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

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