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Conservation genetics and infectious disease in Brandt’s bats

Project Description

There are hundreds of species of bats, each adapted to its environment. This project will use latest methods in genome sequencing to understand bat biodiversity, evolution and resistance to infectious disease. You will study the closely-related Brandt’s bat from Europe and little brown bats from North America. The latter has been devasted by a fungal disease (White Nose Syndrome) which Brandt’s bat is tolerant of. The conservation of bats in North America is a pressing concern in the face of the invading fungal pathogen and, by comparing these contrasting species of European and North American bats, we hope to give insights into how bat genetics protects against this important infection.

You receive training in genomics, bioinformatics, statistics and zoological techniques. The project will be based at University of Liverpool, with research visits to an extensive collection at the Finnish Museum of Natural History and to a collaborating lab in University of Sheffield.
You will join a vibrant research environment, containing numerous research groups working in evolution, ecology and genomics and have access to world-class facilities, including the Centre for Genomic Research at Liverpool and the Finnish Museum of Natural History.

You will be part of a supportive and diverse community of post-graduates as part of the ACCE Doctoral Training Programme.

Funding Notes

Competitive funding of tuition fee, research costs and stipend (£14,777 tax-free, 2018-19) from the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership ACCE, View Website. ACCE – a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool, and York – is the only dedicated ecology/evolution/conservation Doctoral Training Partnership in the UK.

Applications (CV, letter of application, 2 referees) by email to , deadline: January 9 2019. Interviews in or after the week commencing: 11th February 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed for only one project from the ACCE partnership.

This project is also available to self-funded students. A fees bursary may be available.


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Lilley, T. M., Prokkola, J. M., Johnson, J. S., Rogers, E. J., Gronsky, S., Kurta, A., Field, K. A. (2017). Immune responses in hibernating little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) with white-nose syndrome. Proc Roy Soc B, doi:10.1098/rspb.2016.2232.

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