domingo, 25 de septiembre de 2011

Two PhD positions, School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland

Two PhD positions, in the School of Biological Sciences at the
University of Auckland and funded by the Allan Wilson Centre for
Molecular Ecology and Evolution, are available in insect genomics and
genome evolution. These positions will be based at Landcare Research
on the Tamaki campus of the University of Auckland. Both students
will be primarily supervised by Thomas Buckley and co-supervised by
Richard Newcomb and Howard Ross, all of the Allan Wilson Centre and the
University of Auckland. The successful candidates will have an interest
and experience in bioinformatic analysis of genomic data and computational
evolutionary biology.
Project 1: Genome evolution, speciation and molecular population genetics
of giant weta. Giant weta (Insecta, Orthoptera) are the largest insects on earth
and some species are highly endangered. This project involves genome
sequencing a species of giant weta using Illumina technology, followed by
genome assembly, annotation and comparative analysis. The draft genome
will be used as a template for downstream transcriptome and RAD-tag
studies of variation within and among other giant weta species. The
transcriptome studies will target various phenotypic characteristics such
as reproductive and sensory processes. The data will be used to examine
processes of adaptation within and among species. The conservation
implications of these data will be an important aspect of the research.

Project 2: Genome evolution, speciation and molecular population genetics
of stick insects. The common stick insect (Clitarchus hookeri) is widespread through
much of New Zealand. This species is particularly interesting at it is
a geographic parthenogen and is closely related to other species, one
of which it has hybridized with. The successful candidate will perform
Illumina sequencing and assemble and annotate a draft genome of this
stick insect species. The draft genome will be used as a scaffold for
further RAD-tag studies of SNP variation within C. hookeri and among
closely related species. Transcriptome data will also be collected and
mapped to the draft genome for study of various phenotypic traits and
selection and adaptation. Variation will be measured and compared within
and among populations of C. hookeri and with closely related species.

Funding includes a $25,000 NZD per year scholarship and $5,000 for tuition fees.
For more information and host institutions and supervisors' research
interests see the following links:
Associate Professor Thomas Buckley
Associate Professor Richard Newcomb
Dr Howard Ross

To apply for either of these position please contact Thomas Buckley
at the email address below. Potential candidates should submit a CV,
two references, and a short statement of research interests to:
Thomas Buckley
Research Group Leader, Landcare Research
Associate Professor, University of Auckland

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