Offre de thèse : Spatial-temporal evolution of Macaranga ant-plant lineages (Euphorbiaceae) in Southeast Asia

Dear all, I am looking for a highly motivated PhD student to participate in our project “Spatial-temporal evolution of Macaranga ant-plant lineages
(Euphorbiaceae) in Southeast Asia”. This is a fixed term-position for three years (part-time, 65 % of a full-time employee), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Project description:
In this project, we will use next generation sequencing technology (genotyping-by-sequencing, GBS) to resolve phylogenetic relationships
among and within myrmecophytic lineages of the Southeast Asian ant-plant genus Macaranga. While many Macaranga species facultatively attract ants, about 30 species from western Malesia (comprising Borneo, Sumatra,
and the Malay Peninsula, collectively Sundaland) live in obligate symbiosis with nine species of Crematogaster ants. Based on GBS-derived
analysis (sample material is already available), we will reconstruct the temporal-spatial evolution of myrmecophytism in the group and will elucidate when, where and under which circumstances morphological traits associated with myrmecophytism have been gained (and lost). Further,
we will test the hypothesis that myrmecophytism enhanced diversification and speciation in Macaranga. In the second part of the project, general
aspects of Sundaland biogeography will be addressed by a comparative phylogeographic approach including five widely distributed species with
different ecological requirements and different associations to ants. We specifically aim to understand how past climatic and geographic settings
in Sundaland influenced the population structure and gene flow patterns of western Malesian Macaranga.

Successful candidates will have a Masters degree or equivalent in biology / molecular systematics / evolutionary biology or a related field,
good knowledge/experience in molecular systematics, and an interest intropical ecosystems. Candidates with strong interest (ideally with prior
experience) in bioinformatics and next-generation sequencing analysis are highly desirable. The ideal candidate will have very good oral and
written communication skills in English. Knowledge of German language would be an advantage, but is not obligatory.

For further information please contact Dr. Daniela Guicking, E-Mail: Applications should include a cover letter
describing the motivation, previous research activities and current research interests, the CV with copies of BSc and MSc certificates,
and a list of publications if applicable.

To apply please visit:

Deadline is 2019-02-15.

Dr. Daniela Guicking
University of Kassel
FB 10, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Biology,
Systematics and Morphology of Plants
Heinrich-Plett-Str. 40
34132 Kassel, Germany

Tel: 0049-(0)561-8044170

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