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Postdoc Scholar/Bond Lab

Position overview

Salary range: The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at appointment. See Table 23: Postdoctoral Scholar-Employee, Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow, Postdoctoral Scholar-Paid
Direct, Fiscal Year
and Table 23N: Postdoctoral Scholar-Employee, Experience-Based Hourly Rate Minimum, Fiscal Year, Non-exempt. The salary range for this position is $60,000-$71,952 for fulltime. “Off-scale salaries”, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive
conditions, qualifications, and experience

Application Window

Open date: March 6, 2024

Most recent review date: Monday, Apr 29, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Monday, Jul 29, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Bond Lab at the University of California, Davis (UCD) and the Forthman Lab at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) welcome applications for a postdoctoral researcher to focus on a collaborative phylogenomic project of the megadiverse plant bugs (Miridae). The successful candidate will work with a multi-institutional team of researchers, involving the Bond and Forthman Labs, as well as the Weirauch Lab at the University of California, Riverside (lead project institution). The candidate will work closely with Ph.D. students and undergraduate interns to complete projects sponsored by a recent NSF award. Opportunities to develop complementary research questions and proposals with the project team will be encouraged. Considerable field collecting within the western US and in South Africa will take place throughout the position. The candidate will also participate in scientific outreach programs at CDFA and UCD to promote scientific discovery, agriculture, and biodiversity for public audiences of all ages. Note that this position will primarily take place at the California Department of Food and Agriculture Plant Pest Diagnostics Center (PPDC) in Sacramento, California.
We are seeking a candidate with previous leadership and collaborative experiences, excellent communication and organization skills, a positive attitude, and motivation for learning new skills and knowledge. Prior research experience in systematics, evolution, phylogenetics, biodiversity, and/or entomology is also important.

Project description:
This collaborative project will focus on the evolution of Miridae, a megadiverse and understudied insect family known as plant bugs. While most plant bugs are phytophagous with a limited host plant range, the group also includes predatory, mycetophagous, and zoophytophagous lineages, making this group economically important as crop pests and beneficial predatory insects. Plant bugs are extremely speciose in Mediterranean-type regions, including the California Floristic Province (CA-FP) biodiversity hotspot. Despite a substantial biodiversity dataset generated for plant bugs through past NSF-funding, its current utility is hindered by the absence of robustly supported phylogenetic hypotheses, limiting exploration of biogeographic history and host plant evolution. In this project, we will:

  1. Generate a worldwide phylogeny of plant bugs based on ultraconserved element (UCE) data to reconstruct robust tribal and subtribal-level relationships and investigate the temporal and diet evolution of the group.
  2. Investigate the biogeographic history and host plant evolution of Nearctic Miridae, focusing on 12 well-documented clades, and determine the origin of taxa in the CA-FP.
  3. Test if phylogenetic diversity of Miridae in the CA-FP shows similar patterns to those documented for plants and vertebrates.

The postdoc will lead sequence capture and processing for all three aims, and phylogenomic analyses including manuscript preparation for Aims 1 and 2 (in part). Postdoc mentoring will balance research, publications, presentations, grantsmanship, teaching, and outreach. The successful candidate will gain field experience, expertise in mirid systematics, including identifications, NGS and bioinformatics skills, and expertise with phylogenetic and downstream analyses (e.g., divergence dating, biogeography, phylogenetic diversity). The candidate will be involved in teaching a course-based undergraduate research experience class and a True Bug Short Course, as well as co-mentor undergraduate students.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Hold a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology, entomology, or a related field

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)
  • Have demonstrated background in systematics with preference for insect systematics;
  • Have demonstrated skills in phylogenomic approaches from wet-lab procedures to bioinformatics;
  • Show skills in data analysis and scientific writing;
  • Show strong leadership qualities and excellent communication skills;
  • Work well in a team setting across multiple laboratories;
  • Have experience with mentoring students and interest in outreach activities.
Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)
  • Experience generating and analyzing UCE datasets;
  • Experience conducting field work.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
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Job location

Davis, CA