Monthly Archives: January 2018

Terry’s group meeting tomorrow is cancelled. Next one is scheduled for Fri 9/2 11.30am

Manchester’s Molecular and Genome Evolution Symposium

Manchester’s Molecular and Genome Evolution Symposium (#MaGE2018) is
back again this year on Monday 5th March! Registration and abstract
submission are now open.

MaGE encompasses all aspects of molecular and genome evolution, ranging
from genomic analyses or computational algorithm development, to
molecular ecology, population genetics, and experimental evolution.

MaGE 2018 will be a day-long event in Manchester’s Michael Smith
Building, including a plenary lecture from Mike Brockhurst alongside a
series of contributed talks, and a poster session. The full programme
is currently being put together, but past programmes can be viewed at
the URL below.

MaGE is free to attend, but places are limited so please register at
the URL below, and submit a title if you would like to present a talk
or poster. We are particularly keen to give PhD students and post-docs
a chance to present their work. All contributed talks and posters will
also be considered for a prize, presented at the drinks reception
following the symposium.

For full details, including registration and abstract submission
deadlines, see:

Danna Gifford, Chris Knight and Sam Griffiths-Jones

PhD offer

Message from Victor:

offer to do a PhD on ‘Structural comparative studies of genomes from neglected livestock species and mammals of biomedical importance’ in the Royal Veterinary College under the supervision of Dr Denis Larkin and Dr Imelda McGonnell.

Postgraduate Student Sponsorship Application qPCR

Postgraduate Student Sponsorship Applications: Only 2 weeks to go to get your applications submitted!

Only 2 weeks left to get your applications in! Primerdesign are still collecting applications for its Postgraduate Student Sponsorship scheme for research projects. So get your applications in so that you don’t miss out. Selected gold students can look forward to receiving:

Free two-day qPCR training at Primerdesign on the 26th and 27th of March 2018, including overnight accommodation and travel to our offices in Southampton
~£3000 worth of free kits and reagents tailored to your specific project
20% discount for all our kits and reagents for the remainder of the project
Access to the Primerdesign webinar series
An optional opportunity to have details of your research featured on the Primerdesign website and social networks
Hands on technical assistance and training from our experts

Every year Primerdesign sponsors a number of postgraduate students across the UK to help with their research by actively promoting good science and providing an assortment of free and discounted, high quality real-time PCR reagents. Projects are assessed, and a number of sponsorships awarded on merit.

The above is intended for use by the postgraduate student, but can be used by the group at the discretion of the student supervisor. Kits, reagents and training will be provided without the exchange of funds and will be organised by agreement with the Primerdesign expert.

If you are a Postgraduate student or a supervisor and intend to use real-time PCR then Primerdesign would be delighted to consider sponsoring your or your student.

Applications will close on the 26th January 2018. Successful candidates will be notified on 16th February 2018.

For more information or to register your interest please visit:

If you are not a supervisor or student with a Real-Time PCR project, but know someone who is, please forward this email to them.

PhD position: Evolutionary genomics of a Daphnia waterflea species complex

We are looking for a PhD candidate interested in studying the genomic consequences of human-facilitated gene flow in a Daphnia species complex. The position is part of the INTERREG SEEWANDEL research initiative, which includes seven institutions in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria and seeks to investigate the effects of environmental change on biodiversity and resilience in Lake Constance and other large peri-Alpine lakes.

The position is funded for 48 months and to be filled at the earliest possible date. The successful candidate will be based at the Molecular Ecology Group at the Institute of Ecology of the University of Innsbruckm which is highly interdisciplinary and internationally very well connected:

Lake-eutrophication during the last century has facilitated secondary contact between ecologically important Daphnia species in peri-Alpine lakes. The extent of secondary contact depends on the degree of trophic change. The successful candidate will use recent population samples and Daphnia resting eggs from sediment cores to quantify and characterize gene flow between species and study the consequences of the secondary contact on species integrity and functional traits. The project comprises sedimentological work (collecting sediment cores), molecular lab work (DNA extractions and library preparation), and extensive bioinformatics analyses as well as some experimental work with Daphnia. The study will focus on three large peri-Alpine lakes with different trophic histories – Lake Constance, Lake Walen, and Lake Zurich – and will include close collaborations with the members of the SEEWANDEL initiative. Part of the experimental work will be conducted at Eawag (Switzerland).

Candidates should be highly motivated and have a strong interest in evolutionary biology, ecology, and population genetics. The planned work will require a high degree of independence and the ability to work in a team. Experience in (i) molecular lab and field work, (ii) analyses of whole-genome re-sequencing data, (iii) and basic programming skills (e.g. R, Python, bash) will be an advantage. The project includes several collaborators and international groups in Switzerland, Germany, and the UK, and therefore good English skills are essential.

The annual gross salary is EURO 28,994 for a 48-months employment. The contract includes health insurance and 5 weeks of holidays per year. Furthermore, the university has numerous attractive offers:

***How to apply***
Please send a single pdf file including a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, a complete list of publications and contact details of two references to Applications must be written in English and submitted until 16 February 2018.

The University of Innsbruck is striving to increase the percentage of female employees and therefore invites qualified women to apply. In the case of equivalent qualifications, women will be given preference. An offer of employment is contingent on a satisfactory pre-employment background check.

***The research institution and its environment***
Detailed information about the Molecular Ecology group can be found here: The University of Innsbruck has a long-standing and internationally renowned tradition in life sciences and offers a vibrant research atmosphere. It has 27,000 students and 4,000 staff members. Innsbruck is situated in the Alps, very close to Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. Excellent train connections and airports in Innsbruck and close by in Munich and Salzburg ensure good connections and easy travelling. The scenery and possibilities for outdoor recreation are fantastic.

