PhD POSITION- Sweden

 

STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITY hereby announces a

PhD POSITION IN SYSTEMATICS AND EVOLUTION (ANCIENT DNA) at the Department of Zoology, Stockholm University (placed at the Molecular Systematics Laboratory, the Swedish Museum of Natural History).

Project title: Population turnover and range dynamics during the last Ice Age

Final date for applications: November 20, 2009

Project description: The aim of this PhD project is to investigate the degree of population turnover and range fluctuation during the Late Pleistocene, and to evaluate to what extent these processes are related to the environmental changes that occurred during this dynamic period. This will be done through genetic analyses on fossils up to 50 000 years old. The resulting genetic data will be integrated with information on past distributions and climate through back-casted species distribution models. In addition, molecular analyses on faeces as well as permafrost sediments will be used to assess changes in diet through time and across space. Potential model species for the project include collared lemming, reindeer and arctic fox.

Specific topics that will be examined in the project comprise i) the timing of extinctions and demographic change in relation to past environmental change, ii) to what extent local populations tracked changes in habitat availability when faced with climate change, and iii) how changes in plant diversity affected herbivore diet through time. The long-term aim of the project is to provide increased knowledge on how habitat change drives the speciation and extinction processes and, on a more practical level, to increase the accuracy of models used to forecast the impact of future climate change on biodiversity.

The project will be done within the ancient DNA research group at the Molecular Systematics Laboratory (MSL) in the Swedish Museum of Natural History. A part of the research carried out by the PhD student will be done within the cross-disciplinary research network CLIMIGRATE, funded by the European Union’s FP7 ERA-NET program BiodivERsA. The PhD degree will be awarded in Systematics and Evolution at the Department of Zoology.

Dr. Love Dalén at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (MSL) will be the main supervisor.

Qualifications: To be qualified for research studies the applicant must have completed a research degree (e.g. Master’s), or have passed at least 120 hp (2 years) of biological studies, including an approved independent project of at least 30 hp at advanced level (“examensarbete”) within systematics and evolution, ecology, population genetics or a similar subject. Applicants who have in principle acquired the corresponding competence in Sweden or abroad, are also qualified.

Criteria for selection: Among qualified applicants, selection is made according to the ability to profit from the studies. The criteria to be used are the applicant’s documented knowledge in subjects of relevance for the research area, ability to master language (including both spoken and written English),

analytical ability, creativity, initiative, independence and ability to cooperate. The basis for judgement of how well the applicant fulfils these criteria is: the relevance of earlier studies for the research area, grades on courses at the university level, the quality of the independent project (master thesis or “examensarbete”), references, interviews and the applicant’s letter of intent.

Previous experience in practical genetic analyses is highly desirable, and knowledge in ecology, population genetics, past climates and environments, and ecological modelling are considered as additional qualifications.

To be included in the application: Maximum one A4-page of personal presentation and your reasons for applying (letter of intent). Curriculum vitae. Copy of independent project report (master thesis or “examensarbete”). Copy of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all attested). Also provide a list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses).

Provide two copies of all documents and the thesis. To be considered, the application labelled “PhD ref.no. 02/09 LDII” must have arrived at the address below by November 20, 2009.

Address to which the application should be sent:

Stockholms universitet

Prefekten

Zoologiska institutionen

106 91 Stockholm

Sweden

Terms of employment: The research education comprises 48 months at full time. The position is financed by a fellowship (“utbildningsbidrag”) for the first years, and then continues with PhD-employment until the end of the PhD-program. Up to 20% of teaching may be included in the position. (If teaching is included, the position will be extended).

Union representatives: Bo Ekengren SACO, Lisbeth Häggberg ST, and Gunnar Stenberg SEKO. Phone: + 46 (0)8 16 20 00. PhD student representative e-mail: do@sus.su.se

For further information about the project, contact:

Assistant professor Love Dalén + 46 (0)8 519 542 81, e-mail: love.dalen@nrm.se

Further information on the web:

Stockholm University: http://www.su.se

MSL: http://www.nrm.se/en/menu/researchandcollections/departments/molecularsystematics

The Department of Zoology: http://zoologi.su.se

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