University of Connecticut - Storrs - Storrs, Connecticut, United States

Position Title: Graduate Students - MS & PhD
Position Type: Research Assistant
Application Review Begins: Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Institution: University of Connecticut - Storrs
Department/Division: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Field (e.g., systematics): Population Genetics, Bioinformatics, Plant Genomics
City: Storrs, Connecticut, United States
General Information: The Plant Computational Genomics lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut seeks motivated MS and PhD students to join the lab in the Summer/Fall 2020. Our research focuses on the computational analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data generated by next-generation sequencing platforms from non-model forest tree species. We implement this through analysis related to gene finding, gene expression, transcriptome assembly, and conserved element identification, through machine learning and computational statistics. We use these methods to address questions related to genome biology and population genomics. In addition, we develop web-based applications that integrate BIG data across domains to facilitate the forest geneticist or ecologist’s ability to analyze, share, and visualize their data ( Such integration requires the implementation of semantic technologies and ontologies to connect genotype, phenotype, and environmental resources. We collaborate and contribute to the TRIPAL project (
Qualifications/Requirements: We welcome students from both traditional biology backgrounds as well as more computational ones. Our team is very multi-disciplinary and we collaborate with forest tree biologists around the world.

Excellent written and oral communication, as well as strong quantitative skills, are required. Backgrounds in genetics/genomics, evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, and computer science are desired.
Responsibilities: Potential research topics include 1) development of visualization tools and integration of high throughout environmental data to support genome-wide association studies in forest trees; 2) application of genomic and transcriptomic techniques to evaluate the impact of climate change on tree populations; 3) development of software solutions to improve the characterization of non-model plant genomes (and transcriptomes); 4) interrogation of natural genetic variation across populations in large, complex conifer genomes; 5) application of deep learning frameworks to improve genome annotation; 6) investigation of epigenetics in relation to disease resistance in complex genomes; 7) and your ideas here!
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): Interested candidates should send an email with a research interest statement (~2 pages), a CV/cover letter, unofficial undergraduate/graduate transcripts, and GRE scores to Jill Wegrzyn ( Qualified candidates will be contacted directly for Zoom interviews following review. Select candidates will be invited for a campus visit. Applications will be reviewed starting December 20th.
Compensation Range:
Contact Name: Jill Wegrzyn,