Positions

Opportunities to engage or pursue a career in bryology are posted here. If you wish to advertise positions please send a word document to Bernard Goffinet.

Professional positions
Postdoctoral positions
Graduate student opportunities

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Professional positions

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Postdoctoral positions

July 30, 2018: Smuts Postdoctoral Fellowships, South Africa

Value: Up To R190 000 for 12 months. The award does not include any benefits and is normally exempt from taxation.
Closing date: 12 OCTOBER 2018

Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons for this prestigious Fellowship which commemorates General Smuts’ interest in South African Botany.

The object of the Fellowship is to enable a person who has exhibited proficiency in independent research to undertake study and research in systematic botany and geographical distribution of South African flora, these being the branches of Botany in which General Smuts was most keenly interested.  The possibility of work on other aspects of the South African flora is not excluded.

The fellowship is open to any eligible person, South African or otherwise, who is capable of carrying out its objective and materially advancing the knowledge of the South African flora. Possession of a PhD degree which has been obtained no more than five years ago is a minimum requirement.  Eligible candidates may not have previously held any academic or professional permanent positions.

The research to be conducted by the Fellow will be under the general supervision of the Head of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town, and the Director of Research, South African National Botanical Institute, Kirstenbosch. As part of the Fellow’s professional development, the successful candidate will be offered the opportunity to participate in limited teaching and supervision of senior students in the Biological Sciences Department.

The tenure of the Fellowship is 12 months, with the commencement date preferably within the first quarter of 2019.

Applications must include the following:

  1. Research Proposal (maximum 5000 words).
  2. The applicant’s full curriculum vitae and list of publications.
  3. Three reports from referees. The referees must be requested to email the references directly to the head of department at the email address shown below.
  4. Certified copies of all academic transcripts and degree certificates.
  5. Written endorsement by the host (principal investigator; normally a permanent staff at UCT or SANBI) of the proposed project. To be emailed directly to the head of department.

Applications will be considered by a sub-committee in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Applications must be submitted electronically to the Head of Department, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town (head.biologicalsciences@uct.ac.za) by no later than 12th October 2018.

Information on faculty structure and academic departments may be found on the UCT website at http://www.uct.ac.za

All applicants are subject to the policies surrounding the postdoctoral sector at the University of Cape Town.

Further information is obtainable from: Ms Claire Khai, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa. Email: Claire.Khai@uct.ac.za. Telephone number +27 21 6503604 Fax Number +27 21 6503301.

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to make no awards at all; to cancel the award if the conditions are not met, and to effect changes to the conditions of award.

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Two postdoc positions

Collaborative project: Diversity of the moss Physcomitrium pyriforme: significance of autopolyploidy within a phylogenomic and experimental framework.

PI: Dr. Bernard Goffinet (University of Connecticut, Storrs; http://bryology.uconn.edu) & Dr. Matt Johnson (Texas Tech University, Lubbock; http://www.mossmatters.com). Additional co-PI: Dr. Rafael Medina (Augustana College, Illinois).

We seek candidates with interest and experience in phylogenomics, bryophyte systematics and evolution of plant genomes (see project description below) to fill two research associate positions:

  1. University of Connecticut, Storrs: candidate would lead or supervise population sampling in the field and genomic library preparation, genome size, karyotype, and morphological characterization, and testing of reproductive isolation. Candidate is expected to mentor undergraduates seeking research opportunities.
  2. Texas Tech University, Lubbock: candidate would lead development of novel bioinformatics, data visualization, and phylogenetic methods for analysis of targeted sequencing data in polypoid species. Candidate will organize and lead a bioinformatics methods workshop and is expected to mentor undergraduates.

Salary: ± $48,000 plus health insurance

Duration: 1 year, renewable pending satisfactory progress.

Start date: September 1, 2018 at UCONN and January 1, 2019 at Texas Tech.

Interested candidates should send a single pdf composed of their CV, personal statement highlighting their qualifications and research interests and contact information for three references to either Bernard Goffinet or Matt Johnson. Review of applicants begins immediately.

