PhD position in Evolutionary Genetics

Topic: Genetic architecture of natural variation in pathogen defence

The PhD project is concerned with a comprehensive genetic analysis of the natural variation in resistance against pathogens. It aims at obtaining fundamental knowledge as to the evolution of host defences in nature. The project relies on a unique model system, consisting of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a host and various bacteria as pathogens. The results are expected to have an impact on three biological research themes that are of particular current interest: the animal innate immune system, behavioural defences, and the evolution of the genetic architecture of complex traits.

The project is supervised by Dr. Hinrich Schulenburg (currently University Tübingen, Germany, but moving to Kiel University, Germany, in autumn 2008) and Dr. Jan Kammenga (Wageningen University, The Netherlands). It is funded by the German Science Foundation (SCHU 1415/6-1). The project will be based at the new Department for Animal Evolutionary Ecology at Kiel University, Germany, while some important experiments will be performed in Wageningen. Both labs are active in various fields of evolutionary ecology and provide an international and interactive atmosphere.

Requirements for the position: High motivation, excellent background in either evolutionary genetics or immunology, knowledge of basic molecular techniques (PCR, fragment analysis), handling of complex experimental set-up, statistics, teamwork, ideally some experience with C. elegans or bacteria, fluency in English.

Please email me your application as a single merged pdf-file including CV, a one-page summary of research interests, and two references from senior scientists. Deadline for applications: 9 June 2008. Start of position: Aug/Sept 2008. Women are especially encouraged to apply. Severely handicapped people will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualifications. For further details + questions + your application, send an email to