PhD Student Position

A doctoral student research position is available in the lab of Dr. Michael Landis, located on the Danforth Campus in the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. The Landis Lab studies problems in phylogenomics, biogeography, and trait evolution by designing statistical models, developing inference methods as software, and applying those methods to selected groups throughout the tree of life. Learn more about the Landis Lab here:

The successful candidate will research macroevolutionary questions using quantitative analyses. Several research projects are available in topics including efficient tree estimation using large phylogenomic datasets, divergence time estimation using biogeography and/or fossils, and modeling gene expression evolution. Depending on the specific skills and interests of the selected candidate, the new hire will help tailor the project so it suits their professional and training goals. The researcher will collaborate within projects, write first author papers, mentor undergraduate students, receive room to establish intellectual independence, and train skills as needed.


Candidates must hold an undegraduate degree in biology, bioinformatics, computer science, statistics, or a related field. Applicants must demonstrate interest in models or methods used in evolutionary biology or ecology. The researcher will develop within the phylogenetics modeling software, RevBayes, and collaborate with an international team of researchers and developers. Programming experience is desired, with preference for C/C++/Java over Python/R.


The position begins in the fall of 2021 with guaranteed funding for five years. It is a full-time position (40 hrs/wk) that pays a competitive salary of $30,500 annually. WashU offers outstanding benefits, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance St. Louis itself is both an exciting and family friendly city, with affordable housing and excellent access to food, music, art, and public spaces.


PhD applicants are officially accepted through the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS). Applications open September 1st and are typically due December 1st. Exact application requirements are listed through the DBBS PhD Admissions webpage: GREs are not required. Application fees increase from $20 to $45 after October 31st. Contact to qualify for a fee waiver. Applicants are strongly encouraged to initiate a conversation with before applying. WashU is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.


Please email with any questions regarding this posting.