PhD in ecological genomics (Switzerland) ~

2 de abril de 2015

PhD in ecological genomics (Switzerland)

PhD Position: Ecological genomics of parallel pollinator-driven speciation in orchids.
A PhD position is open for a highly motivated student with a keen interest in evolutionary and ecological questions, and a solid knowledge of genomics and bioinformatics/statistics.

The successful candidate will be part of a team investigating the
molecular basis of parallel pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation and
ecological speciation between sexually deceptive orchids of the genus
Ophrys. The project seeks to understand the degree of convergence, at the
phenotypic and molecular levels, of two cases of species divergence
mediated by the same pollinators. In particular, the successful candidate
will investigate (1) the extent of convergence in pollinator-attractive
traits and reproductive isolation between species, (2) the extent of
similarities in the genomic architecture underlying these adaptive traits,
and (3) the evolution of specific metabolic pathways (and their
regulation) controlling pollinator attraction. This multidisciplinary
project will involve a combination of field work (in the Mediterranean)
and state-of the art tools for phenotypic, metabolomic and ecological
genomic (RNA-Seq and Exome-Seq) characterisation of natural plant
populations. For background information on the study system, please see
e.g. Schlüter & Schiestl (2008, Trends Plant Sci.), Schlüter & al. (2011,
PNAS) and Sedeek & al. (2013, PLoS One; and 2014, Mol. Ecol.).

The ideal candidate should be highly motivated and able to articulate
her/his motivation for this project clearly. S/he should be well
organised, with a thorough understanding of evolutionary biology,
population genetics and molecular biology, and should have an interest in
orchid pollination. The candidate is expected to be proficient in
statistical data analysis, with a good working knowledge of R and proven
experience in bioinformatics, ideally with an ecological genomics
background. Programming skills in other languages (e.g. Delphi or C/C++)
are an advantage. Since the student will have to prepare libraries for
Illumina sequencing, basic laboratory skills are necessary; previous field
experience is a plus. Proficiency in English and good communication skills
are essential, as is a completed MSc degree (or equivalent) in biology or
a related discipline, and the proven ability to carry out research

We offer a 3-year PhD position at the University of Zurich, Switzerland,
at a competetive salary (>47kCHF/a before tax) funded by the Swiss
National Science Foundation. The student will be part of the Institute of
Systematic Botany, located in the beautiful Botanic Gardens and within
walking distance of Lake Zurich. The successful candidate will work in a
young, active, interdisciplinary and stimulating environment and will have
access to state-of-the-art tools and techniques.

Your application should consist of a letter of motivation (1-2 pages),
your CV and (if applicable) publication list, and the names and e-mail
adresses of three academic referees. The letter of motivation should
detail why you think the project is relevant, why you are personally
interested in it, and why you think you are well-suited to undertake it.
Please send your application (or any requests for further information)
electronically to Dr Philipp Schlüter (philipp.schlueter at Screening of applications will begin immediately and
continue until the position is filled. The preferred start date is 1st of
June 2015.

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