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Postdoctoral Fellowship: the Evolution of Competitive Ability in Phytoplankton

Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

Dübendorf, Switzerland

Competition has been acknowledged as one of the major forces structuring ecological communities, and in particular, communities of freshwater phytoplankton. The goal of this project is understand how competitive traits evolve. More specifically, we will investigate to what degree evolution of competitive traits alters the outcome of competition both in terms of community structure and in terms of species’ relative contributions to ecosystem functioning. To answer these questions we use competition experiments both the lab and in natural lakes. These investigations will have the opportunity to leverage existing resources in my group from prior resource limitation evolution experiments (e.g. descendant populations and whole genome sequences).

The successful candidate has completed a PhD in related topics of community, population, microbial or evolutionary ecology.

Suitable candidates have a PhD, with no more than 2 years of work experience post-PhD. The applicant should have at least two of the three following qualifications: (1) a background in competition and coexistence theory, 2) quantitative data analysis skills including familiarity with statistical and modelling techniques using R, Python or similar platforms, 3) experience with modern molecular methods including DNA/RNA extraction, qPCR and library preparation for next generation sequencing and basic bioinformatics. Knowledge of standard methods in aquatic ecology and algal culturing is an asset. Excellent written and spoken English with a track record of publishing in international journals is required.

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