We’re hiring a researcher (part-time)!

The Global Change Biology research group (https://pinsky.marine.rutgers.edu/) in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources is searching for an organized, enthusiastic, and skilled population genomics researcher. This position is half-time (19.5 hours per week). We use population genomics and data science to study global change biology, particularly in coastal marine environments. Collaborative projects address bats, bees, and wildlife biology research on land and in the ocean.

The researcher will coordinate the population genomics lab, manage research projects locally and nationally, maintain and promote open science practices, and assist with building a collaborative and supportive research environment for all members. Specific duties may include genomic sampling above and below water; building DNA and RNA libraries; developing and applying bioinformatic pipelines; performing population genomic and related analyses; performing other data science and statistical analyses; documenting work performed; maintaining databases; developing information and editorial input for research papers; and resolving a diverse range of problems with creativity. The successful candidate will manage operations of the lab and the procurement, operation, and maintenance of specialized equipment. The researcher will also teach, train, and supervise students on laboratory processes and equipment so that molecular ecology tools are available to researchers across the Department and the graduate program. The researcher will coordinate research; plan, establish, and refine protocols; prepare reports; manage grant funds; and act as a point of contact for both internal and external constituents. The researcher will complete work independently, with broadly defined work objectives and will be a key partner in maintaining a world-class research group.

We offer a collaborative, supportive, and interdisciplinary work environment, opportunities to be involved in a wide range of research projects, extensive opportunities for learning and professional development, and the expectation of co-authorship on scientific manuscripts. We value a healthy work-life balance and anti-racist practices.

Work environment will primarily be a molecular ecology lab and an office. Fieldwork will be infrequent but may be diverse, remote, physically challenging, or involve international travel. Sample collection could involve SCUBA diving or hiking. Work may require lifting 30 pounds.

We acknowledge that the land on which we stand is the ancestral territory of the Lenape People. We pay respect to Indigenous people throughout the Lenape diaspora—past, present, and future—and honor those that have been historically and systemically disenfranchised. We also acknowledge that Rutgers University, like New Jersey and the United States as a nation, was founded upon the exclusions and erasures of Indigenous peoples.


This is a one-year, half-time position. Pay will be $25-$30 per hour (depending on experience) for 19.5 hours per week. Start date is flexible, but close to September 1, 2022 is preferred.

Knowledge and Experience

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a related scientific specialty or discipline, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience that demonstrates comprehensive knowledge and understanding of research principles and practices.
  • Experience building population genomic libraries, developing bioinformatic pipelines, and conducting population genomics analyses is preferred but not required.
  • Computer literacy in R and a commitment to open science practices.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and strong ability to accomplish tasks independently
  • Scientific diving experience is preferred but not required.


To apply, please please send a cover letter that describes your interest in and qualifications for the position, a curriculum vitae, and the contact information for three references to Malin Pinsky (malin.pinsky@rutgers.edu). Please combine all components of the application into a single file, and include “Molecular Ecology Researcher” in the subject line. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

Please contact Malin Pinsky (malin.pinsky@rutgers.edu) with questions.

Two perspective pieces in Science

A snippet of the second article, coauthored with Alexa Fredston.
Crab photo: Pascal Kobeh/Minden Pictures.

Malin has coauthored two new perspective pieces in Science.

The first, with Nina Therkildsen of Cornell, highlights the underappreciated effects of fishing on evolutionary dynamics within (and among) exploited species. The second, with Alexa Fredston, discusses the stark choice we face between runaway climate change and a likely marine mass extinction on the one hand, and a much less consequential 2 degree rise in global temperatures on the other.

The second article was picked by the Washington Post, Inside Climate News, and National Geographic.

A visitor! The lab welcomes Jem Baldisimo.

