2 PhD positions in Evolutionary Ecology / Bioinformatics: The Genomics of Plant Adaptation to Climatic Conditions
What is the genetic basis of local adaptation to heterogeneity in environmental conditions? - This is the main question addressed by a project on the genetics/genomics of adaptation in Arabidopsis lyrata. Two three-year graduate/PhD positions are available to join this project, supervised by Yvonne Willi at the Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
The causes and mechanisms of adaptation to environmental change are relevant to many fields of biology, and we will tackle them from multiple angles: assembling environmental data, studying phenotypic differences in morphological and physiological characters within and across (>50) populations, and linking them to SNP frequency shifts.
The project is split into two parts: One student will focus on within-population processes (heterogeneity in soil-water availability, selection, gene flow), and the other will compare populations (large scale climatic variation, phenotypic differences, and associated SNP variation). The work will include analysis of partial-genome-scan data, so a strong background in quantitative thinking, statistical analysis, and bioinformatics programming (in R or Unix) is required.
Applicants must have a university degree in the natural sciences (ideally in evolutionary biology, genetics, or bioinformatics) that allows entrance to a PhD program, and very good organizational, analytical, and scientific writing skills.
Motivated applicants should submit (1) a one-page letter that summarizes interests and relevant experience, (2) a CV, (3) copies of undergraduate and masters/diploma transcripts, and (4) contact information of two references (all as a single PDF) to: yvonne.willi-at-unine.ch.
Applications are welcome until the positions are filled. Earliest evaluation of applications is on July 15, 2012.
The Institute of Biology at Neuchâtel consists of a dozen groups working in diverse fields of ecology, evolution, physiology, and molecular and cell biology. The University in collaboration with the CUSO offers outstanding PhD programs in Evolutionary Biology and Genomics.
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