Curator, Professor, and Director of Comparative Biology Initiative Position at the American Museum of Natural History

Interesting …

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to announce a search for a new senior scientific and leadership position (Curator, Professor, and Director of Comparative Biology Initiative) at the American Museum of Natural History. Please pass the attached posting along to anyone you think might be interested; applications and nominations are both encouraged.

Thank you,

John J. Flynn

Frick Curator, Professor, and Dean of the Richard Gilder Graduate School

On behalf of the AMNH Senior Curator-Director Search Committee

Senior Search:

Curator, Professor, and Director of Comparative Biology Initiative

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York invites applications and nominations for an outstanding scholar at the Full Curator & Full Professor level with internationally-recognized research and leadership credentials, and demonstrated, ongoing high-impact research productivity and grantsmanship, to provide innovative leadership for a new museum-wide initiative in comparative biology. This initiative will incorporate the work of multiple investigators at the Museum and at collaborating institutions in genomics (including eukaryotic [including microbial] genomics, metagenomics, phylogenomics, transcriptomics, etc.), phenomics (large-scale phenotypic analysis) and bioinformatics/computational biology, aimed at understanding the evolution and relationships of organisms in ways that clarify and illuminate the architecture of life. The successful candidate for this position should show experience and interest in managing large–scale, interdisciplinary, collaborative, multi-institutional projects and is expected to qualify for and be appointed as a tenured full curator in either the Division of Invertebrate Zoology or Vertebrate Zoology, and as a full professor in the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the AMNH. We seek a creative, active, broad-based researcher and dynamic academic leader who interacts well with others and who will utilize the extensive resources the Museum has to offer in the way of collections, research instrumentation and laboratories, interactions with Museum colleagues and collaborations with area organizations (including the New York Genome Center, area universities, New York Botanical Garden, and others), teaching and mentoring, exhibition, and public education.

We particularly seek applications from, or nominations of, candidates with a compelling vision for the future trajectory of their science, and for comparative biology in general, and whose research addresses fundamental, cross-disciplinary questions. In addition to the above-noted expectations for high productivity and grantsmanship, the successful candidate will have outstanding communication skills in engaging diverse communities and demonstrated capabilities in management of collaborative projects and decision-making. Experience in interacting with governmental and non-governmental agencies and in fundraising are highly desirable, as are collection-based, field-based and/or computational research. Other responsibilities or opportunities include advising graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, offering courses in the Comparative Biology Ph.D. Program of the Museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School, institutional service, development activities, and participating in Museum-sponsored exhibits and educational programs.

In addition to applications, we invite recommendations or nominations of potential candidates, and request that these include a resume and contact information for the nominee. Nominations or applications can be submitted to seniorcuratorsearch. Applicants should submit the following materials electronically, preferably as PDF files, via a single email message to seniorcuratorsearch (Subject line: 2015 Senior Curator IZ-VZ Search Committee: your name): 1) a cover letter in which you indicate your interest, experience, and qualifications for the position; 2) a curriculum vitae; 3) PDF files of up to five recent publications; and 4) names and contact information for five referees who can comment on leadership, scientific and other skills and accomplishments noted above (to be contacted by the Museum only at the time of arranging an interview or for the process of tenure review in the case of a potential appointment). Inquires should be directed to John Flynn, Chair of the Search Committee and Dean of the Richard Gilder Graduate School: dean-rggs. Applications or nominations should be received by April 2, 2015.

Employer Information:

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education and exhibition. The Museum’s research collections include more than 33 million natural history and cultural objects, and AMNH scientists undertake more than 100 expeditions annually. Science at the Museum includes five academic divisions, the Richard Gilder Graduate School, Sackler Institute of Comparative Genomics, 1 million specimen-capacity Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, high performance computational facilities, Microscopy and Imaging Facility, Southwest Research Station, the largest independent natural history library in the Western Hemisphere, membership in the New York Genome Center, and an array of other scientific facilities and resources.

The American Museum of Natural History is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer. The Museum encourages Women, Minorities, Persons with Disabilities, Vietnam Era and Disabled Veterans to apply. The Museum does not discriminate due to age, sex, religion, race, color, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other factor prohibited by law.

If special accommodations are needed in applying for this position, please contact the Office of Human Resources at hrdesk or 212-768-5108.

