Postdoctoral Research Associate: Evolutionary Genomics (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Department of Zoology

A post-doctoral research associate position in Department of Zoology, located in Central Cambridge on Downing Street, is available from 1 November 2017 for 18 months, in the first instance, to work with Professor Chris Jiggins on the evolutionary genomics of adaptation and speciation in Heliconius butterflies. The PDRA will use large resequence data sets and high quality reference genomes to study adaptation and speciation in the genus.

Possible projects include: 1) analysis of species boundaries and the influence of recombination rate on patterns of admixture across the Heliconius genome 2) analysis of recombination rate evolution more broadly across the genus and the influence of chromosomal fusions on both recombination rate and population level variation and 3) modelling of selective sweeps at mimicry loci to understand the history of introgression and selection on wing pattern in the context of multiple adaptive introgressions. There is considerable scope for the focus of the biological analyses to reflect the interests of the candidate.

The research will primarily involve bioinformatic analysis of existing genomic sequence datasets. The successful applicant must have a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology, bioinformatics or a related field, with a strong interest in population genomics. In addition, candidates should have experience with the manipulation and analysis of Illumina data and working knowledge of a programing language such as Python or Perl.

Candidates should have a good collaborative spirit, as the work will involve close collaboration with researchers in Cambridge and Panama as well as coordination with many different labs working on Heliconius biology, genome assembly and genome databases.

Duties will include:

  • Designing and carrying out genomics experiments to investigate the origins of mimicry patterns and species diversity in Heliconius;
  • Analyse large resequence data sets in the context of recombination rate variation across the genome;
  • Analysing and writing up the results.

Enthusiasm, determination and the capacity to work independently are also essential.

There will be opportunities for the successful applicant to apply for fellowship funding to continue this work independently in Cambridge.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 18 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF13317 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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