Genomic basis of extra-group paternity

Страна: Великобритания;

Дедлайн: 18.02.2015



Indirect genetic benefits are hypothesised to drive the evolution of extra-group paternity (EGP), yet its genomic basis is unknown. This is important, as promiscuity has widespread impact on reproductive skew, gene flow, sexual and kin selection. Studies are required to elucidate the genomic basis of EGP, and the consequences of this, to determine how and why this variation is maintained.

Most studies of natural populations cannot measure the evolutionary dynamics of EGP accurately. However, as Seychelles warblers almost never leave their resident islands and are closely monitored, survival, lifetime reproductive fitness and EGP rates can be estimated accurately. Seychelles warblers have an unusually high rate of EGP (40%), which varies among individuals and has been linked to “good genes”. This provides a rare opportunity to determine the genomic basis of EGP.

This PhD will use large-scale representational sequencing analysis from across the genome, combined with a genetic pedigree of >1500 individuals and detailed residency data, to quantify variation and identify genomic regions contributing to EGP.

The student will develop expertise in quantitative and evolutionary genetics, genomic analysis and statistical modelling.
We welcome applications from students with a background in Physics, Maths or Computer Science and an interest in evolutionary biology. Students with a biological background must demonstrate advanced quantitative skills such as programming, mathematics or statistics.
Key words: Genomics, Bioinformatics, Extra-pair paternity, Seychelles warbler, Evolution

Funding Notes:

Studentships cover: (i) a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate for 2015-2016), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees only at the UK/EU rate. Studentships are available to international students.


This PhD project is funded by Leverhulme Trust-Centre for Advanced Biological Modelling at the University of Sheffield.
The Centre for Advanced Biological Modeling (CABM) will harness cutting edge mathematical and computing skills to address major problems in biology. Biology at the University of Sheffield is defined by its strength in combining approaches across time-scales from ecological to evolutionary, and has been the subject of significant recent investment. Exploiting this breadth of research excellence, the areas of focus for the CABM will extend our cutting edge research in basic biology by harnessing the latest mathematical and computational techniques. The recruitment process of the CABM will focus on attracting outstanding students from the physical and mathematical sciences, and training them to address leading biological problems. This multi-disciplinary initiative will transform our research excellence in organismal biology and fill a chronic training gap in the biology. Its legacy will be a cohort of research scientists at the cutting edge of biological modeling with the skills to tackle major societal problems.
Selection process: Short Listing will take place as soon as possible after the closing date and the successful applicants will be notified promptly. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview to take place at the University of Sheffield on the 27 th February 2015.