Job announcement
University of Bern, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Switzerland

PhD - Speciation genomics of rodents and their microbes

Application deadline: 7.12.2017
[printable version .pdf]

Two PhD positions

Speciation genomics of rodents and their microbes

Applications are invited for two PhD positions investigating the genomic processes of evolutionary divergence and hybridization in rodents and their feedback on associated microbes. Research will deepen and extend our comparative analyses of different stages of speciation in Microtus voles. This will contribute to answering fundamental questions in evolutionary biology such as: What is the importance of adaptive and neutral processes during evolutionary divergence? How tight is the association between fast-evolving microorganisms and processes of speciation in their hosts? Does divergence and diversity of hosts limit or expand the evolutionary scope of associated microorganisms? We will address this through comparative analyses of vole and RNA virus genomes and of microbial communities based on high-throughput sequence data from several Microtus hybrid zones with different levels of divergence. The two PhD candidates will focus on different aspects of the system (host, microbiome, virus, selection, demography, population structure, etc.) depending on the specific qualifications and interests.

I am looking for skilled, creative and highly-motivated candidates who are able to work independently and in a team. Candidates must have a solid background in evolutionary biology, and practical experience with bioinformatics applications and analysis methods in population genetics and/or phylogenetics. Much of the work will concern the processing and analysis of large genomic data sets generated by the candidates. Experience with molecular laboratory work or fieldwork on small mammals is a plus but not essential. A Master degree in a relevant field and a valid driver’s license is required. The project includes short periods of fieldwork, and the writing of several manuscripts for leading scientific journals.

We offer a very stimulating, multi-national research community with excellent infrastructure. We are also part of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) which broadens the opportunities for further training beyond courses in various doctoral programs. The working language in our institute is English. Some knowledge of German or French is beneficial for living in Switzerland but it is not essential. Bern and Switzerland are consistently ranked among the places with the highest quality of life.

The positions are funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for a maximum of four years. The anticipated starting date is early 2018. Please send your application as a single (!) pdf file to Prof. Gerald Heckel: To be considered, the pdf must include a letter describing your past research experience and particular skills and motivation for these positions (max. 2 pages), the abstract of your Master thesis, a CV, and contact details of 2-3 referees. Review of applications will begin December 7 2017 and will continue until the positions are filled.

© 24.11.2017 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG