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Postdoctoral Research Associate (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Department of Zoology

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £33,309 to £40,927
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 22nd September 2021
Closes: 21st October 2021
Job Ref: PF28227

A post-doctoral research associate position is available in the Department of Zoology from 1 Jan 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter, to work with Professor Chris Jiggins on the genetic basis for life history and morphological traits in the tiger moth Arctia plantaginis. 

The moth has a male colour polymorphism which is also associated with other life history and behavioural traits including chemical signals, mating behaviour of males and mate preferences.   This complex polymorphism is a puzzle as our preliminary analysis shows no evidence for a supergene or large associated genetic locus. The PDRA will work on the genetic basis of traits associated with colour differences, to identify genomic regions showing association with phenotype. 

This work will be carried out as part of a BBSRC-funded project, in collaboration with Prof Johanna Mappes at the University of Helsinki. The Mappes group has developed this species into an exciting system with extensive ecological background and potential for rearing large numbers of individuals. Large collections of wild samples are also available. 

Duties will include quantitative genetic analysis of life history and behavioural traits, QTL analysis of chemical data on pheromones and defensive chemicals and morphology including larval and adult colour patterns, and genetic analysis of wild samples; analysing and writing up the results for publication. 

The successful applicant should have a PhD in an appropriate subject (e.g. evolutionary biology; quantitative genetics), involving a substantial element of genetic analysis and demonstrated record in written (i.e. scientific journals) and oral (i.e. professional conferences) communication relevant to evolutionary biology. 

Please see Further Particulars for other requirements. 

Informal enquiries can be directed to Chris Jiggins

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 December 2024.

We welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working or other flexible working arrangements. 

We particularly welcome applications from women and /or candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our department/University. 

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit :

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Anastasia Nezhentseva


Interviews maybe done remotely following current guidelines.

Please quote reference PF28227 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy. 

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. 

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

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