Ph.D. opportunity studying kelp development

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A Ph.D. position studying the development of the brown alga Saccharina latissima is available at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). The project is a collaboration between Bénédicte Charrier at CNRS and Hilde-Gunn Opsahl Sorteberg at the Norwegian University of Life Science (NMBU).

Saccharina latissima is a large brown alga growing along the European Atlantic coast. It is currently of high interest as a source of food, fuel and of extracted and processed products used in the pharmacology and cosmetic industries. As a result, in addition to mechanical harvest of wild populations, cultivation of Saccharina is currently deployed mainly in Norway and to a lesser extent in France.

The object of this PhD project is to acquire more knowledge on the early life stages of S. latissima. In addition to gaining insight in the underlying biological mechanisms controlling the growth of this alga, the project will allow progress in monitoring its cultivation in hatcheries by pinpointing the key developmental stages of juveniles, and will contribute to a better management of their growth and development before cultivation in open sea.

I find brown algae fascinating, because as much as they look like plants, they are not at all closely related.They represent an interesting case of convergent evolution and an independent origin of complex multicellularity:

Keeling et al. 2005 Fig. 1

Figure 1 from Keeling et al. 2005. A tree of eukaryotes. Land plants and red and green algae are within the Plantae, brown algae (Phaeophytes) within the distantly related Chromalveolates.

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2018. The full announcement, with application instructions, is here:

PhD position on brown alga embryogenesis_Announcement


Stable links:

Keeling, P.J., Burger, G., Durnford, D.G., Lang, B.F., Lee, R.W., Pearlman, R.E., et al. 2005. The tree of eukaryotes. Trends Ecol. Evol., 20: 670–676. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.09.005


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