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Community Board

Public·156 members
Anya P.
Attendee 2024
Trainee Chapter

Post-Doctoral Position in Canine Behavior & Genetics @ Cornell

Many thanks to Dr. Heather J. Huson for submitting this opportunity.

The Duffield Institute for Animal Behavior at Cornell University seeks a Post-Doctoral Associate to study canine behavior and genetics. This position will work in the laboratory of Dr. Heather J. Huson, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Cornell University.  Dr. Huson’s research strives to improve animal health and performance by improving our understanding of genetic regulation and selection.


Position Summary: The Post-Doctoral associate, as a member of the Duffield Institute, will work in collaboration with a diverse team of basic, translational, and clinical researchers to improve our understanding of canine behavior and genetics in dogs. Research will include phenotypic data compilation from various working/service dog groups with subsequent statistical and genomic analysis aimed at better understanding behavior traits related to success in working/service dogs and cognitive dysfunction in aging dogs and identifying related genetic factors.  Genomic data may span the use of targeted sequencing, whole-genome SNP profiles, whole-genome sequence data, and potentially DNA methylation and CNV analysis.  The post-doctoral associate will assist in the development of new collaborations and related research projects in this field of research as well. 


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  This research will span multiple traits and working dog groups with an initial assessment of the total data and then a detailed investigation of prioritized traits. In conjunction, this position will assist in the collaborative research of cognitive dysfunction in aging dogs. At least one new project will be initiated requiring input and initiative in the development and implementation of that project. The Post-Doctoral associate will also provide mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students within the lab in areas of statistical and genomic analysis.  The incumbent is expected to perform the following duties (all in collaboration with team leadership and members):

  1. Collect phenotypic measures (behavior, performance, health) on dogs

  2. Assist in biological sample processing for genomic analysis and long-term storage

  3. Perform statistical analysis of phenotypic data

  4. Perform quality control, data management, and general handling of genomic data

  5. Perform genomic association studies and fine mapping to identify associated loci and markers

  6. Interrogate whole genome sequence data for variant identification and association

  7. Communicate research methodology and results orally and in written format for scientific presentations and publications

  8. Mentor other team members in statistical and genomic analysis

  9. Assist in other laboratory projects in animal genetics when needed


*Reasonable experience in many of these duties is expected and should be expressed in the candidate’s application and resume, the incumbent will receive internal and external training opportunities to develop their skill set. 


Appointment term: This is a full-time (40hr/wk) position and will be located in Ithaca, NY.  This is a 1 year appointment with potential renewal for a 2nd year pending candidate performance and productivity.  Future funding will be pursued given candidate and project progress.


Required Qualifications:

  1. Ph.D. in Quantitative, Molecular or Population Genetics, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Animal Science or other discipline with relevant training in genetics and statistics

  2. Ability to analyze SNP and whole genome sequence data for association studies and variant detection using programs such as PLINK, Golden Helix, or R

  3. Statistical and bioinformatics skills using programs such as R, SAS, PEARL, or similar.

  4. Willingness to handle dogs for data collection.  Specific training for safely handling canines will be provided. 

  5. Capable of independent research, multitasking, and working in a collaborative atmosphere both within and outside the laboratory. 

  6. Ability to communicate with the team and advisor and to conduct oneself in a respectful professional manner are absolutely essential. 

  7. Expertise in computer software applications for database management, spreadsheets, word processing and statistical analyses.

  8. Excellent analytical skills, including experience handling large phenotypic and genomic datasets.


Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Experience with behavior characteristics, preferably in dogs

  2. Laboratory experience in DNA extraction, amplification, imaging, and sequencing



To apply: Submit a letter of intent, current CV, 3 reference contacts, and a publication of your prior research to . For additional information or questions, please contact Dr. Heather Huson (  Applicant may be asked to submit letters of reference at a later date.  Review of applications will start June 15, 2024 and remain open until suitable applicant is found.  


Preference will be given to candidates with a strong publication record, evidence of substantial research productivity, and ability to successfully communicate scientific information. Potential for collaboration on other lab projects (cattle, goat, and wildlife) is also available.  


Cornell University, located in Ithaca, New York, is an inclusive, dynamic, and innovative Ivy League university and New York's land-grant institution. Its staff, faculty, and students impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas and best practices to further the university's mission of teaching, research, and outreach. (


Cornell University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer.

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