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Postdoctoral Research Associate – University of Cambridge

Posted by , on 13 December 2016

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

A post-doctoral research associate position in the Department of Zoology, located in Central Cambridge on Downing Street, is available from 1 March 2017 for up to thirty-six months. This is a Leverhulme Trust-funded post, to work with Dr. Andrew Gillis on the embryonic development of gill arch appendages in a cartilaginous fish, the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea).

Cartilaginous fishes possess paired appendages (branchial rays) that project from their gill arches, and over a century ago, Carl Gegenbaur famously proposed that such appendages represent the evolutionary antecedents of paired fins and limbs. We have recently found evidence of developmental parallels between the branchial rays of cartilaginous fishes and the fins/limbs of jawed vertebrates. We now wish to further dissect mechanisms underlying the development of skate branchial rays, in order to test Gegenbaur’s classical hypothesis of gill arch-paired fin serial homology. Duties will include the design and execution of experiments to test for shared embryonic origin, gene regulatory and patterning mechanisms between branchial rays and fins/limbs, and the preparation of results for publication.

The successful applicant should have a Ph.D., completed or completion imminent, in developmental biology, evolutionary biology, comparative anatomy or a related field, with a strong interest in evolutionary-developmental biology. Prior molecular biology and/or bioinformatic training would be beneficial. Skate brood stock is maintained at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, U.S.A., so willingness to travel to the MBL during summer months for experimental work with skate embryos would be beneficial. Enthusiasm, determination and the capacity to work independently are essential.

Further information on this vacancy may be found here.

The closing date for applications is Monday, 23 January 2017. To apply online, please visit and click on the ‘Apply’ button. This will route you to the University’s Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF10959 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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