Postdoctoral Fellow

The Carlson Lab at Georgetown University is hiring a postdoctoral fellow as part of the new Verena NSF Biology Integration Institute (, a 5-year endeavor to synthesize the rules of host-virus interactions from molecular to planetary scales. The Verena Postdoctoral Fellow will be based in Washington, D.C starting as soon as Fall 2022, and will develop a research program on climate change and viral emergence. 

Project aims include: (1) testing for and measuring recent, climate-linked geographic range shifts in key viral reservoir and vector species; (2) attribution of disease dynamics to climate change and other anthropogenic impacts on large-scale wildlife disease prevalence; and (3) exploring the predictability of zoonotic spillover based on large-scale One Health surveillance data, including risk assessment for pre-emergence pathogens. Policy- and practice-oriented research is a key goal of the project, including support for innovative model-guided approaches to early detection and outbreak containment.

As part of the Verena Institute, the Fellow will join a vibrant community of researchers, educators, and students, including a cohort of other Verena Fellows at collaborating institutions.  The fellow will participate in Verena activities, such as the Verena Lighthouse Learning Community and Verena Integration Workshops, which will provide exciting opportunities for collaborative learning, professional development, interdisciplinary research, and networking. Fellows will also have an opportunity to develop skills in teaching (including as part of a new Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience) and research mentorship within the lab.

Candidates from backgrounds not traditionally represented in academia are especially encouraged to apply! Our top priority is building a supportive and collaborative community. Please reach out with any questions.

For best consideration apply by November 15! Send cover letter, CV, and contact information for two references to [email protected]

Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Requirements: a PhD in biology, environmental science, or a related field; a working familiarity with data science and quantitative research in R; a strong interest in team science approaches; and an eagerness to co-develop research in collaborative settings.

Some tools and skills that often come in handy in our group include: climate data wrangling (netCDF to usable format); ecological niche modeling; econometric approaches (e.g., panel regression, Granger causality, instrumental variables); GIS and geospatial visualization; machine learning; network analytics; policy analysis; sequence data representations (e.g., seq2vec, genome composition bias); and spatially-explicit regression models (e.g., R-INLA). We welcome applicants with prior experience and/or eagerness to learn any combination of these. (Also: no researcher has mastery of every single one of these methods; that’s why collaboration is vital to our work!)