Prospective Researchers


Undergraduate students are welcome to join my lab and participate in work in a number of aspects of my research program. Such work would provide opportunities for learning bacterial culture, field ecology, computer modeling, experimental infections, and molecular techniques, as well as exposure to experimental design and data analysis. Participation in lab meetings and general enthusiasm for the subject matter is expected. If you are interested, contact me.


Students interested in working on the ecology and evolution of disease causing organisms are welcome to contact me regarding graduate work. Prospective graduate students with the intention of working in my lab can apply to either the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group (CAMB) in the School of Medicine or the Biology Graduate Group. I entertain graduate student projects involving evolutionary biology and ecology, regardless of the study organism; although projects within my areas of expertise are more likely to quickly yield results. Students joining the lab generally begin by taking part in an ongoing project in my research program to gain research skills and experience. Graduate students will develop their own research project for their thesis and direct their own research program more independently. If you are interested in doing graduate work in my lab, contact me by email.


We are  searching for a postdoctoral researcher to enable microbial population genomics by advancing the selective whole genome amplification (SWGA) protocol development pipeline. Microbial population genomic research is often hindered by the practicalities of obtaining samples with sufficient amounts of relatively pure microbial genomic DNA for next-generation sequencing. The goals of this project are to reduce the technical barriers that currently prevent researchers from collecting populations of whole genome sequences from microbes by developing an efficient selective whole genome amplification (SWGA) development pipeline that can create SWGA protocols to rapidly and cheaply amplify the genome of any focal microbial species, even if the focal microbial genome constitutes only a miniscule fraction of the sample (which often contains contaminating DNA from the host and other organisms). For more information on SWGA, see:

The main duties of the postdoctoral researcher will be designing and troubleshooting advanced molecular tools, processing and analyzing next generation sequence data including quality control and bioinformatics, and interfacing with computer scientists to identify criteria that can improve protocol efficacy. The ideal candidate should have experience designing and troubleshooting advanced molecular protocols, working with genomic data, and have enthusiasm for evolutionary based questions. This post is part of a larger project on the population genomics of microbial pathogens that includes researchers at Penn and other universities around the world.
The Department of Biology has a long-standing tradition of maintaining an integrated research and educational program across all basic biological sciences including Ecology and Evolution, Plant Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Genomics, and Neuroscience. The Department values interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and collegiality, emphasizing Life in its Natural Context. The University of Pennsylvania has a strong group of evolutionary biologists that frequently interact with each other and with an accomplished group of microbiologists in the Medical and Veterinary schools. Unlikely many universities, the proximity of the medical, veterinary, and arts and science schools are centrally located on the Philadelphia campus, which promotes a cross-talk and collaboration. The University of Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Salary is commensurate with experience based on the NIH guidelines.
To apply, please send (1) a cover letter outlining your previous experiences that make you suited for this position as well as your research, training, and career goals, (2) CV, and (3) Contact information for 3 references via email to