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Euphrasia: Species delimitation in mega-diverse hemi-parasitic plants, University of Copenhagen.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Nina Rønsted
  • Application Deadline
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  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen announces an opening for a fully funded PhD fellowship under the Plant.ID Horizon2020 European Training Network, starting April 2018.

The EU H2020-ITN-ETN project Plant.ID on molecular identification of plants is a European training network aimed at providing 15 PhD fellows across nine European host institutions with excellent training through a network of leading academic experts, museums, governmental and industry partners in the field, using an intensive program with network-wide training events, intra-network supervision and secondments. See more on

Project description
Euphrasia is a genus of about 350 taxonomic species of hemi-parasitic plants mostly from colder climates and with many red-listed species, but difficult taxonomy partly due to extensive hybridization. Target capture of many unlinked genes from a unique sample set of more than 1000 collections from Atlas Flora Danica of about 9 Danish taxa will be used to untangle patterns of hybridization from incomplete lineage sorting. Morphological traits enabling recognition of genetically supported clusters (potential species) will be identified using morphometry. A time series will be produced of selected red-listed Danish species from historical collections to monitor changes in occurrence data over the past 100 years. Finally the target capture protocol will be used based on historical herbarium collections to build a genus level reference database and phylogenetic hypothesis of all 350 currently recognised species.

Primary supervisor: Nina Rønsted, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen. Co-supervision Henrik Ærenlund Pedersen, Select Nature, Denmark, and Bengt Oxelman, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Planned secondments to University of Gothenburg and Select Nature.

- MSc in Biology with a strong background in systematic botany.
- Experience with population biology and/or species delimitation is preferred.
- Good understanding of and interest in phylogenetic inference and bioinformatics, barcoding and/or high-trough-put sequencing techniques is an advantage but not a requirement.
- Interest in working in a museum environment and with herbarium collections is emphasized.
- Good communication skills and interest in science communication and popular engagement is emphasized.
- Excellent English speaking, reading, and writing skills are required.

Job conditions
The PhD student will be appointed under an employment contract with a competitive salary and mobility allowance at the host institution. The fellow is expected to start in April 2018. Additional funding for research and participation in courses, workshops, conferences, etc. is ensured. PhD 3 will be enrolled in a 3-year doctoral program.

The applicant may be of any nationality but shall at the time of recruitment be eligible as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) by being in the first four years of his/her research career and not have been awarded a doctoral degree. The applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity in the country of the host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment.

To apply for PhD project 3, please see the full job advertisement and apply by January 15, 2018 at

Questions regarding the recruitment can be sent to: Nina Rønsted [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 312.879 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 43.219). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

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