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The role of hybridization during biological invasions


School of Biological Sciences

Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Hodgins lab (Monash University, http://www.hodginslab.com) and the Cousens lab (The University of Melbourne) are currently seeking an outstanding PhD candidate interested in studying plant ecological genomics. Funding is provided by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant, in collaboration with Dr Loren Rieseberg (University of British Columbia).

We have sequenced hundreds of whole genomes from two independent replicate hybrid zones formed during invasion by the same two species, Cakile edentula and Cakile maritima. Hybridisation has been thought to aid invasion by introducing genetic novelty, but traditional approaches have been ineffective at evaluating alternative explanations. The PhD candidate will apply new methods on this expansive genomic dataset and develop novel simulations to resolve how hybridisation and colonisation interact to help and potentially hinder biological invasion.

The project can commence any time during 2021 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).

Melbourne is diverse and thriving city with a desirable climate. It is one of the most livable cities in the world and is a cultural and recreational hub.

Monash University and The University of Melbourne are members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of top Australian universities recognized for their excellence in teaching and research.

All applicants must have the equivalent of at least six months fulltime independent research experience (e.g., a research based honours or masters) and excellent grades. A publication in an international journal is an asset. Bioinformatics, statistical or computational skills are also an asset.

Please send your CV, a transcript, a brief statement of your research interests and the contact details of two referees to . The application deadline is August 15 2020, but late applications might be considered for later entry rounds.

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