A PhD studentship is available for a project on the evolution of axis specification modes in spiral cleaving animals. The project will focus on the annelid species Owenia fusiformis, which occupies a key phylogenetic position as the sister lineage to all remaining annelids, and it has recently proven very informative for the study of animal development and evolution (Martin-Duran et al. 2017 Nat Ecol Evol; Martin-Duran et al. 2018 Nature). The project will characterise cellular dynamics during spiral cleavage with high-resolution live microscopy, and investigate the evolution of the genomic and molecular mechanisms involved in the establishment of bilateral symmetry in annelids.
We are looking for a highly self-motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a strong interest in evolutionary developmental biology, some research experience in molecular biology, and an aptitude with computers. The project will involve both experimental and computational approaches, as well as molecular biology and microscopy techniques. The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to present their work at national and international conferences, and to collaborate with other research groups at an international and interdisciplinary level. The successful candidate will need to be able to work independently, as well as part of a team. While training will be available, the student will also be expected to develop proficiency in molecular techniques (e.g. gene cloning, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, epigenomic approaches), live microscopy, and computational analyses of next-generation sequencing datasets.
Location: Our group is one of several in Evolutionary Genetics and Organismal Biology within Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. The School benefits from state-of-the-art equipment and expertise in molecular biology, next-generation sequencing technologies, genomics and bioinformatics. Queen Mary is a Russell Group University, a college of the University of London and located in London’s vibrant East End (10 min bicycle ride to Tower Bridge; 10 min walking to Victoria Park; 30 min walking to Shoreditch nightlife).
The studentship is open to UK and EU nationals. It will cover tuition fees and provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at Research Councils UK rates (£16,553 in 2017/18). Applications are invited from candidates with, or expecting to be awarded, a degree (UK 1st or 2:1 or equivalent qualification) in a relevant area (e.g. biology, biochemistry, biomedicine). Although not essential, ideally applicants will have a Master’s degree, or appropriate relevant work experience. Experience in molecular biology, microscopy, and/or bioinformatics are desirable. Students outside the UK are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills.
Applications should include a statement of purpose (motivation letter), a CV, transcripts, and two referee details.
Deadline for application: 21st March 2018. Informal enquiries are encouraged and can be made by email to Dr. Jose M. (Chema) Martin-Duran (email@example.com). For more information about Dr. Martin’s research profile, please see https://scholar.google.no/citations?user=aLUuC-oAAAAJ&hl=en. For more information on the job post, please see https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=88867