This project will address the role of epigenetics in adaptive processes in microbes experiencing environmental change. There are currently no unambiguous experimental data demonstrating a role of epigenetics in the response to changes in the biotic and abiotic environment. The successful applicant will investigate the phenotypic, genetic, and epigenetic changes that occur during experimental selection under specific ecological pressures, such as predation and resource limitation. This project will address the following questions: What are the phenotypic responses to environmental change? Are these phenotypic changes heritable? Do they have a genetic or epigenetic basis? What epigenetic mechanisms underlie these phenotypic responses? The experimental organism will initially be Tetrahymena, due to its status as a model organism, its fast growth, and ease of manipulation.
The groups of Petchey and Schmid research the causes and consequences of biological diversity, and responses of organisms to environmental change. Project collaborators include Paul Hurd (Queen Mary University London) and Jessica Stapley (STRI).
Upon start, applicants must have a completed master’s degree in ecology or any related science field,
preferably with a certain degree of specialization in microbiology. Applicants must be able to pursue experimental studies of microbial communities, data analysis, and communication of findings.
A good standard of written and spoken English is required. The position will start as of January 1, 2013 and is limited to 3+1 years. Salaries correspond to the UZH regulations of PhD
We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a passion for science to join our team. We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent supporting environment.
Please send your application as one single PDF file (motivation letter, complete CV, and names of 2 references) to Owen.Petchey@ieu.uzh.ch no later than September 14, 2012. For further questions, please contact Owen.Petchey@ieu.uzh.ch