First portrait of the UofA Matzkin Lab

Very happy to finally have everyone on board, our two new postdocs (Kyle Benowitz and Fernando Diaz Gonzalez) and research assistant (Joshua Coleman) joining our Fyssen Postdoctoral Fellow (Coline Jaworski) and lab manager (Carson Allan).  Here is our first picture of the lab at the University of Arizona.  It was a nice sunny, beautiful and hot (114F or 45.5C) day.  I am looking forward to work with and see all the great science this new group will do.


Looking for a postdoc to work on the evolutionary genetics of behavior

The Matzkin Lab at the University of Arizona, Department of Entomology is currently recruiting a postdoc to work on a NSF funded three year project aiming to examine the genetic basis and evolution of alternative larval behaviors and ultimately in understanding how local ecological adaptation can lead to the divergence of populations. I am seeking a highly motivated and creative individual with strong quantitative & evolutionary genetics, molecular and/or computational biology skills to join our evolutionary and ecological genomics lab. Good writing and communication skills will be required for this position. Prior experience working with Drosophila is not necessary, but a plus. Postdoc will be based at The University of Arizona, Department of Entomology and will have the opportunity to interact with investigators at the BIO5 Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The four specific aims of this proposal are:

  1. Assess the transcriptomic nature of the distinct larval behavior strategies among the D. mojavensis populations.
  2. Determine the genetic architecture of larval activity by performing a quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping study.
  3. Generate knockouts and transgenics (exchange alleles between populations) of candidate QTLs using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.
  4. Use the CRISPR-Cas9 knockouts and transgenics to quantify the functional role of the candidate behavior QTLs in an ecological context and examine the life history consequences of variation at these loci.

The postdoc will be involved in all research aspects of the project, and would have the possible opportunity to develop new projects in consultation with Dr. Matzkin. Critical and independent thinking is very important for this position, as well as having the ability to analyze data, write manuscripts and proposal writing. Postdoc will interact with the graduate and undergraduate students in the Matzkin lab at the University of Arizona as well as having the opportunity to be involved in outreach activities.

The candidate is expected to have a PhD in evolutionary biology, evolutionary genetics/genomics, entomology or related field. A background in quantitative and evolutionary/ecological genetics and/or molecular and computational biology desired. Postdoc must have excellent writing, communcation and critical thinking skills with at least 1-3 publications (in print or submitted). Prior experience working with Drosophila a plus but not necessary.  Background working with CRISPR/Cas9 in model or non-model system also a plus, but not necessary. The preferred start date for the postdoc is late May or June.

Apply at  You will need to submit a 1) cover letter briefly outlining the candidate’s fit to the position and future goals 2) curriculum vitae 3) contact information (email and phone) for three references, preferably including doctoral advisor and/or postdoctoral advisor (if relevant) and 4) no more than three relevant publication PDFs. Please contact Luciano Matzkin ( if you have additional questions about the position or visit our lab page,

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, vision, and life insurance; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more! The University of Arizona has been recognized on Forbes 2015 list of America’s Best Employers in the United States and has been awarded the 2015 Work-Life Seal of Distinction by the Alliance for Work-Life Progress! For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please

New Postdoc joining the lab

Dr. Fernando Diaz Gonzalez has agreed to join the lab and will soon arrive to Tucson from Colombia.  Fernando completed his PhD at the Universidad Del Valle, Cali, Colombia with Dr. Cardenas-Henao and Dr. Toro-Perea working on the population differentiation in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci.  In our lab Fernando will work on the genomics of adaptation and in understanding the mechanism associated with the evolution of reproductive incompatibilities.