[Taxacom] PhD student in Plant Biology/Bioinformatics

Koen Geuten koen.geuten at yale.edu
Tue Oct 9 08:25:17 CDT 2007

PhD student in Plant Biology

The Laboratory of Plant Systematics is part of the Department of  
Biology at the K.U.Leuven (Belgium). Our lab has a strong expertise  
in plant systematics, including flower morphology and ontogeny,  
evodevo, palynology, molecular systematics, wood and seed anatomy.  
Our team include three postdocs, 12 PhD students and two lab  

We now seek a PhD student to build complementary expertise in  
bioinformatics and mathematical modelling.

Project: Compilation, informatisation and analysis of morphological  
and anatomical data

What is the evolutionary base for morphological differences between  
plants? How do these differences emerge during development and how  
are they genetically determined? To date it is hard to answer these  
questions since we do not have the ICT-tools to integrate develop  
mental genetics and comparative morphology/anatomy. We want to tackle  
this problem by developing a database with morphological characters  
for a large group of flowering plants (basal asterids).

This database will fill three needs:
(1) morphological observations could be linked to mutant phenotypes  
using a common terminology (ontology);
(2) mathematical models that explain plant development can be tested;
(3) morphological data become accessible for statistic and  
evolutionary analyses.

In a first phase, a databank will be designed based on an existing  
database for animal-data, but adapted to the specific terminology of  
flowering plants. In a second phase, available observations and data  
from literature are loaded. In a last phase specific hypotheses and  
models can be tested based on the data.

Qualification requirements: Applicants should have a MSc or  
equivalent in Biology, Bioinformatics or Bio-engineering with a  
strong interest in the natural world and programming.
Funding is provided for 2 years (100%) and the candidate will be  
encouraged to enter a doctoral program. The position is open from  
January 1st, 2008.

For further information, please visit the lab website at  
www.kuleuven.be/bio/sys or contact
Dr. Suzy Huysmans at suzy.huysmans at bio.kuleuven.be
Dr. Koen Geuten koen.geuten at bio.kuleuven.be.

The application should contain a CV, documentations of grades and  
exams, a list of two referees with e-mail info, and a description of  
motivation and experience relevant to the research project. Please  
submit your application to Dr. Suzy Huysmans  
(suzy.huysmans at bio.kuleuven.be) before October 20st, 2007.

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