Senior curator-director job ad final for posting 2-17-15 .pdf

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UC Davis Postdoctoral Research Symposium May 14


May 14th 2015
Memorial Union, UC Davis

We invite all UC Davis postdoctoral researchers to register for a 10-min talk or a poster. Awards will be given to the best talks and posters.

Deadline for abstract submission: March 27th

The entire campus community is welcome to attend for free. Lunch is provided for registered participants.

Register at


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Teaching with Wikipedia 3/13 at #UCDavis

Teaching with Wikipedia

Friday March 13, 2-3pm

165 Shields Library (Shields Library Instruction Lab,


Students use Wikipedia — but have you ever thought of asking them to contribute content to Wikipedia? In this short workshop, LiAnna Davis and Jami Mathewson from the Wiki Education Foundation ( will explain best practices for using Wikipedia as a teaching tool. In contributing content to Wikipedia, students gain skills in media literacy, fact-based writing, research, collaboration, and critical thinking. You’ll learn how Wiki Ed can support you and your students in this innovative service learning assignment.

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Seminar at #UCDavis 3/11 4PM: Biogeography and ecological role of thermophillic archaeal nitrifiers

MIC 291: Selected Topics in Microbiology

Work-in-Progress Seminars

Dr. Jose de la Torre
(San Francisco State University)

"Biogeography and ecological role of thermophillic archaeal nitrifiers"

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

4:10 pm

1022 Life Sciences

de la Torre 3-11-15.doc

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New NSF funding opportunity: Cracking the Olfactory Code – An Ideas Lab Activity

Not that I do anything related to olfaction … but this NSF Ideas Lab system at least seems interesting … though not sure how well it actually works. See email I just received from NSF below:
Dear Colleagues,

A new NSF program solicitation (NSF 15-547) is now available:

Cracking the Olfactory Code
— An Ideas Lab Activity

Please see

for details.

Due Date for Preliminary Proposals (required): May 1, 2015

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Harold Varmus stepping down from the National Cncer Institute

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Exec Sec1 (NIH/OD)" <EXECSEC1>
Subject: Important Announcement from the Director, NIH – Dr. Varmus to Step Down as NCI Director
Date: March 4, 2015 at 4:41:23 PM EST

Dear Staff,

After nearly five years as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Harold Varmus, M.D., has announced plans to step down from his post at the end of this month. I am deeply indebted to Harold for returning to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to run the NCI, after having previously served as both the NIH director and president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

For the last five years, we at the NIH have had the distinct good fortune of having one of the world’s best minds focused on how to use science to fight cancer. Who better than Harold Varmus, who won the Nobel prize for discovering oncogenes, to lead the charge as we leap forward in our knowledge about the disease? And it’s not just about cancer. Few people in history have had as much influence and impact as Harold in shaping the course of modern biomedical science. Harold, indisputably, is a true giant, and we have been lucky to have him here not once, but twice, to help lead this great agency.

Douglas Lowy, M.D., the current Deputy Director, will serve as acting director for NCI, beginning on April 1.

I ask you to join me in congratulating Harold on a job extraordinarily well done, and wishing him the best for the next chapter of his distinguished scientific career. For more about his plans, please go to

Sincerely yours,

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

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Talk at #UCDavis: Big Names: Attribution, Tribute and Technology in Brazilian Funk

Big Names: Attribution, Tribute and Technology in Brazilian Funk

When: Wednesday, March 11 from 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Where: Room SS&H 1246 (STS /CSIS Room)

Lunch provided. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Funk carioca, funk from Rio de Janeiro,becomes possible through extensive networks of people, sounds, payola, gifts, tribute, and technologies. I explore various economies of reciprocity in the music genreand how they relate to attribution of authorship and ownership. Names—of DJs, MCs, sound systems, and websites—become important as they are associated with, dubbed over, or erased from songs or sound samples to either expand or control their circulation. Furthermore, historically Brazilian patterns of patronage and personalismo shape how musicians utilize new technologies to extend their personal networks, build their names, and appeal to DJs to be played. The logics of intellectual property and authorship are inverted—musicians often pay to play and the song’s destination (the DJ) rather than its origin (the composer) is named and credited in the lyrics.

Alexandra Lippman is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Innovating Communication in Scholarship project at the University of California, Davis and is affiliated with Science and Technology Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine. Her primary research explores how globalizing alternative intellectual property practices impact digital media, access to knowledge, and music in Brazil. She has published in Norient and Anthropology Today and is the founder of the Sound Ethnography Project.

