Fully funded PhD Project Opportunities with the Wildlife Genetics Laboratory, Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra ~ Bioblogia.net

6 de febrero de 2012

Fully funded PhD Project Opportunities with the Wildlife Genetics Laboratory, Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra

Discovering candidate sex determining genes in a reptile with genetic and temperature dependent sex determination

We are seeking potentially TWO FULLY FUNDED PhD students with interests in genomics, genetics and reproduction, molecular cytogenetics and evolution to carry out targeted and intensive molecular and functional characterisation of candidate sex determining genes in a model reptile species.

Project Description
Sex determination in vertebrates is the focus of vigorous enquiry, because of its intrinsic interest as a crucial fundamental biological process. Yet, despite decades of work, we know remarkably little, in vertebrates generally, of the processes that direct sexual development down one or the other of the male or female development pathways, and sex determining genes have been identified in only a handful of vertebrate species. Non-mammalian systems are much less well understood, partly because they have received less attention, but also because of their astonishing diversity. Reptiles, in particular have a truly impressive array of sex-determining modes, compared with the conservatism of mammals and birds. Among reptiles with genotypic sex determination (GSD), male and female heterogamety (XY and ZW) is known in turtles, female heterogamety (ZW, ZZW, or ZWW) is known in snakes and both male and female heterogamety (including XXY) are known in lizards.

The aim of this project is to carry out targeted and intensive molecular and functional characterisations of candidate sex determining genes in the model reptile, the central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) in order to identify key sex determining genes in this species and to use this information to dissect evolutionary mechanisms initiating sex chromosome differentiation within reptiles.  

Prospective students
The prospective candidate should have experience in routine molecular genetics and cytogenetics, evolutionary genetics and genomics techniques including basic knowledge with Next Generation Sequencing approaches and analyses. The prospective candidates are expected to have demonstrated capacity to learn new techniques and skills necessary for the successful completion of the project. Candidates with previous experience in working on molecular aspects of sex determination in non model species will be advantageous but not essential.

Minimum qualifications
B.Sc. with first class Honours degree or equivalent in Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology, comparative genomics, molecular cytogenetics.

Scholarship Funding       
Scholarships are available for high performing students through one off special funding which includes maintenance, tuition fees exemption and basic research funding.

These two scholarships are open to all nationalities. However, international students need to fulfill the admission criteria set by the University of Canberra including successful completion of English language test. Please see the link below for detailed about admission at the University of Canberra.

Domestic students with first class Honours are eligible for university of Canberra PhD scholarship as well as top-up scholarship offered by IAE. See the link below for IAE top up scholarship.

How to Apply
Prospective applicants are encouraged to make informal enquiries to Associate Professor Tariq Ezaz via email. The successful applicants are expected to start in May-June 2012, however, position will remain open until filled.

Please send your Curriculum Vitae, a summary of your written scientific work, copy of your academic transcript, and the names of three referees (one of whom should be your most recent research supervisor).

Please email above documents with a covering letter to:
Associate Professor Tariq Ezaz
Institute for Applied Ecology (http://www.canberra.edu.au/centres/iae/index.php)

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