Deadline: 2015-01-19
Level Of Study: PhD

4 PhD grants-Evolutionary adaptive responses to rapid climate change in invertebrates



Our research project within the University Focus Area Functional Ecology and Evolution aims to uncover the genomic and ecological basis of local adaptations in vertebrates, invertebrates and plants in response to different climatic conditions. The results of our investigations should lead to more informed and realistic predictions about the effects of human-mediated climate change on future biodiversity patterns.

The comprehensive experimental design uses both temporal and spatial climatic transects to study representative species ranging from invertebrates to vertebrates and plant species. We combine ecological phenotyping and genome sequencing of target organisms across space and time with paleogenomic analyses of selected species across the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary. We strive to support conclusions based on genomic data and modeling with a range of ecological common garden, competition and climate change experiments to identify the genomic basis of adaptation to rapid climatic change

* Evolutionary adaptive responses to rapid climate change in plants
We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral researcher to study the evolutionary adaptive responses to rapid climate change in plants within this interdisciplinary research framework. This project includes (i) a sampling of plant species along a latitudinal gradient from mid-to Northern Europe, (ii) common garden and greenhouse experiments as well as crossing experiments using a population genetic approach, and (iii) molecular and statistical analyses of genomic and phenotypic response data.
Applicants should have a deep interest in plant evolutionary ecology and hold a Master degree (or equivalent) in the relevant research fields (e.g. plant population genetics). Applicants are expected to have relevant laboratory experience, and an interest in the design and analysis of ecological experiments. This position requires strong communication skills and a very good command of written and spoken English.
For questions regarding this position, please contact Prof. Jasmin Joshi (jjoshi@uni-potsdam.de) or Prof. Michael Lenhard (michael.lenhard@uni-potsdam.de).

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* Evolutionary adaptive responses to rapid climate change in invertebrates
We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral researcher to study the evolutionary adaptive responses to rapid climate change in invertebrates within this interdisciplinary research framework. The candidate will collect genetic/genomic data from planktonic rotifers along the latitudinal gradient from mid-to Northern Europe to (i) analyze genetic differentiation within a model species, (ii) unravel population structure and (iii) identify putative candidate loci co-segregating with geographical proximity and/or ecological parameters. In parallel, stock cultures of representative genotypes will be established in the laboratory for ecological experiments to test for local/regional adaptation. This project will thus combine modern genetic techniques with eco-evolutionary experiments.
Applicants should hold a Master degree (or equivalent) in biology or a related field. Applicants are expected to have a sound knowledge and practical experience in molecular genetics and/or aquatic ecology, and an interest in the design and analysis of ecological experiments. This position requires strong communication skills and a very good command of written and spoken English.
For questions regarding this position, please contact PD Dr. Guntram Weithoff (weithoff@uni-potsdam.de), Prof. Ursula Gaedke (gaedke@uni-potsdam.de) or Prof. Ralph Tiedemann (tiedemann@uni-potsdam.de).

* Evolutionary adaptive responses to rapid climate change in microtine mammals
We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral researcher to study the evolutionary adaptive responses to rapid climate change in small vertebrates within this interdisciplinary research framework. The candidate will collect genetic/genomic data from microtine rodent species along the latitudinal gradient from mid-to Northern Europe to (i) analyze genomic differentiation within a model species, (ii) unravel population structure and (iii) identify putative candidate loci co-segregating with geographical proximity and/or ecological parameters. In parallel, adaptations to day length and daylight changes in life history parameters, and flexibility in responses to day length will be studied in colony-housed populations from different origins along the gradient. This project will thus combine modern genetic techniques with eco-evolutionary experiments.
Applicants should hold a Master degree (or equivalent) in biology or a related field. Applicants are expected to have a sound knowledge and practical experience in molecular genetics and/or terrestrial ecology, and an interest in the design and analysis of ecological experiments. This position requires strong communication skills and a very good command of written and spoken English.
For questions regarding this position, please contact Prof. Jana Eccard (eccard@uni-potsdam.de), or Prof. Michael Hofreiter (michael.hofreiter@uni-potsdam.de).

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* Ecological modeling of evolutionary adaptive responses to rapid climate change

We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral researcher in the field of Ecological Modeling to investigate adaptive responses to climate change for a range of different species. Based on a thorough review of current modeling approaches on evolutionary adaptation to climate change (step 1) the successful candidate will develop novel individual-based simulation models of selection incorporating dispersal, demographic factors and gene flow (step 2). The aim is to predict the impact of varying relevant life-history traits and fitness parameters (temperature tolerance, dispersal ability, mating system, effective population size) on the degree of local differentiation/adaptation under deterministic and stochastic climatic conditions (step 3).
Applicants should hold a Master degree (or equivalent) in biology or other natural sciences, informatics or mathematics. The applicant should be interested in quantitative, theoretical ecology and evolution, and computer-based simulation modeling.
For questions regarding this position, please contact Prof. Florian Jeltsch (jeltsch@uni-potsdam.de) or Prof. Ralph Tiedemann (tiedeman@uni-potsdam.de).

We offer a friendly and team-oriented scientific environment within our University Focus Area Functional Ecology and Evolution. The three-year PhD position is available starting March 1st 2015, and will include an interdisciplinary training that combines ecological theory with advanced functional genomic research.
The University of Potsdam is a young and dynamic university and an equal opportunity employer. If equally qualified, disabled applicants will be considered preferentially. We aim at increasing the number of female researchers and encourage qualified women to apply. The University of Potsdam makes an effort to assist its members in family-related issues and has been repeatedly awarded the Total E-quality award. Potsdam is a beautiful and green city close to the German capital of Berlin.

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Contact and Application
Please e-mail your application, which should include a CV with a list of publications and one academic reference, as single PDF-file to Dr. Ljerka Lah (ljerka.lah@uni-potsdam.de). The application deadline is January 4th 2015.

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