We are currently seeking a PhD student with interests in genetics, ecology and evolution to investigate the population structure of the New Zealand lamprey using genomic approaches.
The New Zealand lamprey is an enigmatic, but culturally important species, found in the streams of rivers of both the North and South Is. In this project we will undertake the first comprehensive population genetic analysis of the New Zealand lamprey population using the latest population genomic approaches. We will use these data to explore issues spanning taxonomy, population genetic structure, population viability and health. These data are vital to the ongoing management of this species as its distribution and numbers both appear to be in steady decline, likely due to increased use on water resources, competition and potentially pollution. A further threat is a disease, known as lamprey reddening syndrome that is observed now at high frequencies in some populations. There may be prospects to use genomic approaches to determine the underpinning causes of this emerging health issue for NZ lamprey. https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/blood-suckers/
The ideal candidate: the ideal candidate will possess experience in molecular genetics/genomics, ecology, evolutionary biology and bioinformatics. Knowledge of NGS approaches and analyses is desirable. They candidate will be motivated and organized, with a demonstrated capacity to master the broad skill set necessary for the successful completion of a research project. They will be collegial and able to work alongside a wide variety of people. In addition they will have a strong commitment to academic and research excellence. Minimum qualifications: B.Sc. (Hons) and/or M.Sc. in Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology or equivalent with an A average or better.
Scholarship Funding: Financial support is expected to be available for a high achieving student with an A average or better via a University of Otago or Departmental scholarship see http://www.otago.ac.nz/study/scholarships/).
Eligibility: The University of Otago and Departmental scholarships are open to all nationalities. However, overseas candidates for whom English is not a first language must satisfy the English Language Requirements of the University to be eligible for study (see). Other international eligibility criteria are here.
How to Apply: Interested applicants are encouraged to make informal enquiries to Professor Neil Gemmell. Please send your Curriculum Vitae, a copy of your academic transcript, a sample of your written scientific work and the names of three referees with a covering letter to:
Professor Neil J. Gemmell
This position is open until filled but it would be desirable if the successful applicant were able to start by the end of 2017.