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Landscape genomics and local adaptation in livestock species


   Cardiff School of Biosciences


About the Project

Most livestock species originated in a few localities, e.g. the Fertile Crescent or the Indus Valley among others. However, today, many of those species have spread to many environments around the planet. The process of entering new environments (be that on their own or led by humans moving animals) is accompanied by changes in the demography of the species (e.g. population expansions, bottleneck, structuring) and by the exposure to novel food sources, disease etc.

This project will use a wide range of publicly available genomic data for multiple livestock species (from SNP array data to whole genome sequencing) covering a range of populations spread throughout the world to understand how livestock species changed when colonising new environments. For this a suit of demographic analyses will be carried out form traditional population genetic approaches such as estimating admixture to more advanced simulation approaches using approximate Bayesian computation. The demographic analyses will be complemented with studies of signatures of selection that will unravel gene(s) involved in adaptive processes. These targets of selection will be identified with a combination of population and landscape genomic methods, with a particular emphasis on the last approach (landscape genomics) as ideally we aim to identify the ecological drivers of local adaptation.

This project is of a bioinformatics nature and previous knowledge of command line work, programming (R/python), and population genetics is required. Training will be further provided in these topics according to needs.  

Candidate requirements

A 1st or Upper 2nd class UK honours degree or equivalent. Please visit School of Biosciences Postgraduate Research for more details.

For those whose first language is not English, IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.

How to Apply 

To submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service, click the 'Institution Website' button on this advert; in the ‘Apply’ box at the top-right of the page, select Qualification (Doctor of Philosophy), Mode of Study (Full Time) and Start Date (this can be flexible as it is a self-funded project). This will take you to the application portal.

Candidates must submit the following:

 • Supporting statement

 • CV

 • Qualification certificates

 • Proof of English language (if applicable) 

In the research proposal section of the application, specify the project title and supervisors of the project. In the funding section, specify that you will be self-funding. If you are applying for more than one Cardiff University project with the same entry intake, please note this in the research proposal section as the form only allows you to enter one title.


Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, so students will need to source their own (tuition, bench fees if applicable, living fees if applicable).

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