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Postdoctoral Researcher: Deep Ocean Adaptation

Posted by , on 9 October 2023

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia, USA

Closing Date: 31 December 2023

The MechMorpho/Davidson Lab at the University of Pittsburgh is seeking a creative and collaborative Postdoctoral Associate to study adaptation of cells and organisms to the Deep Ocean. Life in the deep ocean (> 5000 m; abyssal and hadal zones) can experience extremely high hydrostatic pressures that would ordinarily denature proteins critical to multicellular organisms. Despite this seemingly harsh environment, many organisms thrive and reproduce. We are taking a comparative approach to identify pressure-protective pathways in deep sea organisms and to test these adaptations within surface-dwelling embryos and larvae (Xenopus frogs, zebrafish, and Nematostella anemone). The candidate will join a collaborative research network of material scientists, theorists, biophysicists, engineers, and marine biologists whose goal is to create biomimetic materials and structures based on these adaptations.

This Postdoctoral Associate will be responsible for leading a bioinformatic survey of pressure adapted organisms and developing environmental chambers and live-cell assays to assess pressure-protective pathways in non-adapted organisms. The researcher will benefit from a strongly interdisciplinary environment within the Davidson Lab and cross-disciplinary collaborations with biophysicists and cell biologists working to bridge engineering and molecular cell biology.

Interested applicants should email Lance Davidson ( or apply to Jobs@Pitt. The position is open until filled and is supported through the BioInspired Material Architectures for Deep Sea (BIMADS) MURI Program for 2+ years.

Closing Date: 31 December 2023

Duration: Fixed term

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