News

New position: PostDoc in population and speciation genomics

9/12/2020. Text by Vítor Sousa.

New position: PostDoc in population and speciation genomics. Evaluation of applications will begin on 18 January 2021.

The Evolutionary Genetics group at CE3C, led by Vitor Sousa, is looking for a postdoc in population and speciation genomics, who is interested in developing inference methods to study hybridization in natural populations. The candidate will be part of a team working on the collaborative Human Frontiers in Science Program (HFSP) project “Chance or Curse? The consequences of hybridization in a changing world” (see also the simultaneous postdoc opportunity in Claudia Bank’s lab at https://banklab.github.io/positions/).

Once thought to be rare, we now know that hybridization is quite common. There has been a longstanding debate about the importance of hybridization because it can have both beneficial and harmful effects. By creating new phenotypes, hybridization can help organisms adapt, but it can also drive extinction by generating harmful combinations of genes. Past work has proposed that in stressful environments, the benefits of hybridization may outweigh the costs, but this idea has not been clearly tested. Understanding these dynamics has become more pressing as rates of hybridization have increased due to the stresses of rapidly changing environments. As part of the funded HFSP grant in collaboration with Drs. Molly Schumer, Chelsea Rochman and Claudia Bank, we will combine diverse and multidisciplinary expertise to tackle fundamental questions via field observations, laboratory experiments, computational tools, and mathematical models.

The research of the postdoc hired for this position will aim at detecting regions of the genome involved in hybrid incompatibilities, jointly inferring the demographic history of populations, disentangling the genetic signatures of incompatibilities from other selective processes (e.g. introgression load and adaptive introgression). This will involve population genomics modeling, simulations, method development and data analysis.

The ideal candidate has a strong background in statistical and theoretical population genomics and a keen interest in method development, modeling and coalescent theory. Individuals with a background in biology, mathematics, statistics and related disciplines are encouraged to apply.  

The research will be done at cE3c, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. The group of the PI works on population genomics and bioinformatics, and on its applications ranging from human genetics to conservation and speciation. In addition to independently developing this project, the candidate is expected to contribute with his/her expertise to the group, interacting with the other team members and co-mentoring junior lab members.

We provide a dynamic and interdisciplinary work environment within the research group, and within the collaborator team (Claudia Bank, University of Bern https://banklab.github.io/; Molly Schumer, Stanford University, https://schumerlab.com/; Chelsea Rochman, University of Toronto, https://rochmanlab.com/).

If desired by the candidate, short or mid-term visits of the collaborator labs are encouraged, and the candidate is expected to present and discuss their work at international workshops and conferences.

The salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience, according to the host institution statutes (approximately ranging from 32,000-36,000 EUR gross per year, including social security and pension funds). Funding for this position is currently available for 12months renewable up to 3 years.

Contact and Application

If interested, please prepare a detailed CV, a motivation letter explaining the fit for the position and the desired starting date, and contacts of up to three referees. You will need to submit your application online (http://concursos.fciencias-id.pt). Details about the position and the required documtnts can be found here.

Evaluation of the applications will begin on 18 January 2021 and continue until the position is filled, with a desired starting date as early as possible. Following the policy of the host institution, it is expected that the candidate relocates to Portugal in time for the starting date of the position. Please contact me if you are interested and have questions (vmsousa@fc.ul.pt).

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