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The evolution of genome structural variation

   School of Biological Sciences

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  Dr Kathryn Hodgins  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

PhD position available in evolutionary genomics

 The Hodgins ( & Connallon labs (, both within the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), are seeking outstanding PhD candidates interested in studying evolutionary genomics.

The PhD project will examine the evolution of genome structural variation, including chromosomal inversions, and its role in adaptive evolution. Structural changes are important elements of genome variation and divergence between closely related species, and there is a growing sense that at least some structural variants are beneficial and spread because they contribute to adaptation. Nevertheless, most evidence for adaptive structural change is based on case studies, and we still know very little about the overall effect of natural selection on the evolution of genome structure.

The goal of the PhD is to systematically test how different processes, including genetic drift and various scenarios of natural selection, contribute to the evolutionary spread and maintenance of genome structural variants. Projects will rely upon close interaction between evolutionary theory and analysis of population genomic datasets, with the former yielding predictions for how selection affects empirically measurable features of genome structural variation and divergence, and the latter testing these predictions using whole-genome datasets available for a range of species.

Students will have the option of focusing on theory development, empirical population genomics, or a combination of the two. Details of PhD projects will be planned with students to maximize alignment with their strengths, interests, and goals for training during the PhD.

The project can commence any time during 2022 and will be developed in collaboration with the student. Teaching is not required for the duration of the PhD (3.5 years in Australia).

The PhD stipend is fully-funded for 3 years with the possibility of 6 months extension, and is open to Australian/NZ domestic and international students. The stipend includes all tuition fees, ~$29,000 AUD per annum tax-free, and the cost of compulsory health cover for overseas students. A one-off relocation award is also available to students coming from interstate ($1,000AUD) or overseas ($1,500AUD).

Monash University ranks highly among research universities, globally (, and is a member of the Group of Eight, a coalition of top Australian universities recognized for their excellence in teaching and research. It’s location, Melbourne, is a diverse and thriving city with a desirable climate. It is widely regarded as one of the most livable cities in the world and is a cultural and recreational hub.

 All applicants must have the equivalent of at least six months full time independent research experience (e.g., a research based honours or masters degree) and excellent grades. A publication in an international journal is an asset, but is not essential for admission to the program. Bioinformatics, statistical, mathematical or computational skills will also be an asset.

Please send your CV, transcripts, a brief statement of your research interests and the contact details of two referees [Email Address Removed]. The application deadline is August 15, 2021, but late applications will be considered for other rounds.

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