Dear all,
Please feel free to spread around if you think anyone might be interested:
Thank you
Best wishes
Krzysztof Bartoszek

Ph.D. opportunity in plant evolutionary biology
Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland

The Chair of Ecology and Environment Protection 
( is recruiting two PhD students interested in 
studying evolution of morphological traits in plants at various time scales. 
The goal of this project is to contribute towards an understanding of how 
genetic architecture (the structure of genotype to phenotype mapping) affects 
the evolution of quantitative traits. According to quantitative genetics 
theory, the evolution of phenotypic traits depends on the strength of 
selection and the amount of genetic variation. However, part of this variation 
maybe constrained by correlations with other traits that are under conflicting 
selective regimes. In consequence, the ability to respond to selection 
(evolvability) may be limited, even if a trait has high heritability. However, 
the extent to which genetic architecture limits phenotypic evolution remains an 
open question. Likewise, it is unknown whether it affects evolution at the 
short time scale and is easily 
overcome by selection, or if the genetic architecture is an important long-term 
determinant of the direction of evolution. In this project we aim to answer 
these questions using two plant species from the family Apiaceae, Daucus carota 
and Ferula communis, as a model system.
This project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Thomas Hansen 
(University of Oslo) and dr Krzysztof Bartoszek (Uppsala University).

PhD 1
Major tasks:
generate RADseq population data for Ferula communis and Daucus carota
delimit independently evolving lineages in Ferula communis and Daucus carota 
species complexes
determine G-matrices for fruit and seedling traits based on molecular data for 
several populations
estimate various measures of evolvability for Ferula and Daucus system

PhD 2
Major tasks:
phylogenetic analysis of various taxa from the family Apiaceae based on RADseq 
establish a database of phenotypic traits (seedlings, fruits, inflorescences 
and flowers), life history strategies and geographic distributions for species 
from the family Apiaceae
estimate the rate of morphological trait evolution using phylogenetic 
comparative methods
help in developing the R package mvSLOUCH dedicated to analysis of multivariate 
Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models on phylogeny

The ideal candidate will have a background in molecular biology/population 
genetics/phylogenetics, as well as experience working with Linux and modern 
programming languages such as R. Previous experience in generating and analysis 
of next-generation sequencing data will be considered positively. A condition 
of the application is a Master
degree (or equivalent) in biology or similar subjects.

The stipend for both positions is 3 000 PLN net monthly (app. 700 EURO) for 
three years. The living cost in Torun is low. For example, a room in a student 
house (inc. Wi-Fi, kitchen, heating, hot water) is app. 100 EURO monthly, loaf 
of bread 0.5 EURO, beer 0.5-0.7 EURO, beer in pub 1-2 EURO, dinner in 
restaurant 5-8 EURO.

Nicolaus Copernicus University is located close to the medieval center of Torun 
( which is listed among UNESCO World Cultural and 
Natural Heritage sites. Torun is a dynamic academic city and provides many 
opportunities for intellectual and cultural stimulation. The Vistula river runs 
through town and is ideal for the naturalists as many natural protected areas 
are located in its valley.

If you are interested, please send a CV, a short statement of your research 
interests (max. one page) and the contact details of at least one academic 
referee to Marcin Piwczynski ( Feel free to contact him by 
email for further information. Review of applicants will start in the first 
week of January 2017. The positions will stay open until filled.

Marcin Piwczynski
Chair of Ecology and Biogeography,
Faculty of Biology and Environment Protection,
Nicolaus Copernicus University
Lwowska 1, 87-100 Torun

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