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PhD Position - Evolutionary Genomics of Pathogens

PhD Position - Evolutionary Genomics of Pathogens

University of Neuchatel, Switzerland


Work Contract

The Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics is searching a highly-motivated PhD student to work on the evolutionary genomics of fungal plant pathogens. Pathogens in agricultural ecosystems pose serious threats to global food security. At the same time, pathogens provided also some of the most fascinating and well-studied examples of adaptive evolution because evolutionary change is observable within very short time scales.

Our lab investigates evolutionary processes of rapid pathogen adaptation, the genetic basis of pathogenicity and mechanisms of genome evolution. Our main model is a fungus (Zymoseptoria tritici) that causes the most important disease on wheat. In our research, we work with natural field populations, use a variety of experimental approaches in the laboratory and greenhouse, perform whole-genome population sequencing and assemblies of complete genomes.

We are a diverse group with backgrounds in evolutionary biology, genomics, plant pathology and microbiology. We put a lot of emphasis on team work and scientific discussions. You can learn more about our research and recent publications on our website (

Job Specification

The available PhD project aims to elucidate a central question in pathogen evolution: How does heterogeneity among hosts impact the evolution of pathogens?

To address this question, we will experimentally expose a diverse pathogen population repeatedly to a hetergeneous wheat field and analyze evidence for host adaptation. To complement this approach, we will also investigate adaptation along environmental gradients and signatures of recent selection.

The PhD project is in collaboration with research groups at the University of Neuchâtel, the ETH Zurich and the Agroscope.

Job Profile

Candidates must hold a MSc degree in biology and have a strong interest in combining evolutionary biology and genomics. Experience in bioinformatics and/or statistical analyses (e.g. in R) is not required but is a plus. The PhD position is available from summer 2017 but later dates are also possible. Applications will be reviewed starting immediately but the position remains open until filled.


More information to be found here


University of Neuchatel, CH
Until filled

Printed from on 24/07/17 09:32:23 AM

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