***Any questions?***
For more information on the position, the project, the group, or the University, please do not hesitate to contact Markus Möst or Birgit Schlick-Steiner directly.

MÖST Markus, PhD
University of Innsbruck
Institute of Ecology
Research Group: Molecular Ecology
Technikerstrasse 25 (Room 517)
A-6020 Innsbruck
Tel: +43 (0)512 507-51771
Fax: +43 (0)512 507-51799

SCHLICK-STEINER Birgit Dr., Univ.-Prof.
University of Innsbruck
Institute of Ecology
Deputy Head of the Institute
Head of the Research Group: Molecular Ecology
Technikerstrasse 25 (Room 516)
A-6020 Innsbruck
T +43 (0)512 507-51750
F +43 (0)512 507-51799

Speciation Genomics Meeting

Cambridge, 19/20 March

Two Post-Doctoral positions at the University of Zurich

POSITIONS DESCRIPTION. Two post-doctoral positions in 1) evolutionary biology/genomics and 2) bioinformatics are available in Elena Conti’s lab at the University of Zurich. The main research focus is on evolutionary pathways in heterostyly and the evolution of supergenes. Current projects include: phylogenomics and evolution of breeding systems in Primulaceae; morphological, ecological and biogeographic evolution in Primulaceae; comparative genomics of selected taxa in Primulaceae aimed at clarifying the evolution of floral morphology and the heterostyly supergene; evolution of heterostyly in flowering plants; reproductive barriers in Primula. The successful applicants will benefit from resources and collaborations on the above-mentioned topics developed by Elena Conti’s lab over several years and from concurrent projects on the genomics of heterostyly and introgression in Primulaceae funded by the European Union and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Opportunities to gain experience in teaching and grant writing are available and encouraged. The Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany and the University of Zurich provide state-of-the art infrastructure, excellent scientific milieu, and an international, English-speaking working environment. With a world-class airport located in the center of Europe, Zurich offers unmatched opportunities for easy travel to conferences and workshops anywhere in the world. Proximity to the Alps offers easy access to multiple outdoor activities and the species-rich Alpine flora.

REQUIREMENTS: The successful applicants will have a Ph.D. degree with evidence of publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Required skills – Demonstrated ability to: frame questions, hypotheses, and goals towards publication in peer-reviewed journals; utilize and analyze data from multiple Next Generation Sequencing platforms; develop novel pipelines and perform cutting-edge population genomic and phylogenomic analyses; write scientific manuscripts. Expertise in comparative genomics, bioinformatics, experimental design, and statistical analyses is necessary. Ability to collaborate, independence, and excellent writing skills are required. One of the two positions will be focused especially on bioinformatics and the development of new analytical methods, in collaboration also with Dr. Peter Szövenyi’s lab at the University of Zurich.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE. Applications will be reviewed starting on February 20, 2018 and will continue to be evaluated until suitable candidates are identified. Please, clearly indicate which position you are applying for in your application. Send your application as a SINGLE PDF FILE titled Primulapostdoc_yourfamilyname to Your application will contain the following documents: 1) cv; 2) publication record; 3) Copy of obtained Ph.D. diploma and courses taken, with grades; 4) letter of motivation explaining your interest in and suitability for the position (2 pages max.); 5) names, institutional affiliations, email addresses and phone numbers of 3 referees. Applications that fail to meet the guidelines specified above will not be further considered.

STARTING DATE: May 1, 2018 (with possibility of negotiation). The positions are available for 2 to 3 years, contingent upon successful performance review after the first year. Opportunities for prolongation are available upon successful grant writing and application.

For further information, see:

ASAB Easter conference

abstract submission for the Plymouth Easter ASAB is now open, with a deadline of the 16th of February. The registration link will also be up within the next week. The website for both can be found here:

Also, Damien Farine (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology) has been awarded the Christopher Barnard Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Investigator and is confirmed for giving a plenary at the conference.

If you have any questions then please get in touch using the email address

Accommodation available

My old house in Wharncliffe Side is currently available to rent. It’s on the NW side of Sheffield, in the picturesque Upper Don valley. It’s not within walking distance of uni, but is a ~20 min drive or ~35 mins by public transport. It has two double bedrooms, garden & garage, great access to countryside/Peak District walking and country pubs, plus an extensive garden bird list for Sheffield (details can be provided upon request!).

It’s advertised through an agency, but any queries then feel free to drop me a line (


Bioinformatician, Berlin

We are seeking a talented and motivated bioinformatician to develop the new core facility for the
analysis of genomic data at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin – Leibniz Institute for Evolution
and Biodiversity Science.
The jobholder is expected to establish his/her own research agenda in the field of evolutionary
genomics and to provide bioinformatics support within the Museum to enable multidisciplinary
research projects as for example in the context of the “Center for Integrative Biodiversitydiscovery”
at the MfN. Both tasks involve engagement in grant applications as well as training and supervision
of students and post-docs.
The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin provides an excellent research environment. It houses stateof-
the-art laboratories for molecular genetics and computation. Numerous independent research
groups are working in a wide range of research fields including population genetics, phylogenetics,
developmental and evolutionary genetics, and taxonomy. Our world-class zoological collections
provide unique access to specimens collected over the last 200+ years. The Berlin-
Brandenburg region is characterized by a highly international academic and cultural community.
The cities Berlin and Potsdam as well as their water-rich surroundings offer excellent possibilities
for recreation. Living costs are still moderate.

For more information, please contact Dr. Frieder Mayer (MfN), Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz
Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science (