Project abstract: Whole genome duplication or autopolyploidy occurred repeatedly during the evolution of land plants and likely act as a major driver of evolutionary change. When genome duplications first occur within species they potentially result in immediate reproductive isolation of autopolyploids within populations. Genome duplications may also trigger significant genomic restructuring, preventing meiotic pairing and hence interbreeding between two independent autopolyploids. Genome duplications are thus effective mechanisms of microevolutionary change and are expected to be frequent enough within species for some to give rise to new evolutionary lineages. Our project seeks to test whether shifts in ploidy are phylogenetically structured within a complex of cryptic moss species, the Physcomitrium pyriformecomplex. This complex is widespread in North America and Europe. It harbors seven karyotypes worldwide and exhibits much morphological variation, as reflected by the 29 synonyms. These annual, bisexual and selfing mosses are easily grown, and genome doubling is readily induced in vitro from sporophytic tissue, enabling tests of reproductive isolation among wild and artificial autopolyploids. Our project addresses four inter-related objectives: (1) Reconstruct the phylogenomic relationships of 400 populations of P. pyriforme complex using targeted sequencing of 800 low-copy nuclear genes; (2) Characterize the karyotype and genome size of 400 populations of the P. pyriforme-complex across Europe, and infer frequencies of ploidal shifts within a phylogenomic hypothesis; (3) identify morphological signatures of artificial genome duplication and through comparison with wild populations test whether these erode through time; and (4) complement these inferences with experiments testing for reproductive isolation among wild and artificial polyploids and thereby for the evolutionary significance of autopolyploidy.

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Graduate student opportunities

Graduate student thought at the University of Connecticut

Collaborative project: Diversity of the moss Physcomitrium pyriforme: significance of autopolyploidy within a phylogenomic and experimental framework.

PI: Dr. Bernard Goffinet (University of Connecticut, Storrs; http://bryology.uconn.edu) & Dr. Matt Johnson (Texas Tech University, Lubbock; http://www.mossmatters.com). Additional co-PI: Dr. Rafael Medina (Augustana College, Illinois).

We seek students with interest in phylogenomics, bryophyte systematics and evolution of plant genomes (see project description below) to join this project at the University of Connecticut in the fall of 2019.

Interested students should Bernard Goffinet. For more info on Department visit EEB’s home page.

Project abstract: Whole genome duplication or autopolyploidy occurred repeatedly during the evolution of land plants and likely act as a major driver of evolutionary change. When genome duplications first occur within species they potentially result in immediate reproductive isolation of autopolyploids within populations. Genome duplications may also trigger significant genomic restructuring, preventing meiotic pairing and hence interbreeding between two independent autopolyploids. Genome duplications are thus effective mechanisms of microevolutionary change and are expected to be frequent enough within species for some to give rise to new evolutionary lineages. Our project seeks to test whether shifts in ploidy are phylogenetically structured within a complex of cryptic moss species, the Physcomitrium pyriformecomplex. This complex is widespread in North America and Europe. It harbors seven karyotypes worldwide and exhibits much morphological variation, as reflected by the 29 synonyms. These annual, bisexual and selfing mosses are easily grown, and genome doubling is readily induced in vitro from sporophytic tissue, enabling tests of reproductive isolation among wild and artificial autopolyploids. Our project addresses four inter-related objectives: (1) Reconstruct the phylogenomic relationships of 400 populations of P. pyriforme complex using targeted sequencing of 800 low-copy nuclear genes; (2) Characterize the karyotype and genome size of 400 populations of the P. pyriforme-complex across Europe, and infer frequencies of ploidal shifts within a phylogenomic hypothesis; (3) identify morphological signatures of artificial genome duplication and through comparison with wild populations test whether these erode through time; and (4) complement these inferences with experiments testing for reproductive isolation among wild and artificial polyploids and thereby for the evolutionary significance of autopolyploidy.