National Centre for Biosystematics (NCB),
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo (UiO)
The National Centre for Biosystematics (NCB) (http://www.nhm.uio.no/ncb/) is a strategic, interdisciplinary research facility at the Natural History Museum (NHM), which aims to perform research in modern systematics and biodiversity on a high international level. The NCB integrates research groups working on plants, fungi and animals, which to a large extent utilize similar molecular genetic tools in their research. The NHM has a modern DNA laboratory with all necessary facilities and has access to a pyrosequencing instrument at the UiO. The Ph.D. students will work in an interdiciplinary and stimulating research environment together with other Ph.D. students, postdocs and guest researchers. The fellowships will include research stays abroad. The fellowships are connected to the following projects:
(1) Cryptic speciation in arctic plants
This project will follow up recent discoveries in arctic Draba, showing that there are many cryptic biological species within what has traditionally been regarded as well-defined, single taxonomic species.
This project will investigate the generality of this kind of cryptic speciation in arctic plants. It will test whether such speciation is connected to inbreeding or other factors by comparing diploid species with different reproductive systems, different ecological characteristics, and from different taxonomic groups. The Ph.D. student will use a combination of classic biosystematic approaches and development of new DNA markers from pyrosequencing to address the association between development of reproductive barriers and total genomic differentiation. The project will also address biogeographic aspect of speciation and include field work in various regions, probably in Alaska, Svalbard, mainland Norway, and the Alps. The Ph.D. student will work closely together with other scientists studying the genetic mechanisms involved in speciation.
(2) Barcoding of DNA preserved in permafrost for reconstruction of past vegetation and climate
This project is connected to the ongoing EU project ECOCHANGE (2007-2011), where NCB has developed a barcoding database for 850 arctic vascular plant species. This reference database is used for species identification based on pyrosequencing of ancient DNA preserved in permafrost. The Ph.D. student will be part of the international ECOCHANGE team and develop new DNA markers for further resolution of some important vascular plant genera and initiate the development of a similar barcoding system for mosses. The project involves research stays in other European countries to develop expertise in pyrosequencing, bioinformatics, and analysis of ancient DNA.
(3) Sexual selection, genetic differentiation and reproductive isolation in birds. Previous studies have identified highly divergent patterns of genetic and morphological differentiation, and varying degree of reproductive isolation, in three species in the avian sub-family Saxicolinae (the bluethroat Luscinia svecica, the common redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus and the common stonechat Saxicola rubicola).
This project will investigate genetic and morphological differentiation within this sub-family in detail, using a combination of field experiments, molecular methods and measurements of study skins in museum collections. The project consists of three main parts: (1) molecular phylogeny of Saxicolinae, (2) phylogeography in the three mentioned species within this sub-familiy, and (3) experimental investigation of the role of a sexually selected character in subspecies discrimination within one of these species (the bluethroat). The research fellow will visit the largest natural history collections in Europe to collect morphological data and samples for DNA analyses, and perform field experiments at NHM's field station in Øvre Heimdalen, Oppland, Norway.
Applicants must hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in biology, preferably with a broad practical and theoretic background in molecular genetic methods.
The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. When evaluating the application, emphasis wills applicant's academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. The fellowships are financed for four years, with a compulsory work load of 25%.
The University of Oslo wishes to attain a more equal gender distribution in academic positions. Therefore, women are encouraged to apply.
UiO has an agreement for all employees aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.
For further information please contact: project 1 and 2: Professor Christian Brochmann, phone +47 22851611, e-mail email@example.com or Professor Liv Borgen, phone +47
22851778, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Project 3: Associate Professor
Pay Grade: 43-50 (NOK 341.800 – NOK 384.900 depending on qualifications and seniority)
Application Deadline: July 8. 2008
Ref. No.: 2008/9783
To apply please send three copies of the CV, certificates of education, names and addresses of two referees, and a covering letter outlining relevant work experience, to the following address: Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern, N-0318 Oslo, Norway
An extended applicant form must be completed and submitted together with the application. This form is available at: http://www.admin.uio.no/opa