The Pinsky Lab is very excited to host Jem Baldisimo this week! Jem is a PhD student in Kent Carpenter’s lab at Old Dominion and part of the Phillipines PIRE project. She’s visiting as part of an RCN for Evolution in Changing Seas research exchange program. During her visit, Jem will interact with lab members and learn more about various population genomic analyses, particularly computational techniques for investigating population structure and genetic diversity. She hopes to apply those skills in her own research, which involves (among other things) looking at how the aquarium trade has impacted fish populations in the Philippines.

Pictured in the photo (left to right): Brendan, Jem, Kyra, Rene, & Marial.

Part-Time Lecturer position open for Molecular Ecology and Population Genomics, Spring 2022

We are currently looking for someone interested in teaching Molecular Ecology & Population Genetics in spring 2022 (11:216:454 and 16:215:554). This is the course Malin has taught the last few years, and we have funds to pay a Part-Time Lecturer for 3 credits (about $5800). This is a wonderful change to gain teaching experience in a small class setting (capped at 25 students). The course is set up as a flipped classroom, so the lectures are already recorded and the in-class exercises are already developed. The course can be taught in person, online, or in hybrid formats.

Knowledge of population genetic theory, hands-on population genomic analyses through the command line, and basic bioinformatics would be needed to teach this effectively.

Please contact Malin (malin.pinsky@rutgers.edu) for more information.

Jennifer Hoey defends her PhD!


Dr. Jennifer Hoey successfully defended her PhD dissertation, “Adaptation and evolutionary potential in light of anthropogenic stressors in the ocean” on May 11th, 2020! It was by videoconference, with audience members calling in from literally all over the world. Jennifer’s research on evolutionary patterns in summer flounder has already been published in two papers, Hoey et al. 2018 Evolutionary Applications and Hoey et al. 2020 Molecular Ecology, with a third on the way. Jennifer has also done incredible science outreach work as part of the Science Partnership Committee within the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). She has become a vital part of not only our lab, but the entire Rutgers Ecology & Evolution community through her work with the graduate program, outdoor activities, dining, art and more. She will be sorely missed as she moves on to a postdoc at UC Santa Cruz. The biggest congratulations and thank you to Jennifer on behalf of the entire Pinsky lab and DEENR!

Postdoc available in population genomics and global change

A three-year postdoctoral position is available in the Global Change Ecology & Evolution Lab at Rutgers University. The postdoc will join a NSF PIRE-funded project to study micro-evolutionary responses to a century of habitat degradation and intensive exploitation in Southeast Asia. The project is using DNA sequencing from a unique historical collection of coastal marine fishes in the Philippines from the R/V Albatross expedition (1907-1909), complemented with modern re-collections of the same species and locations. The postdoc will join a team of researchers that includes Kent Carpenter and Dan Barshis (Old Dominion University), Chris Bird (Texas A&M), Beth Polidoro (Arizona State), Robin Waples (NOAA), Jeff Williams (Smithsonian), Angel Alcala (Silliman U.), and others.

The postdoc will lead analyses of multiple population genomic datasets through time, including changes in diversity and signatures of selection, compare impacts and changes across species, and conduct trait-based analyses to understand characteristics of populations more or less prone to genetic bottlenecks. The postdoc will also contribute to summer population genomic workshops in the Philippines. Extensive opportunities for collaboration across the multi-institutional team, across Rutgers, and in the region are available, including within the Rutgers Genome Cooperative, the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and the Genetics Department. The postdoc will have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate and graduate students.

The position is ideally suited to quantitative researchers with a strong background in population genomics, bioinformatics, data science, and global change. No experience in marine biology required, though experience with population genomic modeling, Approximate Bayesian Computation, database management, and/or hierarchical modeling is a plus. Applicants with evidence of creativity, productivity, strong oral and written communication abilities, and enthusiasm are especially encouraged to apply, particularly those that bring a new perspective, new ideas, or a new skillset to the team. A promising record of publication is valued. The successful applicant will be an independent, motivated problem solver who communicates well and enjoys working in a collaborative setting.

