Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Applications welcome (postdoc, bioinformatician & PhD): studying sex chromosome evolution

Several postdoc, bioinformatician and PhD positions are available in a collaborative project on the evolution of sex chromosomes in plants and animals. The project is a funded by a Sinergia grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation and brings together the labs of Mark Kirkpatrick (Austin, Texas), Nicolas Perrin, and John Pannell (Lausanne, Switzerland). We are studying the evolutionary genomics in plant and animal systems that have largely recombining sex chromosomes. In contrast to model systems such as mammals and flies, these sex chromosomes are highly dynamic parts of the genome. Our project will address questions such as: how does recombination evolve, what drives the rapid turnover in genetic sex determining systems, and what role does sex-antagonistic selection play in genome evolution?

We are looking for researchers with strong backgrounds in evolutionary genetics and/or bioinformatics. The project will involve tight collaboration between theory and modeling (conducted principally in the Kirkpatrick lab in Austin) and testing of the models using amphibian (Perrin lab in Lausanne) and plant models (Pannell lab in Lausanne). The collaboration will involve travel between labs, and the empirical work in Lausanne will be conducted by researchers working side-by-side in groups interested broadly in the evolution of sexual systems, sex allocation, sexual dimorphism and sex chromosomes. The theoretical component will involve both modeling and statistical analyses. The empirical components will involve field work, crosses, the building of genetic linkage maps, and the analysis of molecular and genomic variation produced by NextGen sequencing of multiple genomes and transcriptomes.

The project is funded for three years. We hope to start empirical work by January, 2014. Informal enquiries about empirical parts of the project can be directed to Nicolas Perrin ( and John Pannell (, and about modeling and statistical aspects to Mark Kirkpatrick ( Applications can be sent by email to one of the principal investigators and should include a detailed motivation letter, a curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses of two referees.
 Full consideration will be given to applications received by the 31st October.

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