About the Project
This project will examine how repeatable speciation processes are by conducting systematic comparisons between recently diverged species pairs of European butterflies as a test case.
• Are candidate gene families underlying prezygotic barrier traits (e.g. gene families involved in the production of detection of mating cues) repeatedly involved in triggering the shut-down of gene flow?
• Do particular genomic regions (sex chromosomes, areas of low recombination) act as nuclei for barrier formation between diverging species?
• How often are inversions involved in the build up of reproductive barriers?
• Do sister species pairs that form secondary contact zones show more clustering of barrier regions compared to sympatric pairs?
• How should/can one best compare genomic maps of population parameters between taxa that are based on different coordinate systems, i.e. reference genomes?
The PhD student will be part of an ERC funded research group working on the speciation biology of European butterflies and will obtain state of the art training in genomics, bioinformatics and advanced evolutionary genetics and statistics. The lead supervisor, Konrad Lohse, brings extensive experience in population genetics and insect speciation genomics. The group has developed statistical methods to model divergence and gene flow between species. Co-supervisors Simon Martin and Dominik Laetsch bring ample experience in butterfly speciation genomics and bioinformatics respectively. Additional training will be provided through tailored bioinformatics and coding workshops. The project also provides opportunities to interact with a number of national (Darwin Tree of Life project, Sanger; Alex Hayward, Exeter) and international collaborators (Roger Vila, Barcelona; Nick Barton, IST Austria).
Applicants should have at least an upper 2.1 degree in a relevant subject (evolutionary or computational biology or a related quantitative field) and a strong enthusiasm for speciation research. Relevant training will be provided, but any previous experience in population genetics, applied maths and/or bioinformatic/computational skills would be a great advantage. This project is entirely computational with scope for testing and developing new inference approaches.
The School of Biological Sciences is committed to Equality & Diversity: https://www.ed.ac.uk/biology/equality-and-diversity
How to Apply:
The “Institution Website” button will take you to our Online Application checklist. Complete each step and download the checklist which will provide a list of funding options and guide you through the application process.
• Ebdon et al. 2020. The Pleistocene species pump past its prime: evidence from European butterfly sister species. bioRxiv 2020.09.04.282962
Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.
Based on your current search criteria we thought you might be interested in these.