PhD Studentship - Global Microbiome Analysis of the Desert Adapted Acomys Russatus and Acomys Cahirinus. (THYBERT_E18DTP)

University of East Anglia - Biological Sciences

Location: Earlham Institute, Norwich

Start Date: 1st October 2018

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Dr David Thybert

Project description: We are looking for a creative and motivated PhD candidate with a background in computational biology to join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary research team investigating the environment and microbiota and interactions. This position is within Dr David Thybert lab at the Earlham institute with a close collaboration with Dr Lindsay Hall’s lab at the newly formed Quadram Institute.

Although many studies have focused on the effect that diet and genetic backgrounds have on the gut microbiome composition in mammals, very little is currently known on what role the environment has on wild mammals. The environment could influence both diet via food availability and in turn the gut microbe composition.

The goal of this PhD studentship is to study and understand the relationship between gut microbiota function and host environment through a mixture of `dry' (bioinformatics) and `wet' (lab-based) approaches using analysis of metagenomes from desert adapted and non-adapted Acomys species to uncover the metagenome variability due to the environment.

This PhD studentship represents an excellent training module for a wide range of bioinformatic techniques in tandem with microbiology methodologies including: next generation DNA sequencing, bacterial culturing, and metabolomics experiments.

Norwich is a leading microbiology and microbiota research centre and represents an excellent platform for a starting scientific career.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Person specification: Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa – 2017/8), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website:

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