If you are interested to join the laboratory, do contact us about opportunities for postdoctoral research, graduate studentships and undergraduate research experience.

Postdoctoral Position Available

Evolution of Metabolic Cooperation in Insect-Microbial Symbiosis

A NSF-funded postdoctoral position on animal-microbial interactions is available immediately to investigate metabolite exchange between symbiotic bacteria and their hosts.  The research will use xylem-feeding insects to investigate (1) how the metabolic networks of the interacting organisms are integrated, including network properties that may increase metabolic cooperation and reduce conflict among the partners; and (2) the contribution of systems-level variation in network properties to the functional variation among symbioses involving bacteria with genetically equivalent metabolic capabilities. The research involves metabolic modeling, including metabolic network reconstruction and flux balance analysis, together with genome/transcriptome sequencing and metabolite analysis; prior experience of working with genomes is essential, and experience of metabolic modeling and/or symbiotic associations is strongly preferred.

Applications from candidates with a PhD in a biological discipline should be sent by email to Dr Douglas (  Please include a CV and details of three referees.  The covering letter should include an explanation of how your qualifications and experience make you a good candidate for this position.  To ensure full consideration, all materials should be received by May 12, 2014; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

 Informal inquiries are welcome. 

Graduate Studies

Students with an interest in symbiosis, nutritional physiology and the immune responses of insects are especially encouraged to contact us.  Applications can be made through the Graduate Field of Entomology, Graduate Field of Genetics & Development, or the Graduate Field of Microbiology, with excellent funding opportunities. 
We aim to offer a broad training, providing the opportunity for students to experience independent research and team-working, and enabling them to follow their own research goals.  Specific research skills provided include genomics, molecular and whole-organism physiology, experimental design, and statistics.  We have weekly lab meetings, and students are encouraged to attend regular discussion groups across campus (e.g. Symbiosis Group, Gut Group, Ecology & Evolution of Infection and Disease Group, Plant-Insects Group,... and more) and regular seminars in the Department and across campus. 
To discuss opportunities further, do contact us.  The annual deadline for applications to enroll in the fall of each year is early December of the previous year.  You are recommended to contact us well before the deadline.


Undergraduate Opportunities 

Working in a research lab is excellent experience for students intending to enroll into graduate school or take up a career in research.  We regularly have opportunities, especially for students interested in symbiosis, how insects work or in applying bioinformatics tools to biological problems.  Previous experience is not required, but it is essential you are motivated to learn, reliable and have initiative.