Senior Research Associate in Ecological Genetics of Plants

University of Bristol - School of Biological Sciences

We are looking for an enthusiastic senior researcher for a NERC project on “evolutionary rescue and the limits of phenotypic plasticity”, beginning in April 2017. This project will transplant ecologically divergent but closely related Senecio ragwort species on the slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily.

This project is a new collaboration between the Universities of Bristol, Oxford, Catania (Sicily) and CNRS Montpellier. It will combine extensive field transplant experiments with ecological and demographic analysis, quantitative genetics, and transcriptomics, in order to develop and test theory for the role of phenotypic plasticity in helping or hindering evolutionary responses at ecological margins.

The successful candidate will be based in Sicily for the first 15 months of the project, and then at the University of Bristol. A major part of the research will involve the extensive propagation and transplant of large numbers of Senecio seedlings along an elevational gradient, monitoring their fitness, and quantifying variation in their traits and phenotypes. This will be followed by extensive ecological and quantitative genetic analysis, and transcriptomic analysis of the genomic basis of adaptive and non-adaptive plastic responses. 

The post will involve working closely with a field assistant based in Sicily, as well as a postdoctoral bioinformatician based at Oxford, and a Bristol-based technician to assist with morphometric and molecular analysis. Experience in extensive field experiments (particularly in plants), plant propagation and quantitative genetics would be highly desirable. A passion for evolutionary biology and the interaction between population genetics and genomics with population ecology is essential. Demonstrated experience in management, and proficiency in Italian would also be a big advantage.

Please direct informal enquiries to Dr Jon Bridle (, Prof Simon Hiscock (, or Prof Dmitry Filatov ( in the first instance.

The University of Bristol is committed to equality and we value the diversity of our staff and students.

Share this job
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:


South West England