About the Project
The evolutionary history of a population is critical because it determines how long selection has had to shape adaptive plastic responses to an environmental stress. In this context, the role that plasticity plays in adapting to climate change related stressors may be different to the role plasticity plays in adapting to ‘novel’ anthropogenic stressors, such as chemicals, which populations may have never been exposed to. Clonal organisms allow us to test this hypothesis because we can expose the same genomes to different environments and compare the effect that they have on individuals, populations and communities.
The aim of this project is therefore to sample Daphnia from populations with different evolutionary histories with respect to pollution risk and use them to test the hypothesis that plastic responses to climate-related stressors slow down rapid adaptation whereas plastic responses to ‘novel’ environments speed it up. You will then determine the relevance of your findings by comparing rates of adaptation in replicated, semi-natural populations exposed to combinations of stressors in a new state-of-the-art mesocosm facility. The successful candidate will join a well-funded laboratory investigating mechanisms underpinning rapid adaptation, and be part of a vibrant ecology and evolution group in Liverpool’s Institute of Integrative Biology where unparalleled facilities for conducting this research are available.
Applications (CV, letter of application, 2 referees) by email to [Email Address Removed] deadline: January 8th 2020. Interviews in or after the week commencing : 10th February 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed for only one project from the ACCE partnership.
Harney, E., Paterson, S. and Plaistow, S. J. (2017), Offspring development and life-history variation in a water flea depends upon clone-specific integration of genetic, non-genetic and environmental cues. Functional Ecology. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.12887
Plaistow, S.J., Shirley, C., Collin, H. Cornell, Harney, E.D. 2015 Offspring provisioning explains clone specific maternal age effects on life history and lifespan in the water flea, Daphnia pulex. The American Naturalist, 186 (3), 376-389.
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