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The Center for Conservation Biology in the Biology Department at the University of Washington is seeking a highly qualified data analyst who will analyze genetic and related data to address complex forensic and research problems. A major part of this position involves use and optimization of our custom software for genetically assigning geographic origin to forensic samples. Excellent statistical and bioinformatic skills are highly desired along with knowledge of multiple programming languages that interact with our existing software architecture, as well as scripting and computer programming in languages such as R, C++, Python, Perl, SQL and JAVA. Experience in the application of machine learning is also desired.
The Center uses innovative field and laboratory techniques to non-invasively study and monitor a wide variety of wildlife populations around the world. Our primary forensic projects use microsatellite DNA fragment and sequence analyses to identify the locations of major elephant and pangolin poaching hotspots across Africa over time. We also use these tools for sample matching to link transnational criminal organizations to multiple large ivory shipments. Our main wildlife monitoring programs examine: (a) impacts of wolf recovery on the distributions, diets, microbiome and physiological health of sympatric predators and prey in Washington state and (b) impacts of prey loss, toxin and vessel traffic exposure on orca and baleen whales in the Salish Sea. The Center works closely with state, federal and international governments, law enforcement, and non-government organizations. More information about our program can be found at: http://conservationbiology.uw.edu/.
Investigate how to integrate and interpret diverse data sets collected over large spatial scales with highly varied error components and develop data collection, storage, and analysis instruments for integrating and interpreting these diverse data sets (15%).
Develop and apply tools for processing and analyzing a wide variety of applications, including DNA assignment methods for forensic study, resource selection models, and capture mark recapture methods that are not adequately addressed by existing models. Research current limitations in these data sets, determine what additional data are needed to resolve these problems, and design appropriate experiments to test these fixes. Forensic methods include genetic assignment of illegal African elephant ivory seizures using large reference data sets. Resource selection models and mark-recapture models are for geo-referenced scat samples collected by detection dogs over large remote areas (35%).
Design, develop and maintain various relational databases and systems programming for a diverse array of data types. Our center deal with low template forensic and wildlife samples that require substantial redundancies in data processing and frequent comparison between multiple runs. Samples are analyzed for DNA, hormones and toxins, looking for inter-relations with ecology and human disturbance. This requires more flexible relational databases than are currently available (10%).
Participate in developing, implementing and maintaining new workflows for Next Generation Sequencing in a high throughput DNA sequencing lab (5%).
Conduct statistical analyses using standard and advanced statistical techniques on a wide variety of genetic, ecologic and physiologic data (5%).
Prepare results for reports, publications and/or presentations (5%).
Lead continued development of the infrastructure for the assemblage of data and computer models. Here, the candidate will work with graduate students (2), post-doctoral students (1) and staff (2) (10%).
Contribute to research study design including methodology and analysis for grant proposals (5%).
Auditing and Compliance: Data are entered by the lab technicians or the Research Consultant, cross-checked for accuracy and then analyzed by the developed software. Data are reviewed by the Consultant and the PI for accuracy and understanding and then prepared for final presentation by the Consultant (10%).
BS in bioinformatics, genetics, computer sciences, biostatistics or related field.
Minimum of 3 years’ experience working with next-generation sequencing data and relevant tools for bioinformatics analysis, in either a professional or academic setting.
Solid understanding of genetics, computer programing and biostatistics.
Ability to utilize computational tools in common scripting languages (e.g R, C++, Python , SQL Perl and Java)
Experience working with high performance computing.
Ability to manage projects and solve problems independently.
Excellent collaboration skills with interdisciplinary teams.
Strong written and oral communication skills.
MS, PhD., or foreign equivalent, in bioinformatics, genetics, computer sciences, biostatistics or related fields.
Experience working with command line-based software for genetic analysis and next-generation sequencing protocols (e.g. BWA, GATK, SamTools, BCFtools and shell scripting).
Knowledge of laboratory information systems (LIMS) design and implementation
Knowledge of ecological software such a Capture Mark Recapture and Resource Selection Probability Function
On occasion, it will be necessary to respond immediately to urgent questions from the P.I. and other managers if problems arise that impact the work flow or deadlines for the Center - these are not uncommon and occasionally require that extra hours be worked on a given day.
Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
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