Note this is our Food for Thought format where everyone is asked to read a paper ahead of time. After you RSVP, you will be emailed with the paper to be discussed.

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CPB Seminar today “Comparing taxonomic and genetic diversity in metagenomic samples”

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 – 4:10pm – 1022 Life Sciences *****

Sarah Hird

Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Evolution and Ecology, UC Davis

Title: “Comparing taxonomic and genetic diversity in metagenomic samples”

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Seminar at #UCDavis: Predicting Carriers of Ongoing Selective Sweeps without knowledge of the favored allele

Colloquium Speaker: Dr. Vineet Bafna

Title: Predicting Carriers of Ongoing Selective Sweeps without knowledge of the favored allele

Host: Dr. Ilias Tagkopoulos

When: Thursday, February 26th at 3:10pm

Where: 1127 Kemper Hall

Dr. Bafna is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. For more information on Dr. Bafna, visit his website at:


Methods for detecting the genomic signatures of natural selection are heavily studied, and have been successful in identifying many selective sweeps. For the vast majority of these sweeps, the adaptive allele remains unknown, making it difficult to distinguish carriers of the sweep from non-carriers. Because carriers of ongoing selective sweeps are likely to contain a future most recent common ancestor, identifying them may prove useful in predicting the evolutionary trajectory — for example, in contexts involving drug-resistant pathogen strains or cancer sub-clones. The main contribution of this paper is the development and analysis of a new statistic, the Haplotype Allele Frequency (HAF) score, assigned to individual haplotypes in a sample. The HAF score naturally captures many of the properties shared by haplotypes carrying an adaptive allele. We provide a theoretical model for the behavior of the HAF score under different evolutionary scenarios, including neutral Wright-Fischer evolution, exponential growth, and the trajectory of HAF-scores during a selective sweep.

We validate the theoretical analysis using extensive simulations, and demonstrate how the HAF-scores change dynamically with the progression of selective sweep, and are different for carriers and non-carriers of a favorable allele. We use this observation to design an algorithm, PreCIOSS (Predicting Carriers of Ongoing Selective Sweeps) to identify carriers of the adaptive allele in selective sweeps, and we demonstrate its power on simulations of both hard and soft selective sweeps, as well as on data from well-known sweeps in human populations.

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#UCDavis student diagnosed with meningococcal disease

Aggie Alert: UC Davis student diagnosed with meningococcal disease

Feb. 23, 2015

A student who attends the University of California, Davis, has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that can cause bloodstream infections and meningitis, the university and public health officials said today (Feb. 23).

The student is receiving medical care and treatment at a local hospital.

UC Davis and Yolo County Public Health teams are investigating the case, providing preventive antibiotics to contacts where indicated, and educating the university community about meningococcal disease. Close contacts of meningococcal cases who are recommended to receive preventive antibiotics include people who were exposed to the ill person’s respiratory and throat secretions through living in close quarters, or kissing or other prolonged close contact.

University and county health officials are identifying people who had close contact with the student and recommending antibiotics to protect them from becoming ill. Officials are not recommending antibiotic prophylaxis for community members or UC Davis students in general. Prophylaxis is recommended for people specifically identified as close contacts of the ill student.

Meningococcal disease signs and symptoms, which are sometimes mistaken for those of flu early in the course of illness, can include:

•       High fever
•       Severe headache
•       Rash
•       Body aches/joint pain
•       Nausea/vomiting
•       Increased sensitivity to light
•       Confusion

Anyone with the signs or symptoms of meningococcal disease should seek medical care immediately. Early treatment of meningococcal disease is critical as the infection can quickly become life threatening.

Students with questions or any of the above symptoms, contact: UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services’ Advice Nurse Line, (530) 752-2349.

Parents, family members and the general public with questions or concerns, contact: Student Health and Counseling Services’ Directors Office, (530) 752-2333.

Covering coughs, keeping hands clean and being up to date with recommended vaccines, especially flu vaccine this time of year, are actions everyone can take to stay healthy, protect themselves from illness and prevent the spread of infections to others.

More information:
* CDC information on meningitis
* UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services

Media contacts:
* Beth Gabor, Yolo County PIO, (530)
* Andy Fell, UC Davis News & Media Relations, (530)

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