[MARMAM] Graduate position: PhD studentship in marine mammal evolutionary genomics

Joe Hoffman j_i_hoffman at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 1 07:04:51 PST 2013

studentship in marine mammal evolutionary genomics 

Dr Joe Hoffman (Bielefeld University, Germany) and Dr Jaume Forcada (British
Antarctic Survey, UK) 

studies of wild populations reveal links between heterozygosity and fitness,
with highly heterozygous individuals carrying fewer parasites, living longer
and being more attractive to mates. 
However, because most studies use only around ten microsatellite
markers, we do not yet know which of two possible mechanisms is most important
nor which types of gene could be involved. 
This studentship will take full advantage of emerging next-generation
technologies to elucidate the relationship between heterozygosity and fitness
in a natural vertebrate system based on a large body of genetic and
observational data from an intensively studied colony of Antarctic fur seals
(Arctocephalus gazella).  The objective
is to determine the main mechanism(s) responsible for heterozygosity-fitness
correlations using a combination of high-density SNP genotyping, linkage
mapping and comparative genomics. 

We seek a
bright and highly motivated student who ideally holds an M.Sc. or equivalent in
a relevant topic (e.g. population, evolutionary or conservation genetics,
bioinformatics).  Experience of working
with next generation sequence data (including writing custom scripts), SNP
discovery and genotyping (including RAD sequencing and high-density SNP arrays)
and quantitative genetics (including linkage mapping) would be advantageous,
but full training will be provided.  The
ideal candidate will also be able to work both independently and as part of a
team.  A high standard of spoken and
written English is required. 

The student
will be based at the Department of Animal Behaviour at Bielefeld University
The department is the oldest of its kind in Germany and currently hosts
six principal investigators, seven postdocs and twenty PhD students.  It offers a stimulating international
environment and an excellent research infrastructure including a brand new
molecular laboratory.  The working
language of the Department is English. 
The student will also have the opportunity to interact with cooperation
partners (Prof Jon Slate and Dr Jochen Wolf) through placements at Sheffield
and Uppsala Universities respectively. 

is a city of 325,000 inhabitants with an attractive historical centre and easy
access to the Teutoberger Wald for hiking and other outdoor pursuits.  It offers a very high standard of living and
is well connected to most major European cities. 

generous studentship, which provides a net salary of at least €1500 per month
and includes health insurance, is funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG)
for a period of three years.  Funding is
also available for attending conferences. 
To apply for the position, please provide: (i) a letter of motivation
including a maximum 2-page statement of your research interests, relevant
skills and experience; (ii) a CV including publication list; and (iii) names
and contact details of three referees willing to write confidential letters of
recommendation.  All materials should be
emailed as a single PDF file to: joseph.hoffman at uni-bielefeld.de with 'PhD
application' in the subject line. 

University of Bielefeld is an equal opportunity employer.  We particularly welcome applications from
women.  Given equal suitability,
qualifications and professional achievement, women will be given preference,
unless particular circumstances pertaining to a male applicant apply. 

application deadline is January 10th 2014 and interviews will take place
shortly afterwards.  The preferred start
date is flexible and will depend on the timeframe of the most qualified
applicant.  For further information,
please see http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/biologie/vhf/JH or contact Joe Hoffman
via email (joseph.hoffman at uni-bielefeld.de) with any informal inquiries.

For representative publications, please see:
Hoffman et al. (2003) Evolution, 57: 1917–1930; Hoffman et al. (2007) Nature,
445: 912–914; and Hoffman et al. (2013) BMC Genomics, 14: 52.

Joe Hoffman
Department of Animal Behaviour
University of Bielefeld

Postfach 100131

33501 Bielefeld


+49 (0)521 1062711

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