Monthly Archives: January 2016

Terry’s group meeting cancelled and postponed to Monday 25/1 12.30pm.

Terry’s group meeting cancelled and postponed to Tuesday 19/1 2pm.

The group of Aquatic Ecology at ETH Zürich / Eawag has an open Ph. D. Position

to study evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions, particularly parasite adaptation to host. The study system is the New Zealand freshwater snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum and its trematode parasite Microphallus sp. The goal of the project is to understand the genetic underpinnings of rapid parasite adaptation to new host types. The work includes field work in New Zealand and laboratory infection experiments followed by application of genomics and bioinformatics tools. General information about the research group can be found at http://www.ae.ethz.ch/. Co-PIs in the project are Dr. Hanna Hartikainen (ETH Zurich) and Prof. Roger Butlin (University of Sheffield).

Candidates must qualify for admission to the Ph.D. programme of ETH (https://www.ethz.ch/en/doctorate.html). The duration of the position is three years, starting not earlier than May 2016. Salary is according to ETH-scale starting from 47 kchf/year.

Suitable qualified persons are invited to apply by email. Please attach a single PDF file including a letter of motivation, C.V. and names plus addresses of two references. Subject line should read “PHD-Position 2016”. Email address to use is jukka.jokela@env.ethz.ch.

Evaluation of applications starts January 2016, and continues until the position is filled.

jukka jokela

professor of aquatic ecology

ETH Zurich

www.ae.ethz.ch

Postdocs at the Natural History Museum, London

PDRA at the Natural History Museum: Gene flow and genetic diversity in fresh waters
This is one of two projects (supervised by Beth Okamura and David Bass) based at the Natural History Museum that form fundamental components of a larger NERC-funded multidisciplinary research programme (Hydroscape) investigating how connectivity and multiple stressors interact to influence biodiversity and ecosystem function in freshwaters. Although connectivity is recognised to be a multi-faceted and quintessential property of aquatic ecosystems there is a critical lack of knowledge on how biodiversity and ecosystem function respond to variation in stress factors that may be influenced by different levels of connectivity. This is in part due to a long tradition of focusing on individual stressors and sites. The overall research programme is designed to gain essential insights for future management of freshwaters by working across a hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales and covering a range of freshwater habitat types in different landscapes to address these issues. A central proposition of the project is that increasing connectivity entails a basic tension between desirable (promoting resilience) and undesirable (increasing the spread and impact of stressors) outcomes.
Gene flow is an essential component of the metapopulation dynamics of freshwater organisms, demonstrates how populations are linked (via connectivity) within and among sites across the landscape, and introduces novelty promoting resilience to environmental change by facilitating adaptive potential (enhancing genetic diversity). This project focuses on how gene flow and genetic diversity are impacted by multiple stressors and connectivity by investigating taxa within the same group that vary in dispersal capacity (using freshwater bryozoans as a model system). Microsatellites have already been developed and optimised for the bryozoan taxa. The project will be linked with a second project at the NHM on disease distributions and connectivity as bryozoans are primary host of one of the fish diseases investigated.
Candidates for the project should have a PhD in population genetics, phylogeography or related field of molecular evolution/ecology and will thus have experience in molecular biology, population genetic and statistical analyses and a demonstrated organisational capacity for creating, maintaining and analysing large datasets. The work will entail extensive fieldwork to collect freshwater bryozoans from multiple sites in three regions of the UK (Norfolk Broads, Lake District, Greater Glasgow), examination of material for parasitic infections (myxozoans) by PCR and stereomicroscopy, microsatellite genotyping, and population genetic analyses. There would be opportunity for further development of modelling skills via interactions with modellers to elucidate how gene flow and diversity are influenced by measures of connectivity (e.g. hydrology, bird densities, human activity, etc.) and stressors (e.g. disease, pollution, eutrophication, heavy metals).
The post will be advertised with application details on the NHM’s website (https://nhm.irecruittotal.com/CONFIG/NHM/StaticPages/CAC/SearchVacancy.aspx?EmploymentTypeID=0&Intranet=0) from 18th January 2016 with an application deadline of 8th Feb 2016.

PRDA at the Natural History Museum: Disease distribution in the freshwater landscape
This is one of two projects (supervised by David Bass and Beth Okamura) based at the Natural History Museum that form fundamental components of a larger NERC-funded multidisciplinary research programme (Hydroscape) investigating how connectivity and multiple stressors interact to influence biodiversity and ecosystem function in freshwaters. Although connectivity is recognised to be a multi-faceted and quintessential property of aquatic ecosystems there is a critical lack of knowledge on how biodiversity and ecosystem function respond to variation in stress factors that may be influenced by different levels of connectivity. This is in part due to a long tradition of focusing on individual stressors and sites. The overall research programme is designed to gain essential insights for future management of freshwaters by working across a hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales and covering a range of freshwater habitat types in different landscapes to address these issues. A central proposition of the project is that increasing connectivity entails a basic tension between desirable (promoting resilience) and undesirable (increasing the spread and impact of stressors) outcomes.
Many diseases of freshwater organisms are emerging in new geographic locations and increasing in prevalence and severity, often in association with environmental stress. This project will investigate how multiple stressors and connectivity impact the distributions and abundances of selected disease agents (spores, oocysts, eDNA) in water samples. The samples will be variously processed to assay disease agents of fish (Dermocystidium – protists causing disease in eels and other fish, and a myxozoan causing proliferative kidney disease in trout and salmon), an otter disease agent (Toxoplasma gondii, suspected to be introduced via run-off of cat faeces) and a human disease agent (Cryptosporidium, a protist entering waters via run-off from agriculture and urban wastewater).
Candidates for the project should have a PhD involving molecular taxonomy or related field of molecular evolution/ecology and will thus have skills in molecular biology, bioinformatics, and statistical analyses and demonstrated organisational capacities for creating, maintaining and analysing large datasets. The work will entail extensive fieldwork to collect and process environmental samples from multiple sites in three regions of the UK (Norfolk Broads, Lake District, Greater Glasgow) in spring, summer and autumn. Samples will be subsequently analysed using previously developed qPCR approaches (for myxozoan, T. gondii, and Cryptosporidium) and amplicon sequencing to produce MiSeq libraries (for Dermocystidium), plus relevant bioinformatics analyses. There would be opportunity for further development of modelling skills via interactions with modellers to elucidate how distributions and abundances of disease agents are influenced by measures of connectivity (e.g. hydrology, bird densities, human activity, etc.) and stressors (e.g. pollution, eutrophication, heavy metals). The project is also expected to generate insights on disease as a stressor with impacts on hosts, biodiversity and ecosystem function.
The post will be advertised with application details on the NHM’s website (https://nhm.irecruittotal.com/CONFIG/NHM/StaticPages/CAC/SearchVacancy.aspx?EmploymentTypeID=0&Intranet=0) from 18th January 2016 with an application deadline of 8th Feb 2016.

____________________________________________________________________

Prof Beth Okamura
Merit Researcher
Department of Life Sciences
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD
United Kingdom

phone: +44 (0)2079 426631
email: b.okamura@nhm.ac.uk

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/about-science/staff-directory/life-sciences/b-okamura/index.html