PhD position: evolution of multicellularity

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This is straight from the ALGAE-L listserv, but I thought it might be of interest:

PhD studentship: The ecology and evolution of multicellularity

A fully funded PhD position is available to work on evolutionary transitions to multicellularity. The student will work within the molecular ecology and evolution lab as well as the aquatic ecology group at the Department of Biology, Lund University.

Over evolutionary time there have been several major transitions that have shaped contemporary patterns of organismal complexity. In each of these transitions a group of individuals that previously replicated independently joined together to form a new, more complex life form. For example, single cells joined together to form multicellular organisms just as certain species of animals have foregone independence to live and reproduce in social groups.

This PhD position will examine what predisposes some species to undergo the transition from unicellularity to multicellularity, and why multicellularity has been lost in some lineages. The project will initially focus on green algae where there have been gains and losses of multicellularity across species and will use a combination of experimental evolution, ecological and life-history data from natural lake systems and comparative analyses across different species.

This position will provide opportunities to generate independent ideas and learn social evolutionary theory; omics techniques (genomics, transcriptomics & metabolomics); developmental biology and the evolution of life-cycles; experimental evolution design and analysis; lab and field experiments with micro-organisms; a range of microscope techniques including SEM, TEM, spatial and temporal visualisation; advanced statistical modelling and phylogenetic comparative methods.

The Department of Biology has a number of different research units including evolutionary ecology, molecular and microbial ecology, aquatic ecology, speciation, sexual selection, and host-parasite coevolution, and as such the PhD student will be integrated in a lively, stimulating and diverse intellectual environment.

It is essential that the candidate has:
–          An MSc in Biology, or closely related field, with a background in evolutionary ecology,  molecular ecology and/or aquatic ecology
–          Excellent spoken and written English

It is also preferable that applicants have demonstrated:
–          Practical experience of working with microorganisms
–          Experience of molecular genetics and/or basic skills in bioinformatics
–          Experience of data manipulation and statistical analyses in R, particularly mixed modelling

Basis of Assessment
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a strong scientific curiosity. The application should include:
–          a personal letter stating your interest for the project and doctoral studies as well as any relevant experience for the project,
–          a curriculum vitae that includes education and earlier employments,
–          attested copies of diplomas, transcripts, and certificates
–          copies of theses and eventual scientific publications
–          contact information (phone, email) for at least two references.

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Charlie Cornwallis, Maria Svensson-Coelho and Karin Rengefors

Application deadline is 1st February 2020 and we welcome informal enquiries:<><><>

Apply here:

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