92 days ago

McMaster University



, Ontario


Job Type:

Graduate Position

Degree Level Required:


Apply now

Ancient Sedimentary DNA Graduate Student

The Golding and Poinar labs are looking for a Master’s Student (MSc) to work on sedimentary DNA from ancient permafrost in the attempt to reconstruct past ecosystems to help better contextualize the causes and consequences of late Pleistocene extinctions as well as microbial ecology during major climate upheaval.


The student will work alongside others in both bioinformatics as well as ancient DNA methodology development and implementation. We are actively establishing new methods for the recovery of minute traces of DNA from ancient permafrost and lake sediments. This project will entail developing novel methods for organic residue recovery, DNA based capture and next-generation sequencing followed by bioinformatic analysis for reconstructing past environments over the last several hundred thousand years from Yukon and Alaska. For more information see the following papers on environmental reconstruction and microbial ecological reconstructions.


The successful applicant will have a BSc involving some experience in bioinformatics, molecular evolution and/or population genetics. The ideal candidates would have:

  • A BSc in a field of biology and/or anthropology
  • A strong commitment to conducting high-quality research.
  • A willingness to consider quantitative aspects of biology is required.
  • A strong interest in ancient DNA Genomics and Molecular Evolution.
  • Experiences with sedaDNA, eDNA or other forms of DNA would be considered a plus.
  • Experience with bioinformatics analyses, including programming in any scripting language (e.g., UNIX, R, PERL and/or Python), or a strong willingness to learn.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills.
Additional Information:

Black and Indigenous students, People of Colour, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community are encouraged to apply.

Stipend support

This position is primarily funded from NSERC Discovery grants and will require the student to obtain a Teaching Assistantship from McMaster University to supplement funding. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for external scholarships.

To apply

Send an email to Golding@McMaster.CA or PoinarH@McMaster.CA with subject header “Bioinformatics MSc/PhD student” and with a single PDF that contains:

  1. A statement clearly outlining your research interests, career goals, and how your previous experiences and training have prepared you for a MSc in this field.
  2. Your CV
  3. Unofficial copies of your undergraduate transcripts

Start date is anticipated to be May or September 2024 but is flexible for the right candidate.

“Poinar, Hendrik” <poinarh@mcmaster.ca> (to subscribe/unsubscribe the EvolDir send mail to golding@mcmaster.ca)


Ancient Sedimentary DNA


Posted on: