3 Year Full Time Studentship - Size and Shape Matter: The Genetic Basis of Divergence in Male Drosophila Genitalia

Oxford Brookes University - Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

3 Year Full Time studentship

Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

Closing date: 12 January 2018 (midnight UK time)

Start Date: September 2018

Value p.a.: Bursary of £14500 (for 2017/18) and fees.

Main supervisor: Professor Alistair McGregor


Alistair McGregor, Daniela Nunes and Maike Kittelmann.


One of the main goals of evolutionary biology is to identify the causative mutations underlying phenotypic diversification. Addressing this goal will give a better understanding of how gene regulatory networks and developmental programs evolve, and help to uncover the evolutionary forces involved. The genitalia of male Drosophila have diverged rapidly in morphology between closely related species presumably driven by sexual selection. However the genes underlying these changes have not yet been identified, which is exacerbated by a limited understanding of genital development compared to other tissues.


This project will combine developmental genetics, bioimaging and evolutionary approaches to better understand the genetic regulation and cell behaviour underlying genital development in Drosophila as well as testing candidate genes underlying diversification of these structures between species. This will provide new insights into developmental processes and the evolutionary diversification of organisms.


Training will be provided at the nexus of wet-lab and computational biology: in genomic engineering using CRISPR/Cas9, molecular biology, Drosophila genetics, bioinformatics and bioimaging using the state-of-the-art facilities available in our department.

As part of their Studentship, any successful applicant will be required to undertake up to 6 hours undergraduate teaching/demonstrating a week during semesters on undergraduate practicals without further remuneration. Training will be given.

Contact: Professor Alistair McGregor (amcgregor@brookes.ac.uk)

Requirements: Applicants should be of the highest quality and capable of submitting a PhD thesis within 3 years. Applicants should have a first class or upper second class (minimum 2.1) honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or an acceptable equivalent qualification. EU Applicants must have an IELTS Academic test certificate with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued since 12th January 2016 by an approved test centre. We will consider alternative acceptable evidence of English Language ability.


Application procedure:

Applications only to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk

Download application form:


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