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Bioécologie

PhD position: Genetics of seasonal timing in the great tit

28 Octobre 2014,

Publié par Bioécologie

Within the “European Graduate School in Animal Breeding and Genetics” (EGS-ABG) a 4-year PhD position on “Genetics of seasonal timing in the great tit (Parus major)” is available, see below for a project summary.

This project is jointly hosted by Wageningen University (the Netherlands) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden), in close collaboration with the Department of Animal Ecology of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW).

Please see http://www.egsabg.eu/ for further information on the graduate school and online application procedure (deadline 30.11. 2014). Please note that applicants who obtained their MSc in one of the countries hosting the project (the Netherlands, Sweden) are not eligible . For further information on the project please contact Prof. Martien Groenen (martien.groenen@wur.nl).

Project summary:

The rate at which organisms can adapt to climate change is one of the key factors determining the degree of biodiversity loss. One of the key ecological impacts of global climate change is that it has led to clear shifts in seasonal timing, a prime example of a phenotypically plastic trait in which environmental variables, in interaction with the genetic background, determine the trait value. The focus of this project will be phenotypic plasticity in the passerine bird the great tit (Parus major). The aim is to identify genomic regions involved in a number of traits including egg laying date, clutch size, weight at 15 days, tarsus and hatchability of eggs using an association study on a population of 2500 female birds measured for these traits and genotyped with 675,000 SNPs distributed evenly across the genome. Because genetic correlations between traits under selection could constrain evolutionary change, genetic correlations will be estimated between the traits measured in these birds, using actual relatedness instead of pedigree-based relatedness. Within the project you will also analyse the 4th generation of the two selection lines, currently being produced, to identify the regions under selection. The complete genome sequence of the founder animals of the selection lines will be available, which allows a detailed analysis of the underlying genes and genetic variants under selection. The project requires excellent skills in quantitative genetics and bioinformatics.

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