Uppsala University, Department of Ecology and Genetics

The Department of Ecology and Genetics (IEG) is an international environment with staff and students from all over the world. Our research spans from evolutionary ecology and genetics to ecosystem studies. Learn more at www.ieg.uu.se.

We are now looking for a PhD student in evolutionary genomics, with specific focus on diversity and evolution on lichen-associated basidiomycetes within the Evolutionary Biology program at IEG. The project is led by Dr. Veera Tuovinen Nogerius. The PhD position is fully funded for 4 years.

Project description
Despite the symbiotic nature of lichens being discovered over 150 years ago, they remain highly enigmatic to this date. Recent studies have shown that basidiomycete yeasts are frequent and diverse components of many lichens. However, in general we lack comprehensive knowledge about the lichen-associated basidiomycete diversity, distribution, and roles in the symbiosis.

We are looking for a PhD student who will study the diversity and genome evolution of lichen-associated basidiomycete yeasts in common lichens, and their interactions with other organisms in the thalli. The diversity of lichen-associated basidiomycetes will be studied by long-read metabarcoding and high-throughput sequencing. In addition, cell-sorting and single cell genomics will be employed to generate genomic data of selected basidiomycete taxa from lichen thalli. The data will be used to build a genomic framework for lichen-associated basidiomycetes, and to assess their genomic features for signatures of the symbiotic lifestyle and their functional potential. Furthermore, the organismal landscape and interactions within lichen thalli will be studied with state-of-the-art advanced microscopy methods.

The PhD student will be expected to conduct molecular laboratory work and to prepare samples for sequencing with modern NGS technologies. The project will include generating targeted high-throughput amplicon data, whole genome sequencing of axenic cultures, method-development for extracting basidiomycetes from lichen thalli for single cell genomics, and advanced microscopy. Field work and preparing and maintaining axenic cultures will/can be part of the project. The student is expected to learn to analyze the produced data, write scientific articles and a thesis and take courses relevant to the research project.

PhD-students at IEG are encouraged to enroll in teaching. The levels and content of teaching depend on the availability of teaching duties and the interests of the student, but will in general not exceed 20% of full-time employment and mainly consist of teaching assistant roles in different undergraduate courses offered by the biology section. Teaching adds additional time to their contracts.

Qualifications required
To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • hold a Master’s (second-cycle) degree in evolutionary biology, genetics, microbial ecology, systematic biology, bioinformatics, or other relevant field, or
  • have completed at least 240 credits in higher education with at least 60 credits at Master’s level including an independent project worth at least 15 credits, or
  • have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge.

We attach great importance to personal qualities such as curiosity and drive for continuous learning and problem solving, scientific maturity, resilience, ability to take initiative and work both independently as well as in a group. Candidates must be able to express themselves very well in English, both orally and in writing.

Qualifications desired
Familiarity with lichens, fungi and/or microbial symbioses will be advantageous. Experience in molecular laboratory work, bioinformatic analyses and advanced microscopy are meriting.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 §7. Scope of employment: full-time. Starting date september 2024 or as agreed. Location: Uppsala.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines

For further information about the position, please contact
Veera Tuovinen Nogerius, veera.nogerius@ebc.uu.se.

Application instructions
The application should include 1) a letter describing yourself, your research interests, why you want to pursue a Ph.D., and why you are suitable for the position, max. 2 A4 pages 2) your CV, 3) a brief description of your education, max. 1 A4 page 4) a copy of your master's degree and your course grades, along with a copy of your master's thesis, 5) names and contact details of at least two referees (email addresses and phone numbers), and 6) any publications if applicable. The application should be written in English.

You are welcome to submit your application no later than June 11, 2024. UFV-PA 2024/1705.

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Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment september 2024 or as agreed
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2024/1705
Union representative
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 15.May.2024
Last application date 11.Jun.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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