Job announcement
Zoological Research Museum Koenig (ZFMK)

2 PhD Positions - Adaptive Genomics of Sulawesi ricefishes

Application deadline: 15.09.2017
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2 PhD positions for the research project “Adaptive Genomics of Sulawesi ricefishes”

There is an exciting opportunity for talented, motivated and independent applicants toj oin the Ricefish project at the Zoological Research Museum Koenig (ZFMK) in Bonn, Germany. The Project is associated with the Ichthyology section and the Centre for Molecular Biodiversity Research (zmb) of the ZFMK and funded by the Leibniz Association. The main focus is to connect state of the art morphological with genomic research to understand complex adaptive traits, here a unique breeding strategy in Sulawesi Ricefishes (Actinopterygii: Adrianichthyidae), called pelvic brooding. The study will integrate state-of-the-art morphological and genomic methods as well as fieldwork in Sulawesi (Indonesia) and will give applicants the possibility to participate in each part of the project and gain experience in a young team of researchers.

In Ricefishes from Sulawesi (Indonesia) a new mode of reproduction evolved at least twice in independent lineages. In pelvic brooding species, females carry the eggs in an abdominal concavity until they hatch. Studying pelvic brooding from different angles will help to gain a holistic understanding of the evolution of this adaptive trait. Ricefishes are an ideal model to study adaptive genomics as phenotypic changes can be compared in parallel evolutionary lineages and as substantial genomic resources are available from the closely related model-organism Oryzias latipes (Medaka). Located at one of the large German natural history museums, the group will link the invaluable material of scientific collections with the new opportunities for advanced evolutionary biology studies in the age of genomics.

We are seeking highly motivated applicants, ideally trained in evolutionary biology, and preferably with a sound background in genetics and/or morphology. Experience in rearing fish, good laboratory and bioinformatics skills will be considered a plus. One PhD student will mainly focus on the morphological characterization of pelvic brooding based on state of the art morphological methods, like micro-computed tomography (μ-CT), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) as well as histology. The second PhD student will mainly focus on the characterization of candidate genes for traits related to pelvic brooding via the analysis of tissue related gene expression and QTL mapping based on RNAseq, RADseq and whole genome resequencing. Field studies in Sulawesi (Indonesia) are planned as part of the first PhD project but can also be accomplished by the second PhD student or both. Projects should complement each other and tasks can be divided based on personal interest and expertise. The candidates should be able to work in a team and should have very good written and oral communication skills in English.

Salary and benefits are according to a public service position in Germany (TV-L E13, 50%), with payscale grouping depending on professional experience.

Please submit your application with the usual documents (letter of interest, CV, complete publication record, copies of relevant certificates and supporting documents) to Mrs. Heike Lenz: until 15th September 2017. The positions will remain open until filled. Questions concerning the position may be directed to Dr. Julia Schwarzer:

The ZFMK advocates gender equality and women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply.
Equally qualified severely handicapped applicants will be given preference.

The ZFMK is one of three natural history research museums in the Leibniz Association and a lead institute in the documentation, research, and interpretation of animal biodiversity. The combination of classical museum work and various cutting-edge approaches offers a highly motivating environment. For more information about the museum see

© 09.08.2017 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG