The Microbial GAMUT Lab

Genomes And Metagenomes to Unravel Traits


The lab opens in Fall 2024 and I will be recruiting a postdoc and a PhD student(s). If you have any questions, please reach out directly to JL (

Please email me directly if interested in a postdoc. I am happy to discuss how you might fit into the lab, active projects, etc.

Please also read over my mentorship philosophy and our lab code of conduct on the Lab Stuff page to determine whether this lab might be a good fit for you.


I am currently recruiting one postdoc for a position currently funded for two years (through summer or fall 2026, depending on start date). I will post a more official ad in the coming months, but this is a pretty flexible position in terms of projects because you will be funded directly off my startup (not beholden to the aims of any specific grant). I have lots of ideas for projects I think would be fun to collaborate on (many part of ongoing collaborations with researchers outside the lab), but I am also happy to hear your ideas if there are projects you are excited to bring to the group.

While this postdoc position currently has funding in place for two years, I would be more than happy to work with you to locate fellowships and develop proposals to extend your time in the lab. Prior to coming to SBU, I was the Director of Proposal Development at the City College of New York, where part of my job was training early career scientists how to submit successful grant and fellowship proposals. I see such training as an important part of your postdoctoral journey; grant-writing skills are essential within academia, and are also very transferable to non-academic career paths. In case it isn’t clear - I am very supportive of trainees following the path of their choosing, whether that takes them to industry, government, non-profit, higher ed admin, or academia in its many forms. I’ll work with you to build the skills and experience you need to be successful on that path.

I have a joint appointment with the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS) at SBU, which has its own postdoc fellowship. Applications are usually due in the fall. Please reach out if you are interested in applying!

I am also always more than happy to work with prospective postdocs in developing fellowship applications relevant to our lab. This is one good resource for finding fellowships. Please reach out if you are interested in developing such a proposal.

PhD Students

I am looking to recruit at least one PhD student for the Fall 2024 application cycle, to start in Fall 2025. I primarily recruit through the Ecology & Evolution program, though could potentially arrange to take students from other programs at SBU.

If you are interested in working with me, I strongly recommend that you reach out to me to discuss applying in late summer/early fall. In general, this is an expectation of nearly all PhD mentors in Ecology & Evolution, though it often goes unstated. At the very least, you should reach out before the December application deadline so we can chat about whether my mentorship style is a good fit for you and whether your research interests are a good fit for the lab. I am open to taking students from a range of academic backgrounds. You don’t need to be a math whiz to join our group, but you should be excited about using computational approaches to solve biological problems.

I know it can be a little intimidating to cold-email a prospective PhD mentor. Please don’t let that stop you from reaching out! I really do want to hear from you. Here are some things that would be great if you could include in that email (a few lines each is fine, I don’t need an essay):

This might seem like a lot of questions. I’m mostly making you answer them for your own benefit. If you don’t have answers ready for each of them, I suggest you take some time to think each one over carefully. Plus, you will have a head-start for writing your personal statement for the application by the time you are done!

Undergraduate Students

Did you think some of the stuff on this website was interesting? Consider joining the lab! We are a computational biology lab but no experience in computational biology or coding is required to join the lab. If you are enthusiastic about learning about these topics, we can train you. I firmly believe anyone can be a great computational biologist. Most of the students I have worked with in the past started out with absolutely zero coding experience, but quickly learned with hands-on training and a cool question in front of them. I am happy to have biologists, environmental scientists, computer scientists, and mathematicians join the lab (and even people from totally different fields if computational biology has caught your eye).

All summer students who work with me will be paid (I will not take unpaid volunteers). Unfortunately, this may limit available positions. Depending on the summer I may have funding to pay one or more students to work with me. Otherwise, I encourage you to apply for summer research programs available at SBU.