Funding is available for a four year BBSRC DTP PhD studentship (deadline 5th January), to be awarded on a competitive basis within the University of Nottingham, to investigate the speciation of snails using next generation DNA sequencing methods
Speciation on a snail’s scale
Snails and slugs are a major crop pest, with a few introduced species causing massive worldwide problems. They are difficult to identify, and part of the second most species-rich animal group - yet we have no good idea of how this biodiversity has come about. This project will use next generation sequencing methods to investigate the speciation of snails, especially with respect to characters under natural and artificial selection (e.g. shell colour and banding or molluscide resistance), and including methods that may help identify cryptic species. Although the precise nature of the project will be determined by the state of play when the project begins and the interests of the student, I envisage that he/she will use mapping and expression methods to home in on the genes in question. He/she may also develop new species/models to study (possibly involving fieldwork in Europe or Asia), enabling deeper comparative analyses. The student will receive training in standard molecular lab methods, next generation sequencing and bioinformatic methods.
Representative publications from existing students
Richards, PM, Liu, MM, Lowe, N, Davey, JW, Blaxter, ML and Davison, A (2013) RAD-Seq derived markers flank the shell colour and banding loci of the Cepaea nemoralis supergene. Molecular Ecology 22: 3077-3089. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.12262/full
Grindon, AJ and Davison, A (2013). Irish Cepaea nemoralis land snails have a cryptic Franco-Iberian origin that is most easily explained by the movements of Mesolithic humans. PLoS One 8, e65792. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0065792
Applicants should have, or expect to receive, a good degree in a relevant subject, and an interest and enthusiasm for evolution. In the first instance, prospective students should send a CV and an indication of general area of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org; see also angusdavison.org
Funding is available for four years from Autumn 2014. A full award would be fees plus an annual stipend.
Eligibility for full funding is restricted to UK residents (fees and stipend). EU students are eligible for fees only awards, unless the applicants fulfil the residency criteria for a full award. To be eligible applicants must have (or be expected to achieve) a first or upper second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK and/or a postgraduate Masters degree in a relevant subject. For full eligibility criteria visit: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf
How to apply:
Applicants should go to www.nottingham.ac.uk/bbdtp to download the application and reference forms. Note that an important part of this BBSRC DTP scheme is a lab rotation during the first year. A full list of the possible projects is here, http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/graduateschool/doctoral-training-centres/bbsrc-doctoral-training-programme-in-biosciences/prospective-students/available-projects/available-projects-new.aspx
Dr. Angus Davison
Reader in Evolutionary Genetics
School of Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building
University of Nottingham