PhD Position

Demographic and evolutionary modelling of local adaptation to the tidal environment in Clunio marinus at the University of Zurich, Switzerland


A PhD position in Evolutionary Ecology, of 48 months duration, is available at the University of Zurich working with Prof. Dr. Hanna Kokko and her international team www.kokkonuts.org.

Clunio marinus is a marine midge that has a unique life history, living in the intertidal zone of the European Atlantic coast. Local adaptation is important, as the timing of low tides differs across coastal locations. Populations indeed differ in their lunar and diurnal rhythms of adult emergence, and the differences are genetic (as known from past crossing experiments and through genomic work by Dr. Tobias Kaiser).

This project, which forms a collaboration between Dr. Kaiser’s group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön and Prof. Kokko’s group at the University of Zurich, aims to fill in a knowledge gap considering the evolutionary demography of the species: how is local adaptation maintained, given the different dispersal options leading to different genotypes mating, potentially producing maladapted emergence times with respect to seasonal phenology and/or lunar cycles?

The ideal candidate has a grasp of demographic and/or evolutionary modelling, and a willingness to develop his/her skills further in this regard. The PhD will be awarded by the University of Zurich, which is also the main location of the student’s work, but the project also involves visits to Plön and the potentially many coastal field sites.

The working language in the group is English (German skills are not essential). The position is available as soon as the candidate has been found. The evaluation of applications begins on 18. October 2017, and will continue until a suitable candidate has been found.

Applicants should send a cover letter with a

  • Statement of their research interests
  • C.V.
  • The names and contact details of at least one referee.

Applications should form a single PDF file and this should be sent to: hanna.kokko@ieu.uzh.ch

Last update: 2017-10-17