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Postdoc - Lyon - Population genomics of transposable elements in mosquitoes

CNRS Lyon (France)

A 24-month postdoctoral position is available to work in Lyon on the contribution of transposable elements to adaptation in the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus.

Ideal starting date: March 1st, 2023

Monthly net salary (health insurance included): from 2277€ to 2617€


The recruitment takes place in the framework of the ANR funded project MosquiTEs led by Matthieu Boulesteix, Associate Professor at Univ. Lyon 1. The project aims at investigating the contribution of transposable elements (TEs) in recent adaptation using the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus as a model. Aedes albopictus is a vector of Dengue and Chikungunya viruses and an invasive species. It recently spread from an Asian tropical cradle to many parts of the world including temperate regions. Its large genome (1.5-2 Gb) is riddled with TEs (>55%), which are self-replicating repetitive sequences. While TEs are often deleterious and considered as genomic parasites, there are also spectacular evidence of TE-driven adaptations such as insecticide resistance in Drosophila or industrial melanism in the peppered moth. However systematic investigations of the contribution of TEs to adaptation are rare, especially in species with large genomes. The MosquiTEs project aims to do so, leveraging a large genome project led by our collaborators. This population genomics dataset consists in more than 1000 individual genomes sequenced with Illumina technology. These individuals were sampled from 50 populations distributed all over the world, including tropical and temperate populations.


Working closely with M. Boulesteix the postdoc is expected to lead the bioinformatic and statistical analyses of TEs in this population genomics dataset and in particular:
i. genotype all TE insertions for recently active TE families using existing pipelines
ii. perform population genomics analyses (genome scans) such as differentiation outlier analyses and/or genotype-environment associations to detect TE insertions whose frequencies have been influenced by natural selection and that thus may contribute to adaptation.


The ideal candidate should:
- hold a PhD in bioinformatics or population/evolutionary genomics
- have the ability to handle large genomic datasets
- have experience in using a computing cluster
- have programming skills (bash, R, Python...)
- have interest in TEs and/or population genomics
- be open-minded and able to work in autonomy as well as interact with other people in a positive way
- have a good level of written and spoken English

As probably no one will have all the above mentioned skills do not restrain yourself from applying if you possess some of them.

Work context:

The selected candidate will join the Evolutionary Genetics of Interactions (EGI) group within the Laboratory of Biometry and Evolutionary Biology (LBBE) in Lyon ( The LBBE is a large lab (ca. 200 people) dedicated to the study of ecology and evolution and a leading lab in France in bioinformatics. It is in particular equipped with a large computing cluster. The EGI group members' research interests revolve around the study of conflict and cooperation between the multiple components of organisms, from genes to symbiotic bacteria, viruses and transposable elements. Within EGI, several people focus particularly on TEs (Matthieu Boulesteix, Marie Fablet and Cristina Vieira in addition to one postdoc and several PhD students). Matthieu Boulesteix's research is dedicated to the study of the role of TEs in adaptation and their dynamics at a microevolutionary scale and he has an acknowledged expertise in mosquito genomics and population genomics (e.g.,,

Lyon is France's 3rd largest city and is very dynamic with 180,000 students. It has a rich history that traces back to the Romans and it is included on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites ( Lyon is surrounded by natural Parks (Vercors, Chartreuse, Haut-Jura, Livradois-Forez, Ardèche...) and is two hours away from the Alps. Geneva is accessible by train or car in less than two hours, Paris in 2 hours by train as are Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea.

Meetings in the group are held in English. French may help in social interactions but is far from mandatory.

How to apply:
- Inquiries to Matthieu Boulesteix ( 
- Application through the CNRS portal is mandatory (cover letter, CV including publication list and names and email addresses of two referees):