Sasha bio photo


PI of the Ecology and Evolution Unit


We’re hiring! There are two different postdoc jobs available, one for a molecular wizard to expanding our historical sample analysis capabilities, and another our bee behavioral genetic initiative. The descriptions are below:

Molecular wizard

Are you excited about the untapped potential of next-generation sequencing? Do you enjoy making new tools for molecular biology? If so, this postdoc if for you. The Ecology and Evolution Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) is looking for someone to drive the development of novel techniques for high-throughput molecular and bioinformatic population genomics analysis of non-model museum specimens. Our goal is to make reproducible and affordable tools for using historical material to study microevolutionary patterns. To this end, we are particularly focused on developing reduced representation sequencing techniques for samples with small amounts of heavily degraded DNA. We have a fully funded (for five years) laboratory with state of the art equipment. A MiSeq down the hall lets you prototype your constructs. A couple of floors down, a high-powered sequencing center can give you massive data yields, which you can analyze on one of the world’s top cluster computers.The postdoc will have opportunities to interact with researchers from other disciplines, and will involve mentoring rotation students and interns, as well as additional opportunities to contribute to graduate teaching.

Behavioral genetics guru

Are you interested in the genetic architecture of behavioral traits? Do you have experience in quantitative trait mapping, or setting up insect behavioral experiments? If so, this job will be an excellent opportunity to develop your existing skills and acquire new ones. The Ecology and Evolution Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) has recently started a fully funded multi-year project dissecting genes involved in social behavior, using honey bees as a model system. The major goal is to use computer vision to characterize individual behavior, and to understand genes that underly behavioral traits. Although our principal work is on bees, we are open to the possibility of hiring someone unfamiliar with this system, and even having the postdoc work part-time on the study system of their choosing.

For both jobs:

Contract: The postdoc will have a two year term with potential for renewal. Salary depends on the number of years since Ph.D. but ranges from 4.4 to 5.2 million yen (approximately 40 - 50 thousand US$). In addition, there are housing and commuting allowances. Relocation costs will be covered for successful candidates. While we prefer that you start some time in late August, some flexibility is possible.

About OIST: Though located in Japan, OIST is a highly international graduate university with English as its lingua franca, and students, faculty and research staff from around the world. Knowledge of Japanese is not required for work at OIST, or for life in Okinawa. OIST has a dynamic multicultural environment, and is an equal opportunity employer.

Requirements: A Ph.D. program completed by July 2016, with a track record of previous publication, as well as relevant research experience. Due university-level restrictions, only candidates within five years of their Ph.D. are eligible to apply to this position.

To apply: Please send a letter of interest, and a CV to After an initial screening over Skype, successful candidates will be asked to provide a writing sample, two letters of reference, and invited for an on-site interview in Okinawa to take place in June 2016, with all expenses for travel and accommodation paid for by the Ecology and Evolution Unit. Applications are due by May 20th, 2016, with Skype interviews to take place later that week.