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PhD opportunity - The Evolutionary Developmental Genetics of Bony Fish Tooth Diversity

Funded PhD position at University College Dublin

Title: The Evolutionary Developmental Genetics of Bony Fish Tooth Diversity

Project Description: Salmon, sticklebacks, cichlids, and other bony fishes exhibit incredible diversity in their teeth. Understanding the developmental genetic mechanisms underlying this diversity in how the numbers, location, and rates at which teeth are replaced should provide a broad understanding of what genes it takes to make teeth not only in fish, but all vertebrates. Bioinformatic analyses of gene expression coupled with genome level comparisons placed in explicit evolutionary contexts will allow us to unravel the developmental substrate over wich the incredible diversity of tooth adaptations in fishes have evolved. This project aims to address what the conserved developmental genetic basis of fish tooth diversity is so the genomic basis of adaptive divergence can be isolated. The PhD student will work with computational tools and molecular biology techniques to analyze both previously and newly collected big genomic data in a series of projects that will provide opportunities to work with collaborators around the globe. We will combine the strengths of high-throughput gene expression and quantitative genetics with several fully sequenced genomes to shed novel light on the evolution of ecologically critical fish tooth diversity.

Qualifications: Minimum educational background: BSc (honours) or MSc degree at 2.1 grade or above (or equivalent) in Biology or related discipline. Strong computational skills and experience with programming in R.

Desirable: The successful candidate should be enthusiastic, self-motivated and willing to learn new computational methods, and above all have a willingness to write. As part of this PhD, the candidate will be expected to demonstrate/assist in undergraduate practicals for the academic session.

Stipend: The student will receive a tax-free stipend of €18,000 per year, full coverage of tuition fees and funds for conference travel. As part of the agreement, the student will be required to serve as demonstrator (Teaching Assistant) for a set number of hours each year, which will be paid on top of the stipend at the hourly rate (https://www.ucd.ie/hr/pay/hourlypaidemployees/hourlypaidrates/).

Equality and diversity: UCD is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly regardless of gender, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, civil status, family status, or membership of the travelling community (https://www.ucd.ie/equality/). Applications from all suitably qualified candidates will be considered.

About UCD: UCD, located in the cosmopolitan city of Dublin, Ireland, is one of the top universities in Europe - and is also ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide. Our students love the UCD campus, a huge, spacious campus with lakes, woodland walks and wildlife close to Dubin's city centre.
UCD is the most international university in Ireland and welcomes hundreds of new international students every year. Specific information and support for international applicants including visa requirements is available here: https://www.ucd.ie/global/study-at-ucd/

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be made to Dr Darrin Hulsey (darrin.hulsey1@ucd.ie).

To apply please e-mail darrin.hulsey1@ucd.ie a single pdf document with

  • thesis and/or scientific publication,
  • a detailed curriculum vitae describing any previous research experience,
  • a cover letter detailing your research interests, goals, as well as reasons for applying for the position, and
  • the contact details (e-mail and phone number) of at least two academic referees.

Please reference “PhD Application – fish genomics” in the subject line of the email.

Evaluation of applicants will commence on November 1, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled.