Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Genomics

USDA-ARS and University of Missouri
USDA-ARS Genomics Unit at the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture / MU Division of Animal Sciences
United States MO Columbia


A postdoctoral research opportunity is available with the Genomics Unit at the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture (NCCCWA), located in Leetown, West Virginia in collaboration with Dr. Christine Elsik from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). The appointment will be physically located in the Animal Sciences Research Center at the MU campus in Columbia, Missouri.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

The mission of the NCCCWA is to enhance the nation's aquaculture production of cool and cold-water fish species by developing improved germplasm and technologies that increase farm efficiency, product quality, and environmental sustainability. Research encompasses genetics, genomics, physiology, aquatic animal health, and aquaculture engineering.

Research Project: The selected candidate will conduct research contributing to our team efforts to develop a pan-genome reference for salmonid species. This will be done by developing a bioinformatic pipeline for genome annotation and use it to annotate protein coding genes in genome assemblies from several lineages of different salmonid species, including Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. In addition, the selected candidate will use the annotation of the genomes for in-silico functional comparative genomics between genetic lineages within species and between species. 

Learning Objectives: The participant will gain useful experience in developing and running bioinformatic pipelines for eukaryotic genome annotation and comparative genomic analyses. The research will be done under the mentorship of experienced leaders in the fields of genome annotation in agricultural animals and genomics of aquatic species.

Mentor(s): The co-mentors for this opportunity are Drs. Yniv Palti ( and Guangtu Gao from USDA and Dr. Christine Elsik from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). Please contact Dr. Palti if you have questions about the nature of the research. The appointment will be physically located in the Animal Sciences Research Center at the MU campus in Columbia, Missouri. The participant will collaborate with the Elsik group which has extensive experience in genome annotation and will have opportunities to interact with others on campus working in genomics, bioinformatics and research computing.

For examples of recent published genome assemblies from the USDA group see bioRxiv: and G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics: The Elsik group has recently developed AquaMine, a data mining system that integrates genome assemblies and gene annotation data for aquatic eumetazoan species of importance to US aquaculture and fisheries, with the goal of enabling researchers to create customized annotation datasets integrated with their own data.

Lab Websites:
Elsik Lab at MU:


The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in a relevant field or be currently pursuing the degree and will reach completion by the start date of the appointment. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:
• Proficiency in scripting languages (e.g., perl, python, bash)
• Experience with open-source bioinformatics tools
• Experience with genomic data and high throughput sequence analysis
• Experience with Linux/Unix and HPC
• Strong computational and analytical skills
• Strong communication skills in speaking and documented writing ability

Start date

As soon as possible

How to Apply

Apply Online


Yniv Palti