National Association of Animal Breeders€™
Position Announcement: €“ Postdoctoral Research Geneticist


Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory (AIPL), Animal and Natural Resources Institute Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA

AIPL conducts research to discover, test, and implement improved genetic evaluation techniques for economically important traits of dairy cattle and goats. Research is directed at genetic improvement of efficiency of yield traits (milk, fat, and protein) and nonyield traits that affect health and profitability (longevity, conformation, fertility, calving, and disease resistance). AIPL is at the forefront of animal genetics and genomics research in livestock. 

Major duties:

         Contribute to developing and testing a more accurate genomic evaluation system that uses advanced, efficient methods to combine pedigrees, genotypes, and phenotypes for all animals in the national database, which includes over 68 million lactation records of 28 million cows, 59 million pedigree records, and 180,000 animals with genotypes with marker densities that range from 3,000 to 777,000.

         Contribute to priority research projects on evaluation methodology:

         Single-step (instead of multistep) methods to account for genomic preselection and allow more flexible modeling.

         Multitrait (instead of single-trait) models to include correlated traits and genetic-environmental interactions

         All-breed (instead of single-breed) genomic equations to include more information in marker effect estimates.

         Inclusion of genotypes from crossbred animals and differing but correlated marker effects across breeds.

         Related research on detecting deleterious effects and discovering markers particularly informative for fertility is also possible.

         Provide technical guidance to AIPL support scientists and computer programmers assigned for phases of research.

         Discuss research plans and progress periodically with collaborators and present to industry groups.


         Ph.D. in animal breeding, genetics, computational biology, or a related field.

         Ability to process large data files using languages such as Fortran, C, R, or SAS.

         Skill in writing scientific reports of research findings.

         Ability to explain genetic evaluation methodology to scientists, dairy industry representatives, and users of the evaluation system.


Salary and Benefits: $74,850, plus benefits

         Major Medical Insurance

         Life Insurance


         Paid Vacation


Other Information:

         Duration of position is 2 years

         Position is under the general supervision the President of the National Association of Animal Breeders, who provides guidance and occasional projects.

         A staff of three senior and five support AIPL scientists provides mentorship and computational resources.

         Molecular genetics support is provided by the Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory.



Dr. Gordon A. Doak, President

National Association of Animal Breeders ( P.O. Box 1033 Columbia, MO 65205, USA

573-445-4406 (voice)

573-446-2279 (fax)

[log in to unmask]