Senior Researcher - Population Genomics

Inverness, Highland
£42,367 - £47,334 per annum
27 Aug 2019
16 Sep 2019
Subject Area
Contract Type
Full Time

Inverness College UHI is a key partner in Scotland’s newest University, the University of the Highlands and Islands. As a tertiary institution, the College delivers the further and higher education provision in this part of Scotland. Inverness College UHI delivers one of the widest ranging curricula in Scotland at all levels from basic vocational skills to university Masters Degrees and Doctorates. Delivery takes advantage of the newest technologies; online, blended and face to face learning. The university is growing, Inverness College UHI is growing, our reputation and commitment to becoming a centre of excellence in learning and teaching is intensifying, and we need highly astute and educated professionals to join us on our journey.

The Rivers and Lochs Institute (RLI), Inverness College UHI, seeks a Senior Researcher in the field of molecular population genomics. Reporting to the RLI Director, the successful candidate will take over management and oversight of an existing portfolio of research projects on the use of genomic technology in the sustainable management of freshwater biodiversity, including leading the supervision of PhD students. Working with the RLI Director, they will also work on the strategic development and sourcing of funding for infrastructure and new projects in this key area of freshwater science, ecology and biodiversity management.

The successful candidate will lead a small team of post-doctoral researchers, post-graduate students, and technical support staff within the RLI working on the application of molecular markers to the genetic characterisation of population level biodiversity and its detection, using a range of methodologies. The central focus of the research is on advancing understanding on the nature and extent of direct and indirect genetic impacts on populations of factors such as exploitation, interactions with aquaculture, aquatic invasives, water pollution and climate change. Current work relates primarily to fish biodiversity but the team’s remit is to extend the taxonomic scope of its work to the broader aquatic community. The team also contributes population genomic expertise to projects in the marine and terrestrial sectors working in collaboration with other UHI research groups.

The work of the RLI has a strong emphasis on the Highlands and Islands biogeographic region, but extends to the rest of Scotland and the Holarctic generally. At a regional and national level, the RLI collaborates and has strong links with the freshwater management sector including local fisheries Trusts and Boards as well as regulatory agencies (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Marine Scotland Science), water industry (Scottish and Southern Electricity) and aquaculture companies.

RLI genomics work is supported by its state-of-the-art Biodiversity Management Applied Genomics laboratory including a MiSeq Nextgen sequencer and a dedicated eDNA sample processing room, high speed Linux server for data processing, and field study support laboratory, vehicles and boats.

The successful candidate will have a strong record in the development, management and completion of various research projects and in the publication of peer-viewed papers in the field of molecular population genomics. Their project management experience needs to encompass scientific, financial and personnel management. They should also bring to the job a high level of knowledge and expertise in the use of R and R packages for population genetic analysis, experience in programming including Linux and other languages such as Python, as well as in bioinformatics more generally. They also need to bring significant laboratory experience using PCR, Nextgen sequencing, qPCR, in microsatellite and SNP discovery, marker screening, and DNA barcoding and meta-barcoding, the latter in the context of eDNA analysis. Previous experience of working with fish, and particularly salmonids, is highly desirable but not essential but preference will be given to those with a background in and experience working with aquatic organisms.

For informal enquiries regarding the nature of the position, contact:

Professor Eric Verspoor ( or Dr Melanie Smith (

Please apply via the link.