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Two PhD scholarships are available in my lab.

1. Molecular systematics of siphonous green algae

You will revise the species-level systematics of the siphonous green algae (orders Bryopsidales and Dasycladales) using a combined molecular and morphological approach. Sanger sequencing and high throughput sequencing will be used to generate multi-gene datasets from which species boundaries are to be inferred. Morphological features that match with the species boundaries will be identified. You will also be involved in resolving the higher-level phylogeny of the siphonous green algae using a phylogenomics approach. The project involves field work, microscopy, DNA sequencing and molecular phylogenetics.

2. Algal evolutionary stoichiogenomics

You will study genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes of algae to investigate their utilization of key elements (e.g. N, S, trace elements). The resulting stoichiometries will be studied in a phylogenetic context to infer the evolutionary dynamics of element utilization. You will interpret the evolutionary patterns in a paleoenvironmental context and test specific hypotheses about the inheritance of elemental stoichiometry during plastid endosymbiosis. The project involves generation of molecular data (if desired) and comparative evolutionary bioinformatics. Computational skills are a key selection criterion for this position.

To be successful you will:

  • satisfy the requirements for a PhD degree at the University of Melbourne (http://goo.gl/VGRgQ)
  • have had exposure to molecular biology and bioinformatics
  • have a strong interest in algal biology and systematics (position 1) or bioinformatics (position 2)
  • evidence strong oral and written communication skills

To find out more about the lab, go to http://www.phycoweb.net

To apply, send your CV, a representative piece of English writing (e.g. MSc thesis), and the names and contact information of two or more references (at least one former supervisor) to heroen.verbruggen@unimelb.edu.au. Please indicate which position you want to be considered for. Informal enquiries are welcome.

Note: The systematics position has been filled. If you’re interested in stoichiogenomics, let me know, that one’s still open.

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