The Lavretsky Lab at the University of Texas at El Paso (https://www.utep.edu/science/lavretskylab/) is currently recruiting a graduate student to start in the Fall of 2021! The NSF funded PhD position will unravel genomic consequences when domesticated individuals interbreed with their wild sister taxa. The student will join a vibrant and growing research body in the Department of Biological Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program, at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
In short, the student will work to uncover the genomic and morphological consequences from a century of interbreeding between domestic and wild mallard ducks. The student will join a multi-institutional research team, and will apply a comprehensive set of molecular techniques to geographically broad species-wide sample sets from contemporary populations, where they will work with >100 full genomes of genetically vetted pure wild mallards, domestic mallards, and their hybrids. Genetic sampling will be extended 100 to 150 years into the past using ancient DNA approaches with museum specimens. Moreover, using 3D morphometric analysis of museum specimens, as well as feeding trails with live wild and domesticated mallards, we will examine how the movement of traits associated with domesticated birds (e.g., bill morphologies that affect feeding efficacy) into wild populations may affect the adaptability of wild populations. The PhD student will be required to live in Washington D.C. for several summer months where they will work alongside Smithsonian collaborators to collect ancient DNA and 3D morphometric data.
- B.S. Degree in evolutionary biology, molecular biology, conservation genetics, bioinformatics or a related field
- Highly self-motivated, independent, and creative thinkers that are enthusiastic about pursuing a career in population, conservation, and evolutionary genetics.
- M.S. Degree in evolutionary biology, molecular biology, conservation genetics, bioinformatics or a related field
- Experience in population genetics, evolutionary genetics, or molecular evolution and with molecular data
- Experience with programing language such as Perl or Python
- Experience with analysis of NGS sequence data
To apply, please submit: a cover letter describing research interests, career goals, and experience related to, or interest in, a current CV; unofficial academic transcript; and, the name and full contact information for three references to Dr. Philip Lavretsky (email@example.com). Review of applications will begin November 16, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.