**Position details**
The postdoc start dates are flexible, with preferred dates between May and October 2020. Salary starts at $50,000 per year and includes health insurance, retirement, tax savings plans, and other benefits. Funding for conferences and a computer are available. This is a one-year appointment with the expectation that it will be renewed twice (three years total), contingent upon satisfactory performance. Applicants must have a PhD at the time of employment.

**Application process**
Review of applications will begin on December 16, 2019 and will continue on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should email to malin.pinsky@rutgers.edu: 1) a one­page cover letter that describes their interest in the position and their relevant background, 2) a CV, and 3) the names and contact information for three scientists familiar with their work.

**Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey**
Rutgers is situated in New Jersey at a crossroads of American innovation, commerce, and culture and with a history entwined with that of the nation. Chartered in 1766, the university is the only one in the United States that is, at once, a colonial college, a land-grant institution, and a state university. Located within an easy drive of New York City, there are nonetheless an exceptionally wide array of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems nearby, from the continental shelf and estuaries to barrier islands, coastal plains, the piedmont, Precambrian highlands, and ridge and valley geological provinces. Ecology & evolution at Rutgers consists of approximately 60 faculty and 50 graduate students pursuing research and training in conservation biology, ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology, marine biology, microbial ecology, population and community ecology, population genetics, and restoration ecology.

Malin Pinsky
Associate Professor
Global Change Ecology & Evolution Lab
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08901



Jennifer’s paper published in Evolutionary Applications!

Jennifer and Malin’s paper, Genomic signatures of environmental selection despite near‐panmixia in summer flounder, was released for early-view in Evolutionary Applications. The paper describes how summer flounder are a single population based on many genetic markers, yet the frequency of some genetic markers are associated with their environment, particularly bottom temperature. This suggests that although summer flounder are capable of high dispersal and lots of genetic mixing, spatially variable environmental selection is likely resulting in adaptation to local environmental conditions.

Six presentations at ESA and AFS!

Lots of great presentations this month:

  • Jennifer presented 25 years of changes in population genetic patterns of summer flounder at the Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting in Portland, OR
  • Sarah presented on genomic evidence for evolutionary rescue in little brown bats hit by white nose syndrome, also at ESA
  • Malin gave three talks: how ecology can help meet the UN sustainable development goals, how to teach about climate change (with Rebecca Jordan), and how climate change impacts in the ocean are different than those on land (all at ESA)
  • Becca talked about changing predator-prey interactions as a result of warming in the Northeast US at the American Fisheries Society (AFS) meeting in Tampa, FL
  • Jim presented a detailed projection of marine animal distributions in North America over the coming century (AFS)
  • Allison presented some of her Ph.D. work on eco-evolutionary dynamics in salmon (AFS)

Field season in the Philippines

It is May, and we have a larger-than-usual team this year headed to Visayas State University in the Philippines to continue our research on metapopulation dynamics in coral reef fish. Michelle is leading the tagging and sample collection, Katrina is trying new oceanographic measurement sand field experiments, Allison is getting her first introduction to the system in preparation for modeling efforts, and Malin is helping out all around and catching fish (thanks to training from Tony Nahacky last year). We also have the indispensable help of local assistants Gerry Sucano and Rodney Silvano, plus Apollo Lizano (visiting student from U. Philippines Marine Science Institute). It’s great to be in the water again!

New paper: where did Nemo go?

Photo of orange clownfish courtesy of Simon Thorrold.

Baby fish float on ocean currents. So where do they go? Our paper out this week in Current Biology uses DNA to answer that question for clownfish in Papua New Guinea, and about 20 km is the simple answer. What’s especially exciting is that we show how very common and easily measured population genetic patterns called “isolation by distance” accurately measure the larval dispersal process. We validated our answer against observations of dispersal for hundreds of individual larvae (an incredibly time-consuming endeavor). Our findings help open the door to applying the isolation by distance method to a much wider range of marine species.

This work was the result of an exciting collaboration with Serge Planes, Geoff Jones, Simon Thorrold, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo, Michael Berumen, Michael Bode, and others.