PhD Position: MHC Variation in Wild Chimpanzees (Germany) ~

18 de octubre de 2013

PhD Position: MHC Variation in Wild Chimpanzees (Germany)

PhD Position: MHC Variation in Wild Chimpanzees in the Primatology
Department of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Although much is known about the patterns of functionally-neutral
genetic variation in wild animal and human populations, we understand
much less about the distribution of genetic variation underlying
physiologically important traits. The genes of the Major
Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) play a critical role in the immune
response by coding for molecules which present antigens to
immunocompetent cells. This project will use our recently developed
protocols for next generation sequencing of DNA from noninvasive samples
to characterize variation at multiple loci of the MHC in wild
chimpanzees. The degree of functional diversity in individuals will be
assessed and compared among individuals, communities, populations, and
subspecies. This project does not involve field research, but will
incorporate use of behavioral and demographic data and fecal samples
from wild chimpanzees that are the subjects of long term observation by
collaborators in the field. This position will be within the molecular
genetics group ( in the
Primatology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

The Leipzig School of Human Origins (
is a joint graduate program of the University of Leipzig (Germany) and
the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. This program
provides interdisciplinary training and research opportunities for
university graduates who wish to work towards a Ph.D. in anthropology,
biology, evolutionary genetics, primatology, paleoanthropology and
related fields. Our graduate school is conducted in English, open for
international students and designed as a 3-year-program with a research
focus and a limited amount of formal classwork.

We invite applications from all countries. Applicants should have a
Master's degree before the start of the program. Candidates should be
fluent in written and spoken English. Knowledge of German is not
required but international students have the opportunity to take free
German courses. For this project a background and keen interest in
molecular biology laboratory analyses is a distinct advantage and a
background in anthropology or primatology is helpful but not necessary.

Ph.D. students are supported for the duration of their PhD by tax-free
stipends of approximately15,000 Euro per year. There are no tuition
fees, and low cost health insurance is available. Leipzig is an
attractive city with readily available housing and a relatively low cost
of living.

*Start Date and Application process:***

*Applicants should follow the application process described at
****and indicate interest
in this project. The application deadline is December 1, 2013, and the
planned starting date is September 1, 2014 or earlier.*

*For further information please contact*:
Dr. Linda Vigilant

Deutscher Platz 6
Leipzig, Saxony 04103

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