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Evolving to evolve: testing how history and community influence evolutionary potential

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, February 01, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Cooper Lab studies the genetic basis of microbial adaptation, especially the role of genetic and environmental interactions in determining mutation effects. These interactions are increasingly recognised as common and important, but are poorly understood. Examples of phenotypes that can depend on the nature of the interactions between underlying mutations include antimicrobial resistance, virulence, as well as of general patterns of growth. More details are available at cooperlab.org.

We are seeking a PhD student to join our group to work on a project examining the influence of community composition and selective history on the evolvability of diverse populations. Evolvability will be measured directly by determining the ability of populations to adapt to new environmental challenges. Identifying the factors that determine the basis and selection of evolvability is crucial to predict and manipulate evolutionary outcomes, with specific application to response to climate change, evolution of disease and resistance, and biotechnological innovation.

You will work in a supportive group composed of molecular and evolutionary biologists. The Cooper Lab is part of the School of Natural and Computational Sciences, a diverse group of researchers offering potential for collaboration and a range of training opportunities.

Auckland is a large and diverse city, built around two harbours and multiple volcanic cones. Massey University’s Auckland campus is situated just north of the city in an area with many beaches and easy access to scenic and reserve areas. Auckland is recognized as providing a high quality of life, consistently being ranked among the top 4 cities in the Mercer’s Quality
of Living City Ranking.

Funding Notes

Interested candidates should send their curriculum vitae and a short statement of research interest to .

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