PhD Studentship Plant genomics in a future high CO2 world

PhD Supervisor: Professor Gail Taylor, co supervisor: Dr Mark Chapman

Application Deadline: 26 June 2013

Funding: Funded PhD project

PhD Position: 

Despite a considerable amount of research on plant responses to global environmental change, including elevated CO2 concentrations predicted for future decades, relatively limited information is available on the adaptive (genetic) responses that may occur. This is partly because multi-generational experiments are difficult to achieve and because we only have a limited idea of what might be the key genes for genetic adaptation and microevolutionary change. Our recent research has combined analysis in the naturally high CO2 springs with that of next generation transcriptome sequencing which has enabled us to identify a suite of genes in a non-model herbaceous plant that are sensitive to CO2. Plant subjected to many generations of high CO2 respond differently to those from current CO2 atmospheres and this is being investigated for a number of key traits and genes in plants from the springs. The aim of this PhD is to understand these responses in a range of plant species from the site, focussing on identifying key genes and their polymorphisms and understanding their functional significance for plants in a high CO2 world.

Training opportunity:

This PhD provides an exciting opportunity to join a large research group, well-funded and with several on-going projects ( ). The project will utilise next generation sequencing to obtain RNA-Seq data on several non-model herbaceous species selected from high and ambient CO2 concentrations. Plants will be grown back in the UK in controlled environments for functional analysis. The project will combine molecular, bioinformatics and field ecology training and the student will work as part of the FP7, large European network EXPEER, on ecosystem manipulation (

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Applications should be submitted online at and general enquiries should be made to Professor Gail Taylor at

Closing date: Mid June 2013. Interviews will be held in July 2013.

The project is funded for 3 years and welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in a Biological or allied subject. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates of £13,726 per annum.

Due to funding restrictions this is only open to EU/ UK applicants

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