Ph.D. Position in Biology (Sweden) Deadline: March 24, 2019

Lund University

Application Deadline

March 24, 2019

Program Commencement

Immediate

Duration of the Program

4 Years

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Program Details

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 400 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the north campus area, with approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

The PhD position being offered is part of the project “Evolution of olfaction and new targets for innovative pest insect control”, which is funded by FORMAS. The overarching project aim is, through a species-comparative approach, to investigate whether/how ecological specialization is linked to the evolution and function of insect odorant receptors. Specifically, four species of bark- and ambrosia beetles will be included in the project, and all of them are pests of conifer trees. The four species differ with respect to their symbiotic relationships with microbial fungi as well as in their reliance on pheromone compounds for selection of host trees and mates. The hypothesis is that these ecological differences have affected, or are linked to, the evolution and function of the odorant receptors. The applied aim is to identify receptors that are crucial for the ecology of these insects, which can be targeted for environmentally safe and efficient pest control.

The PhD candidate will be involved in (i) transcriptome- and (ii) genome sequencing of one or two of the species, and associated field collection of biological material. The resulting sequence data will be the basis for further (iii) identification and evolutionary analysis of the odorant receptors. (iv) The function of selected receptors will then be studied using HEK293 cells and Xenopus laevis oocytes. The functional studies and associated molecular biology work will represent the main part of the PhD project. Depending on the results from (iv), the candidate will potentially also be involved in (v) pharmacological screening of receptors to identify receptor antagonists and related (vi) electrophysiological and (vii) field experiments to evaluate the biological effects of such substances. Read more here.

Eligibility/ Requirements

Applicants must have:

  • Master degree in molecular biology, or alternatively, master degree in bioinformatics or biology with significant content of molecular biology courses and practical exercises, or the equivalent.
  • High motivation and a sincere interest in this particular project.
  • Significant experience from molecular biology lab work, including PCR, molecular cloning, and DNA sequencing.
  • Ability to work as part of a group.
  • Analytical skills and interest in chemical ecology, including practical application, and evolutionary biology.
  • Spoken and written English must be excellent.

Additional Merits

  • Experience and interest in bioinformatic analyses is strongly requested.
  • Knowledge and experience from organic chemistry, GC-MS analysis and cell culturing are appreciated merits.
  • Drivers’ license (B) is requested for the planned fieldwork.

Application Process

Applications are to be submitted electronically along with all the supporting documents via the Lund University application portal. Reference no. PA2019/652.

Contact Martin N. Andersson (Researcher) if you have questions. +46 46 222 93 44, martin_n.andersson@biol.lu.s

 

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