[Taxacom] Ph.D. position at the University of Zurich

Alexander.Schmidt-Lebuhn at biologie.uni-goettingen.de Alexander.Schmidt-Lebuhn at biologie.uni-goettingen.de
Wed Sep 15 18:27:38 CDT 2010


PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The selected Ph.D. student will participate in a
broad collaborative project entitled “Effects of climate change on past,
recent, and future biodiversity of alpine/arctic plants: Integrative
evidence from phylogenies, population genetics, ecological niche modeling
and new insights for conservation”, funded by a ProDoc grant from the
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) within the Zürich-Basel Plant
Science Center (PSC).
	Recent improvements in our ability to reconstruct the history of
biodiversity through timed phylogenies, estimate changes in genetic
diversity, and predict the potential distribution of selected species
with ecological niche models (ENMs) now allow us to infer the evolution
of ecological preferences and distributional ranges at different temporal
scales, from the present, to the past and the future. The Ph.D. student
based at the University of Zürich will use a combination of phylogeny and
ENM to test (i) the model of allopolyploid speciation by secondary
contact in arctic/alpine plants; (ii) whether island colonization by
plants with specialized breeding systems is associated with a change of
reproductive strategy, ecological preferences, and genetic variation. The
biological model system used to address these questions is Primula
section Aleuritia, because it includes a range of ploidy levels and
phylogeny-based hypotheses of polyploid species origins are available
(see Guggisberg A., Mansion G., & Conti E. 2009. Disentangling reticulate
evolution in an arctic-alpine polyploid complex. Systematic Biology
58:55-73). The project stems from a direct collaboration between Elena
Conti (phylogeny-biogeography; University of Zurich) and Christoph Randin
(ecological niche modeling; University of Basel), with additional
expertise provided by Stephen Smith (National Evolutionary Synthesis
Center, USA) and Jérôme Goudet (University of Lausanne).

POSITION CHARACTERISTICS: We offer a highly cooperative and stimulating
working environment in motivated teams, interdisciplinary collaboration
with leading research institutions, and opportunities for publication in
high‐ranking scientific journals. Salary according to the Swiss
National Science Foundation (SNF) guidelines. Funding is available for 3

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must hold a master degree in biology or related
disciplines. Practical experience in molecular techniques and phylogenetic
analysis (or phylogeography/population genetics) highly desirable.
Excellent knowledge of the English language, written and oral, required.
High motivation, ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and social
competence are expected.

HOW TO APPLY: Send the following documents by email AS A SINGLE PDF FILE
to Prof. Elena Conti, ContiElena(at)access.uzh.ch:  I) a one- to two-page
application letter clearly addressing the following questions: a) Why are
you interested in a Ph.D. position in this research topic? b) What are
your career goals?; II) your detailed curriculum vitae, including a list
of field collecting, molecular, analytical, and linguistic skills,
presentations at scientific meetings, and publications (if applicable);
III) a copy of your undergraduate and graduate academic record; IV) names
and full addresses of two or three referees selected from your academic
advisors. In your email subject line, use the title: “Ph.D. application
ProDoc PSC”. Applications that do not follow the above-specified
guidelines will be no further evaluated.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: Applications will be screened as they arrive,
thus we encourage each applicant to send in his/her pdf file as soon as
possible.  The closing date for applications is October 15, 2010.
STARTING DATE: As soon as a suitable candidate is selected, but no later
than February 1, 2011.

> Dear Colleagues,
> I would be very grateful  if you could broadly advertise the position below
> at your Institution and beyond, among colleagues who could further spread
> it around, and among potentially suitable Ph.D. candidates.
> Thank you very much for your help and all the best!
> Cheers,

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