we’re so excited to be here in the twin cities!

and would love YOU to join us! see below for opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral research as well as a medium to long term technician position.

The twin cities is an excellent academic, social, cultural, and natural environment to conduct research in plant speciation, and enjoy the culture of a big(ish) city near much natural beauty.

Academically: We have a great group of interactive colleagues in plant evolution (e.g. peter tiffin, david moeller, emma goldberg, peter morrell, ruth shaw, nathan springer, peter kennedy et al…) and evolutionary genomics (e.g. suzanne mcgaughran blekhman, dan knights, chad meyers, emilie snell-rood et al…), that make the twin cities an awesome place to conduct integrative research in plant evolution, speciation, population genomics, evolutionary theory and related topics! There are also ample computing and genomic resources including the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (msi) and a strong in-house genomics capabilities.

Culturally: I can’t wait to engage in the many winter and summer outdoor athletic activities,  to explore the arts, music, and theatre in and around the bustling twin cities, and to eat and drink my way through the many awesome restaurants and brewpubs around town.


I can’t wait to engage in the many winter and summer outdoor athletic activities,  to explore the arts, music, and theatre in and around the bustling twin cities, and to eat and drink my way through the many awesome restaurants and brewpubs around town.

I’m also interested to have YOU join us in these adventure!

Specific opportunities

The brandvain lab aims to be a diverse and supportive environment. Curious scientists passionate about plant evolution with a background in natural history, mathematics, evolutionary theory, statistics, ecology, and/or computer programming who are willing to learn from and help train their peers will thrive in our group.  While many scientists succeed as ‘loners’ singularly plugging away at challenging problems, they will likely do best in another lab setting.  Feel free to e-mail me (ybrandva AT umn D0T edu) with any questions about joining our group!

Postdoctoral opportunities

I am excited to have postdocs join us. My postdoc was a rewarding and challenging experience — a time of growth and a time when I expanded and solidified my future research directions (well they got more solid at least) grew significantly as a scientist, and you should expect the same in the brandvain lab.

I am currently looking for a postdoc [description].

One potential  direction is to develop integrative mathematical models, inference methods, and related data analyses to better understand the process of speciation with me and emma goldberg (here at umn!). Another is to think through models of trait evolution with introgression over micro and macroevolutionary times scales. However, I am open to creative ideas.

contact me (ybrandva AT umn D0T edu) well before relevant postdoc grant deadlines if you’re interested.

Graduate Research

I have room in my lab and heart for additional graduate students in the next three years. Students whose interest and curiosity in evolutionary biology is complemented by a background in math, stats, computer programming, and/or computational genomics are most likely to thrive in our group. I expects students to conduct ambitious and integrative research and theses will generally include some combination of theory, genetics, genomics, fieldwork, novel theory / method development, experiment, and/or comparative analyses. As a member of the lab you will be surrounded by people excited in evolutionary biology pursuing questions with diverse approaches and you should be excited to learn from (and help teach) your colleagues / lab-mates!

I can accept students through the EEB or Plant Biology grad program. Applications are due in early December(ish). If you would like to apply to either department and perhaps work with me (feel free ask me about co-advising!), please send me an email (ybrandva AT umn D0T edu) introducing yourself and outlining your interests so that I can look for your application. Ideally you will contact me by early september so that I can help you prepare an NSF GRFP application. This will substantially improve your graduate experience and your chance of admission to UMN or any other school.

Undergraduate Research

I am happy to work with diverse undergraduates at different stages of their degree and various backgrounds. Students with a deep interest in evolution and majoring in biology, math, computer science, or other related fields are welcome to contact me. To thrive, I expect you to be curious, rigorous, enthusiastic, willing to push yourself intellectually, eager to learn and support other lab members and unafraid of math and computers. If you have some mix of these attributes I’m happy to have you join a project in the lab and/or to help you develop your own research project.

If you’re a student at UMN looking to conduct scientific research, check out directed research in CBS and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to learn about opportunities across the college. Then send an email with a descriptive subject line (e.g. Undergrad research inquiry) introducing yourself, your interests etc… to ybrandva AT umn D0T edu.

If you’re looking for a summer research experience send an email with a descriptive subject line (e.g. Summer research inquiry) introducing yourself, your interests etc… to ybrandva AT umn D0T edu.

Technician / Bioinformatician



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(10/11/17) -- In our new paper Heath Blackmon shows that sexually antagonistic selection can lead to the breakdown of Y chromosomes by favoring inversions that cause aneuploidy.

(9/14/17) -- Postdoc Adam on the unusual S locus of Leavenworthia in New Phytologist [paper].

(9/1/17) -- (former :( ) Postdoc Heath Blackmon starts as an assistant professor at Texas A&M.

(8/30/17) -- Annual lab trip to the state fair! [pic].

(7/1/17) -- Our paper showing that self‐compatibility is over‐represented on islands is out in New Phytologist [link].

(5/1/17) -- It's fun to be the popgen / natural variation part of a team aiming to domesticate Silphium . See our master plan and rational in our Crop Science paper.

(2/6/17) -- Yaniv is Honored to be named a McKnight Land Grant Professor. Read the college announcement here.

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