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Evolutionary acceleration in the Anthropocene

Project Description

A PhD position is available to investigate whether rates of evolution, hybridisation and speciation have been accelerating during the Anthropocene. You will use empirical analyses of data to quantify genetic changes through time, and genetic changes associated with the establishment of new populations in novel environments. You will be based in the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity (LCAB) at the University of York, and supervised by leading experts in genetics (Kanchon Dasmahapatra) and biodiversity change (Chris Thomas).

There is increasing evidence of rapid evolutionary responses to recent environmental and biological change, but the extent of change is uncertain. You will have the opportunity to develop a specific PhD project in Anthropocene genetics, which could include: bioinformatics analyses comparing genetic data for species in their introduced and native ranges, analysing genetic change through time (e.g., comparing ancient DNA with current samples), and/or assessing frequencies of gene flow among species (hybridisation).

The project will suit a student interested in genetics and bioinformatics, who wishes to understand the impacts of humanity of the Earth’s biodiversity and who is comfortable with data analysis. You should be objective, numerical, wish to combine historical and present-day perspectives of evolutionary change, and excited about exploring fundamental research questions. LCAB will provide you with a wide range of opportunities to interact with other PhD students and researchers, in a supportive environment. You will be part of the LCAB research programme, which offers additional training and facilitates interactions with PhD students in other departments at York, and with other universities and research organisations.

Funding Notes

This studentship covers UK/EU tuition fees for 4 years, a stipend of £15,009 per year for 3.5 years, and research consumables. EU students starting in October 2020 will continue to pay UK fees throughout their PhD, even if the UK exits the EU.


Entry requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this research project means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any relevant subject that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and experience for the project, including environmental, biological, chemical, mathematical, physical and social sciences.

How good is research at University of York in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.37

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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