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PhD studentship in tardigrade evolution - testing how reproductive mode and cryptobiosis affect dispersal

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  • Full or part time
    Dr L Michalczyk
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in tardigrade evolution at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (Poland) in the team of Dr. Łukasz Michalczyk.

The main goal of the project is to test how reproductive mode and cryptobiotic abilities affect dispersal and, in consequence, speciation and extinction rates in tardigrades. Tardigrades are a phylum of microinvertebrates that dwell a wide variety of habitats throughout the globe. They are famous for their cryptobiotic abilities that allow them to withstand extreme conditions and are also thought to aid dispersal of individual species. Moreover, tardigrades exhibit a range of reproductive modes, including dioecy and parthenogenesis. Theory predicts that both asexual reproduction and cryptobiotic survival should increase dispersal potential. On the other hand, both reproductive mode and dispersal abilities are hypothesised to affect speciation and lineage extinction rates. Thus, tardigrades are an interesting model to address some of the fundamental questions of modern evolutionary biology, biogeography and taxonomy such as mechanism underlying the evolution of biodiversity or evolution of sex.

The successful candidate will be involved in fieldwork (sample collection), sample extraction, slide preparation, morphometrics and imaging in light microscope, processing specimens for scanning electron microscope, karyotyping, DNA extraction, amplification and multilocus sequencing (NGS), species identification, and taking care of tardigrade cultures. The student will also analyse data and prepare drafts of manuscripts, and will be involved in the promotion of results at seminars and conferences.

Detailed information on the project, university, our team and the application procedure is available here:

Funding Notes

The PhD programme in Biology at the Jagiellonian University is run entirely in English and it includes some obligatory and facultative classes. The programme is open to all nationalities and there are no tuition fees.

The PhD stipend is 4 000 PLN per month (typically, cost of life in Kraków for a PhD student is ca. 2 500 PLN/month).

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