Research Associate in Environmental Microbial Genomics: UK

The Ecosystems and Global Change Group led by Prof Andrew Tanentzap at the University of Cambridge is seeking a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA). The PDRA will join a new project funded by the Canada-Inuit Nunangat-United Kingdom Arctic Research Programme. The project seeks to develop a community-led wildlife health monitoring programme for Nunavik with a highly multidisciplinary team of 14+ Inuit, Canadian, and UK researchers, including anthropologists, epidemiologists, and veterinarians. The PDRA will interact with this larger team and receive additional supervision from Prof James Wood.

The primary goal of this post is to develop and validate novel techniques to detect wildlife diseases at a watershed-scale using eDNA/eRNA. The PDRA will be responsible for co-designing sampling approaches with Inuit partners and embedding in local communities to sample drainage waters across Nunavik. In the lab, they will use state-of-the-art genomics approaches to estimate the presence and abundance of known pathogens of concern. These estimates will be validated with targeted qPCR assays on tissue samples collected from a range of keystone Arctic species (e.g., caribou, ptarmigan, seal, beluga Arctic char) by local hunting and trapping associations. Using the sequencing data, the PDRA will also identify gene transfer events and emerging zoonosis risks.

A key objective of the project is to build long-term capacity in Inuit Nunangat research in accordance with the National Inuit Strategy on Research. The PDRA will therefore develop online training materials in bioinformatics and deliver a short course at the end of the project on the analysis of genetic sequence data at the Nunavik Research Centre.

The post can start immediately, and funds are available for up to 36-months subject to satisfactory completion of a 6-month probationary period. Salary ranges from £33,309 to £40,927 per year.

The successful candidate must have a proven track record of publication in leading peer-reviewed journals, ideally demonstrating innovative approaches in the study of eDNA/eRNA. They will have a PhD in microbial genomics, bioinformatics or a related subject. A track record of engagement with community-led science, and some experience with developing training materials, is highly desirable.

Questions about the post should be directed to Prof Andrew Tanentzap (

Apply here by the 13 May 2022.

More information and apply
Share this opportunity