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Project Title: From genes to species: Investigating the contribution of evolutionary change in tartan to mating behaviour and reproductive isolation
Director of Studies and main supervisor: Dr Maria Daniela Santos Nunes
Opportunity to list 2nd and 3rd supervisors if you wish: Dr Saad Arif
Whether Project is: Competition Funded Project (EU and UK students only)
Application deadline: 3rd January 2019
The genetic basis underlying the vast diversity observed in animal male genitalia has eluded evolutionary research for decades. Recently we uncovered a gene that explains a large difference in organ size between species. We found that evolved mutations in Tartan, a leucine-rich transmembrane domain protein that mediates cell affinity, are responsible for the larger clasper size of fruit fly species Drosophila mauritiana relative to its sibling D. simulans.
This project aims to understand the evolution of tartan (trn) in the context of male genital evolution. Specifically, in this project you will take a multidisciplinary approach, bridging behavioural genetics, high-resolution microscopy, machine-learning, neuroscience and evolutionary genomics, consisting of the following approaches:
The results of this Project will provide fundamental insight into the mechanisms through which morphological changes affect behavioural phenotypes and the evolution of reproductive isolation between species and speciation more generally.
An ideal candidate would have either a background or interest in one or more of the following: speciation, evolutionary genetics or genomics, behavioural genetics, Drosophila genetics, machine-learning.
The Department of Biological and Medical Sciences at Oxford Brookes University provides a diverse and supportive research environment with particular strengths in Drosophila genetics and genomics, high-resolution microscopy and burgeoning number of researchers utilizing novel functional genomic approaches.
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Department of Biological and Medical Sciences Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU (or International by special exception) Closing date: 3rd January 2019 Duration: three years Start date: September 2019 Value p.a.: Bursary equivalent to RCUK national minimum stipend plus fees (2018/19 bursary rate is £14,777)
Please note only EU/UK nationals/permanent residents are eligible to apply for this studentship. Please do not apply if you are not a UK/EU national/permanent resident. If you are not sure if you are eligible please contact Research Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is an additional requirement to undertake up to 6 hours undergraduate teaching/week during semesters and to participate in a teaching skills course without further remuneration.
For further information contact Dr Maria Daniela Santos Nunes (email@example.com) or Dr Saad Arif (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Applicants should have (or be expecting) a first class or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification. EU Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued since 1st September 2016 by an approved test centre. We are prepared to consider alternative acceptable evidence of English Language ability.
How to apply:
Completed application forms should be emailed to email@example.com together with a CV.