Offre de thèses : Ant population genomics & social supergene drive, University of Lausanne

2 PhD POSITIONS: Ant population genomics & social supergene drive, University of Lausanne



Two Ph.D. positions (graduate assistants) in evolutionary biology are available in the group of Prof. Michel Chapuisat at the Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The successful candidates will join a group studying the evolution and genomic basis of social organization in ants (see http://www.unil.ch/dee/page7000.html).

1) THE EVOLUTION OF SUPERCOLONIALITY

The objective of the Ph.D. will be to investigate the evolution of supercoloniality in ants of the genus Formica. In the Swiss Jura mountains, the native wood ant Formica paralugubris forms large supercolonies, with hundreds of nests connected by trails and hundreds of queens in each nest. The evolution of such supercolonies is still poorly understood. High-throughput sequencing and population genomic analyses will provide high-resolution information on population structure, dispersal patterns, symbionts, and genomic basis of colony traits such as sex ratio. Comparative analyses will reveal if the supergene controlling polymorphic social organization in other Formica species has been fixed or lost in F. paralugubris, and if the same genes and alleles are associated with high colony queen number across the genus.

Your responsibilities:
You will develop research on the evolution of ant sociality and supercoloniality. This will involve field sampling, sequencing, population genomic and comparative genomic analyses. Depending on your interests and skills, behavioural and ecological experiments are also possible.

Your qualifications:
In order to complete our team, we are looking for someone with a Master’s degree in biology, life sciences, genetics, bioinformatics, or related subjects. Applicants should have knowledge and skills pertaining to evolutionary biology, population genetics, molecular evolution and/or behavioural ecology. We are looking for a creative and driven person with excellent interpersonal skills.

Job information:
Expected start date in position: 01.03.2022 (or at earliest convenience)
Contract length: The initial contract is for 1 year, renewable twice for two years, up to a maximum of 5 years in total
Activity rate: 85%
Workplace: Lausanne – Dorigny

What the position offers you:
We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment, with opportunities for professional training. The Department of Ecology and Evolution in Lausanne University hosts research groups working on a broad range of topics, producing a rich intellectual and social life. The working language in the group and in the Department is English for all scientific matters. Good command of English is needed, some knowledge of French would be a plus, but is not mandatory. The University of Lausanne offers state-of-the-art facilities, including excellent computer facilities and molecular labs.

Contact for further information:
Prof. Michel Chapuisat : Michel.Chapuisat@unil.ch

Your application:
Deadline: 15.01.2022
Incoming applications will continue to be considered until the position is filled.

To apply, please upload a single pdf document containing: a cover letter with a short description of your research interests, research experience, and why you are interested in joining our group; Your CV; The contact details of 2-3 referees; A copy of your Master degree; Your Master’s thesis summary.

To receive full consideration, application documents should be uploaded online through the University of Lausanne recruitment platform. 
Please apply through this webpage: https://bit.ly/3rRa0Ak

2) SELFISH SUPERGENE IN ANTS

The objective of the Ph.D. will be to investigate the mechanisms by which a social supergene distorts Mendelian transmission. In the Alpine silver ant, Formica selysi, a large supergene controls colony social organization, and the haplotype associated with multiple-queen colonies selfishly distorts transmission by killing progeny that did not inherit this haplotype. In collaboration with the team, you will identify the selfish genetic element and characterize the process causing brood developmental arrest. The research will provide insights into the role of selfish genetic elements in the evolution of supergenes controlling complex phenotypes.

Your responsibilities:
You will develop research on selfish genetic elements (toxin-antidote elements) present in supergenes. This will involve field sampling, breeding experiments, molecular analyses (transcriptomics, proteomics, RNAi), developmental studies, and genome analyses.

Your qualifications:
In order to complete our team, we are looking for someone with a Master’s degree in biology, life sciences, genetics, or related subjects. Applicants should have knowledge and skills pertaining to evolutionary biology, genetics, development, or behavioural ecology. We are looking for a creative and driven person with excellent interpersonal skills.

Job information:
Expected start date in position: 01.04.2022 (or at earliest convenience)
Contract length: The initial contract is for 1 year, renewable twice for two years, up to a maximum of 5 years in total
Activity rate: 85%
Workplace: Lausanne – Dorigny

What the position offers you:
We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment, with opportunities for professional training. The Department of Ecology and Evolution in Lausanne University hosts research groups working on a broad range of topics, producing a rich intellectual and social life. The working language in the group and in the Department is English for all scientific matters. Good command of English is needed, some knowledge of French would be a plus, but is not mandatory. The University of Lausanne offers state-of-the-art facilities, including excellent computer facilities and molecular labs.

Contact for further information:
Prof. Michel Chapuisat : Michel.Chapuisat@unil.ch

Your application:
Deadline: 01.02.2022
Incoming applications will continue to be considered until the position is filled.

To apply, please upload a single pdf document containing: a cover letter with a short description of your research interests, research experience, and why you are interested in joining our group; Your CV; The contact details of 2-3 referees; A copy of your Master degree; Your Master’s thesis summary.

To receive full consideration, application documents should be uploaded online through the University of Lausanne recruitment platform. 
Please apply through this webpage: https://bit.ly/3oDPO2T

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