PhD Student

Last application date
Dec 20, 2019 10:01
WE11 - Department of Biology
Employment category
Doctoral fellow
Limited duration
MSc in Biology or equivalent
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

The Phycology research group (Biology Department) is looking for a highly motivated PhD student for a project focusing on the effect of life cycle variation on genome organization, evolution and adaptation. Thereto, we focus on seaweed populations (Dictyota) that display varying degrees of sexual versus asexual reproduction. The relative degree of sexual or asexual reproduction, likely determined by differences in sea surface temperature, should reflect on population genetic parameters and on the efficacy of natural selection. Using a combination of laboratory experiments, genetic data of natural populations and transcriptomic data, this project will 1) determine the precise mechanisms of asexual reproduction in Dictyota dichotoma; and 2) evaluate the consequences of mating system variation between Atlantic (sexual) and Mediterranean (largely asexual) populations on the genetic structure of the populations, the efficacy of selection and the adaptive potential of the populations. The outcome of this study will aid the further development of a theoretical evolutionary framework that links genomic diversity to diversity in life history traits. We offer a fully funded PhD position with the aim to obtain a doctorate at Ghent University (4 years). You will work in a stimulating environment and gain expertise in evolutionary ecology combining field as well as lab experiments. In addition, you will have access to cutting-edge technologies (e.g. whole genome resequencing), personal career assistance and high level training courses. The position is immediately available as of January 2020. The actual starting data is flexible.

Profile of the candidate

  • You have a master's degree in a relevant area (Biology, ...)
  • You have a demonstrable interest in the field of evolutionary biology and handling genetic data.
  • You have an independent, problem-solving, organized and result-oriented attitude.
  • You have the necessary social skills, flexibility and critical thinking to function in a multidisciplinary and international academic environment.
  • Competency of English (reading, writing, and speaking) is required.

How to apply

Applications have to be sent in via email to at the latest on December 15. The following documents should be attached: 

  • cover letter
  • motivation letter
  • copies of your MSc degree 
  • contact details of at least 2 persons.

Please merge all documents into one PDF attachment.