Ph.D. position in Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology


We are seeking a Ph.D. student to join us in a research project within the Animal Behaviour research group aiming to understand the evolutionary consequences of a selfish genetic element on dispersal in house mice. The t haplotype is a supergene in house mice that acts during sperm development to harm sperm that do not carry a copy of the t, resulting in transmission to offspring at rates of 90%, rather than the usual 50%. This has a cascade of effects. We recently discovered that the t haplotype influences emigration in wild house mice, and that this effect has a social component (Runge & Lindholm 2018,10.1098/rspb.2018.1333). The current project aims to study the ultimate and proximate causes of alternative dispersal phenotypes in house mice, potentially within a life history framework.
 
What we offer
The great majority of your time will be spent on research. We offer excellent experimental facilities, great collaborators, and strong support in developing your scientific skills and abilities. Participation in teaching activities, and taking classes, is part of your training. You will be enrolled in the PhD program of the Life Science Zurich Graduate School in Evolutionary Biology. The project has four years of funding, with a salary following University of Zurich rates. We provide a highly international largely English speaking environment.
 
Your responsibilities
You will design, run, analyse and publish experiments to investigate behavioural and life history effects of the t haplotype. This will include social network analyses of data from both video analyses of interactions and automatically recorded tracking data. You will also be part of a team responsible for the well-being of experimental animals.
 
Your profile
You bring a relevant MSc degree or equivalent. Training in evolutionary biology is required. Experience in analysis of large datasets is an advantage, as is experience in coding, and animal handling. You are highly motivated and independent, but also enjoy working with others.
 
Start of employment
Screening of applicants is ongoing and continues until the position is filled. Starting date to be negotiated in summer 2020. Please submit applications as a single PDF file, including a cover letter that highlights your interest in and suitability for the project, CV, and recommendation letters or contact details of 2 references, by email to PD Dr. Anna Lindholm.