Postdoctoral Position in Epidemic Dynamics of Ancient Disease Outbreaks

Job Code:

Job Offer from July 06, 2021

The Transmission, Infection, Diversification & Evolution Group (tide) led by Denise Kühnert is offering one Postdoctoral position.

The project: 

Epidemic dynamics of ancient disease outbreaks 

Thanks to the advances in ancient genome recovery, we are in the position to shed light on the dynamics of past disease epidemics by deciphering the “footprint” that past disease outbreaks left on pathogen genomes. Understanding the origins and  demographic dynamics of ancient pathogens may facilitate a broader understanding of disease emergence.

Your tasks:

  • Phylogenetic analysis of ancient pathogen genomes in close collaboration with the Department of Archaeogenetics (DAG, MPI-EVA), led by Professor Dr. Johannes Krause.  
  • Development, implementation and testing of Bayesian phylodynamic methods for the analysis of globally distributed ancient pathogen genomes. 
  • Bayesian phylodynamic analysis of modern and ancient pathogen genomes.

Your qualifications:

  • Have or are about to obtain a PhD degree in a quantitative discipline such as Computational Biology, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Physics.
  • Experience analyzing genomic data employing phylogenetic methods
  • Strong research record
  • Strong interest in infectious disease dynamics 
  • Experience in programming
  • Proficient English skills

The overarching goal of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is to explore the history of humans using state-of-the-art analytical methods. Scientists from different disciplines are working together to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of man from the paleolithic until today.

We offer an interesting and responsible job in a competitive, dynamic and stimulating international research environment. The Postdoc position is to be filled as soon as possible, initially limited until 31/05/2023, with the possibility of a 2 year extension. Remuneration will follow the public service pay scale (TVöD Bund)) up to salary group E 13, according to qualification and experience. In addition, social benefits are paid according to the regulations of the Civil Service. 

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more individuals with disabilities and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society also seeks to increase the number of women in areas whe re they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. We are committed to encouraging diversity and actively challenging biases based on gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and other components of identity. 

The Max Planck Society is supporting the compatibility of family and career and is certified according to the "berufundfamilie" audit.

Your application:

Please submit your application through the portal.

Candidates are requested to submit the application in English as a single pdf file (max. 5 MB) including a cover letter (explaining research experience and reason for interest in this project), curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and copies of certificates. Upon uploading the file, candidates will be asked to submit names and contact details of three referees. 

Information regarding the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History can be found at

Please submit your application by September 19th 2021.

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