Back to search results

Post-doctoral Research Associate

The University of Edinburgh - College of Science and Engineering - School of Biological Sciences

Location: Edinburgh
Salary: £33,199 to £39,609 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 28th September 2018
Closes: 29th October 2018
Job Ref: 045495

Applications are invited for a full-time Post-doctoral Research Associate position to work as part of a recently awarded large NERC grant, entitled: “The Ecology Within: The impact of gut ecosystem dynamics on host fitness in the wild.” This is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institution award, which will use repeat sampling, meta-barcoding and meta-genomics techniques to explore the causes and consequences of gut community structure in wild sheep. While there is growing appreciation for the role that our gut “microbiota” plays in human health and nutrition, we know surprisingly little about the drivers of variation in gut community structure and how gut community dynamics impact host health and fitness in the wild. This project will address these questions using data collected by the long-term study of Soay Sheep on the remote St Kilda archipelago.

Over the next four years, we will be regularly collecting faecal samples from known individual sheep in our study population on St Kilda. These samples will be used to assess the community structure of bacteria, nematodes and protozoans present, and to assess the plant species composition to assess diet.

The post-holder will develop and use novel statistical methods to assess the roles of environment, diet, and host genetics in driving the composition of the gut microbiota, and assess the effects of the gut microbiota on host survival and reproduction. You will be part of a large, dynamic research team, involving 12 investigators from 6 different institutions and up to 8 project staff. You will be a key part of this team, and there will be opportunities to collaborate with other team members on these other aspects of the project. The job will based in Luke McNally’s laboratory in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, also working closely with Andrew Free’s laboratory in the Institute of Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, as well as collaboration with other collaborators from ecology, parasitology, and genetics backgrounds.

The post is full time and available from 1st March 2019 for 36 months.

Applicants should have (or be near completion of) a PhD in an appropriate biological science, computer science, statistics, or related subjects. The candidate should also have excellent coding ability in R or similar programming language, and experience in either microbial bioinformatics or quantitative genetics.

Further information available on-line:

St Kilda Soay sheep project:

McNally lab website:

Closing Date: Monday 29th October 2018 at 5pm (GMT)

For further particulars and to apply for this post please click on the 'apply' button below

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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:

Subject Area(s):


Job tools
More jobs from The University of Edinburgh

Show all jobs for this employer …

More jobs like this
Join in and follow us

Browser Upgrade Recommended has been optimised for the latest browsers.

For the best user experience, we recommend viewing on one of the following:

Google Chrome Firefox Microsoft Edge