Two PhD positions – “Evolution and adaptation of biological clocks”
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Two PhD positions - "Evolution and adaptation of biological clocks" Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Ploen, Germany The Max Planck Research Group "Biological Clocks" (http://www.evolbio.mpg.de/biologicalclocks) combines evolutionary genomics and molecular biology with behavioral experiments and ecological fieldwork, aiming to uncover the yet unknown molecular basis of circalunar clocks. At the same time, we study the process of evolutionary adaptation. Our model organism, the intertidal midge Clunio marinus (Diptera), has timed its life cycle to the rhythm of the tides using circalunar and circadian clocks. As the tides differ along the coastline, the clocks of Clunio populations are genetically adapted to the local pattern of the tides. We have shown that these evolutionary adaptations can be exploited for comparative genomic and molecular studies in order to identify new clock molecules (Nature, in press). _____ Project 1 This project focuses on the analysis of >250 Clunio genomes from several strains which differ in various aspects of their circalunar clocks. The aim is to identify the genes controlling these differences. As some of these strains occur in the same locality, the project also addresses evolutionary questions regarding sympatric ecological divergence with gene flow and the forces maintaining local adaptation. The ideal candidate holds an MSc or equivalent in a biological discipline with a strong background in genomics or bioinformatics. Programming skills are required. Experience in comparative genomics, population genomics or quantitative genetics are great assets. The student should be communicative and open to collaborate across projects in the group. Participation in project-related fieldwork and laboratory work is very welcome. _____ Project 2 In the Baltic Sea and in Northern Norway Clunio has lost circalunar timing. This project will try to identify the genetic variants underlying this secondary and possibly convergent loss of circalunar clocks. The work will range from fieldwork to establishment and experimental characterization of laboratory strains, to genomic analyses. An extension to functional molecular analysis is possible. The ideal candidate holds an MSc or equivalent in a biological discipline with a strong background in evolutionary genomics, quantitative genetics or (molecular) ecology. Experience with (marine) fieldwork, genotyping and genetic mapping are assets. The candidate must be well-organized and communicative in order to deal with collaboration partners and hosts in Norway, Sweden and Finland. A driving license is required, a boat driving license would be a plus. _____ Both positions will be offered for 3 years with the possibility of extension. Starting date is negotiable between January and July 2017. Applications should include a cover letter describing your motivation to work on the respective project and your relevant experience, a detailed CV and copies of relevant certificates, and the contact details of three academic referees. Please send the above as a single PDF file to Tobias Kaiser (email@example.com). Review of applications will start on 1st December 2016 and will continue until the positions are filled. The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology (http://www.evolbio.mpg.de/2169/en) offers a stimulating and ambitious international working environment. Excellent infrastructure is available at all levels. The MPI collaborates with the nearby Christian Albrechts University of Kiel (http://www.mnf.uni-kiel.de/en/einrichtung/sektion-biologie-1) and the GEOMAR (Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, http://www.geomar.de/en/) in an international PhD program (http://www.evolbio.mpg.de/imprs). The town of Ploen is surrounded by lakes and the Baltic Sea is nearby, offering plenty of opportunity for leisure and outdoor activities. The nearby ports of Kiel and Travemuende provide access to Scandinavia, the closest airports are Hamburg and Luebeck. The Max Planck Society is committed to also employing handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. For further information please contact Tobias Kaiser (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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