Fully funded PhD position in evolutionary genomics of insect immunity at the University of Ulm, Germany

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Fully funded PhD position in evolutionary genomics of insect immunity at the University of Ulm, Germany.

Title: ImmuNov – Genomics and epigenomics of immune innovations in insects.

We are recruiting a PhD student to study the evolution of innate immunity in insects. The project involves comparative analysis of the gene expression response (i.e. transcriptomics) of several insect species against generalist pathogens, and of the epigenetic regulation of immunity. The focus will be on genetic novelty and understanding how and how often new genes emerged and acquired an immune function in the evolutionary history of insects.

The student will join a dynamic team (including four postdocs and three PhD students) led by Prof. Lena Wilfert, working on different aspects of insect disease ecology and evolutionary biology. Moreover, this project will be part of a multi-team program across Germany focusing on genetic innovation in insects (http://www.g-evol.com). The goal of the DFG funded Priority Programme GEvol is to collaboratively and interdisciplinarily exploit new computational and OMICS methods to reveal the history of genomes in the insect taxon by comparative genomics. This priority project will provide excellent training courses in bioinformatics for the PhD candidate, and offers great opportunities for collaboration and networking with leading institutes in evolutionary biology, in addition to planned collaborations with Prof. Siegfried Roth (Uni Köln), Prof. Stefanie Becker (TiHo Hannover) and Prof. Judith Korb (Uni Freiburg). The position is for 3 years (salary scale TV-L 13, 65%), with a preferred starting date in December 2022 or January 2023.

The position will include experimental infections of diverse insect species and the use of multi-OMICs approaches to reveal gene expression, and the analysis of molecular evolution and regulation of immune genes by comparative genomics. The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant Master degree in evolutionary biology or a related field of study. The successful applicant should have expertise in the fields of molecular biology or evolutionary biology. Applicants should ideally have expertise in molecular techniques, experimental pathology and/or bioinformatics. Experience in working with live insects would be desirable. The successful applicant will be able to work autonomously but also collaboratively and will have excellent oral and written English language skills.

The position will be based at the University of Ulm, at the Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics. Ulm is a delightful historic city on the Danube in Southwestern Germany; it is one hour from the Alps, Lake Constance, Munich and Stuttgart. Additionally, the position includes work in partner labs in Cologne, Freiburg and Hannover. At the institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics, an interactive and international team studies diverse topics in evolutionary ecology, including host-pathogen interactions (Prof. Wilfert), insect evolutionary genetics and metabolomics (Dr. Ruth Archer), conservation genomics (Prof. Sommer) and pollinator ecology (Profs. Ayasse and Tschapka).

For further information, please contact Dr. Vincent Doublet (vincent.doublet@uni-ulm.de). The closing date is the 25th of September 2022. Applications should include a cover letter describing your motivation and research interest, a CV and digital copy of your MSc/Diploma certificates and transcript of records. The job advert with detailed information on profile and responsibilities, as well as the link to the online application system can be found here [https://stellenangebote.uni-ulm.de/jobposting/]. Please only apply via the online system.