We are seeking a PhD student to join us (Prof. Dr. Anna Lindholm and Dr. Andri Manser) in a research project at the University of Zurich studying the ecological and evolutionary impact of a naturally occurring selfish genetic element (called t haplotype) on wild house mouse populations. The t haplotype is a supergene in house mice with two key characteristics. First, males that carry two copies of the gene (t/t homozygotes) are sterile. Second, males that carry only one copy of the t (+/t heterozygotes) pass the gene on to 95% of their offspring rather than the 50% expected under Mendelian inheritance (meiotic drive). As a result, we expect t haplotypes to genetically propagate despite its sterility inducing effect, which may have far-reaching consequences for the populations that harbour them and which could have implications for the control of invasive mouse pests.
You will study the impact of the t haplotype on mouse behaviour and reproduction, as well as its ecological and evolutionary consequences in various experimental settings, from laboratory experiments, to enclosure populations, to a free-living population. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to contribute to analysis of relevant large datasets and/or modelling.
You are motivated by “why” questions, enjoy working with animals as well as designing and implementing experiments to test your ideas. You are collaborative, enjoy communicating your research and learning new skills. Experience with data analysis, modelling, and publication experience will be viewed as a bonus. You are trained in evolutionary biology and bring a relevant MSc degree or equivalent.
What we offer
The University of Zurich offers a highly international largely English speaking environment. We offer a friendly working environment, excellent facilities, great collaborators, and strong support in developing your scientific skills and abilities. The project has four years of funding with a generous salary. Zurich offers great quality of life, consistently ranking in the top three cities worldwide.
Place of work
Winterthurerstrasse, Zürich, Switzerland
Start of employment
Employment start date: as soon as possible and to be mutually agreed. Please submit your application as a single pdf file, including a letter of motivation that highlights your interest in and suitability for the project, your CV, and recommendation letters or contact details of 2
references. Screening of applicants is ongoing.