Postdoc estudiando las poblaciones de delfines del Golfo de Vizcaya ~

2 de junio de 2022

Postdoc estudiando las poblaciones de delfines del Golfo de Vizcaya

Oferta compartida por Nuria

Post-doctoral project: Population genomics of common dolphins in the NE Atlantic

A 30-months post-doctoral position in population genomics is open at the University of Western Brittany as part of the DELMOGES program. The objective of the post-doctoral project is to evaluate the population structure of common dolphins in the Bay of Biscay and adjacent regions by using SNPs obtained through RAD sequencing, and using an eDNA approach. The hired post-doc will be spending the first 18 months at the LEMAR research unit located in Plouzané (RADseq approach), and the last 12 months at the MARBEC research unit in Montpellier (eDNA approach).

Scientific context:
Since the 1990s, significant dolphin mortality events have occurred during the winter in the Bay of Biscay, which result in stranding peaks on the French Atlantic coast. During these events, most stranded dolphins on this stretch of coast are common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), which present marks caused by fishing gear, indicating these dolphins were incidentally caught. Over time, this level of incidental catch could constitute a significant threat to the common dolphin population in the northeastern Atlantic. The DELMOGES program aims at providing knowledge (from ecological data to management strategies) that is necessary to remedy the issue of common dolphin bycatch. One of the first fundamental questions that must be addressed, is the existence of distinct populations in neritic versus oceanic zones. With that aim, the post-doctoral project will evaluate population structure using two approaches: 
  1. by analyzing SNPs obtained through RADseq, using tissue samples collected from recently stranded neritic dolphins and biopsy samples collected in the oceanic zone of the Bay of Biscay, and 
  2. by developing non-invasive sampling strategies to delimit and study observed populations (eDNA approach using filtered seawater collected during the biopsy campaign).

Post-doctoral project:
At the LEMAR, the hired post-doc will be in charge of DNA extractions, molecular sexing of biopsied dolphins, RAD library preparation, bioinformatic analysis of RADseq data using a calculation cluster,
analyses of SNPs to evaluate population structure, and writing a scientific publication synthetizing the results. During his/her year at MARBEC, the post-doc will analyze eDNA sequences targeting previously defined SNPs obtained in the first part of the project. For this work, the post-doc will also use a calculation cluster for bioinformatic analyses and will investigate the relevance of using an eDNA approach in this type of population genomic study. The post-doc will be in charge of writing a publication or a report on this second approach.

Candidate profile:
Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, at the time for employment decision. The candidate must have a strong background in population genomics and bioinformatics. Experience in genomic library preparation would be a plus but is not required. Knowledge in the management of protected marine species would also be appreciated.

Working place:
The postdoc will be located at the LEMAR (Laboratory of Environmental Marine Sciences) during the first 18 months. The LEMAR is situated within the IUEM (European Institute for Marine Studies) of the University of Western Brittany. The IUEM is located in Plouzané, about 8km away from the center of Brest. The LEMAR is an interdisciplinary laboratory that gathers a total of ca. 150 researchers and technicians and 50 PhD students. The LEMAR includes a molecular ecology lab, with all the necessary equipment to conduct basic labwork (DNA extraction, PCR amplification, etc..) and to construct DNA libraries. The last year of the project will be spent at the MARBEC laboratory. The postdoc will benefit from the experience in eDNA analysis of the team at MARBEC, and from the bioinformatic infrastructure from Ifremer. Both French and English are used as spoken languages in the two laboratories.

Salary: The salary is 1917 €/month net and 46 days-off/year.

  1. The application must include: 
  2. a cover letter presenting the research interests and relevant experience of the applicant (max. 2 pages), a curriculum vitae including the list of publications, 
  3. copies of academic diplomas, and 
  4. the names and e-mail addresses of two referees. 
Applications should be sent as a single pdf to The deadline for applications is June 15, 2022. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed on June 30, 2022, in a visio-conference mode.

Expected starting date: from September 1st, 2022

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