(Empirical and Theoretical Population Genetics)


The Jones Lab at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory located on the Max Planck Campus, Tübingen, Germany, is looking for a talented researcher with skills in evolutionary and population genetics, bioinformatics and/or computer science to work on a novel project exploring constraints on rapid adaptation from standing genetic variation. The position is available for an initial 2 years with the possibility of extension (Postdoc level) or the duration of a PhD project.

We work at the cross-section between functional and evolutionary genomics with the aim of understanding the molecular mechanism and evolutionary processes underlying phenotypic variation, adaptation and speciation using stickleback fish. The Jones Lab is funded by the Max Planck Society, German Research Council and holds a prestigious European Research Council Consolidator Grant.

We are looking to recruit a talented and motivated team member to study factors that influence the maintenance of genetic variation and promote or constrain rapid adaptation to new environments. As part of a DFG Priority Programme on Rapid Adaptation, this project combines both theoretical modelling and analyses of empirical data from natural populations of sticklebacks. You will have the opportunity to interact with leading theorists and other members of the priority program. Where applicable you may also participate actively in wet-lab data generation using our established high-throughput robotics platforms.


     Population and Evolutionary Genomics of Adaptation from Standing Genetic Variation

Understanding the mechanisms and constraints influencing rapid adaptation to new or changing environments is an important and significant challenge in evolutionary biology. One major focus centers on the type and source of genetic variation that acts as a substrate for rapid adaptive change. This is of particular interest because evolutionary history and demographic processes can affect the availability of adaptive genetic variation, promoting or constraining the speed of adaptation, and influencing the future evolutionary trajectory a population. We are combining empirical data from state-of-the-art genomic sequencing of threespine stickleback fish with population genetic models of maintenance of standing genetic variation in source marine populations (eg selection-migration balance), and selective sweeps from standing genetic variation in freshwater populations, in order to identify and quantify key factors that shape, promote and constrain rapid adaptation in the natural populations. This project will provide valuable insight into the origin, spread and maintenance of genetic variation that is essential for preserving the future adaptive potential of natural populations.


Requirements: We invite applications for the above positions at postdoctoral or PhD levels (MSc or 4-year BSc required). You will have training in evolution, population genetics, genomics and bioinformatics and in-depth research experience in these fields. You should demonstrate expertise and proficiency in one or more of the following areas:

    empirical and theoretical population genetics

    handling and analysis of NGS datasets (eg whole genome), and genome-wide genotyping data (eg array or RADseq)

    advanced skills in population genetics and modeling (eg. selection-migration balance, and selective sweeps)

    handling large-scale computational data

Experience with UNIX and fluency in statistical and/or programming languages (R, Python or Perl, C++, SQL, java knowledge desirable) is essential. Wetlab skills and experience in other types of data analysis will be an advantage.

We are interested in candidates who are keen to apply new and innovative statistical approaches. Passion for research, team spirit and enthusiasm are essential. 

Our Team: You will work in a multidisciplinary team that focuses on applying genomics approaches to understand the functional basis of adaptation and speciation in mice and fish. Our research groups are funded by the Max Planck Society as well as the European Research Council (ERC) and the DFG. The Max Planck Campus in Tübingen, Germany is one of the leading campuses in evolutionary genomics research. Our campus hosts world-class research groups, including a Nobel laureate and >10 ERC-funded teams. We operate state-of-the-art sequencing and other core facilities. English is the working language. All seminars and communications are in English.

Our Offer: Positions at the Postdoc level will be initially offered for 2 years, with the possibility of extension. Funding for PhD studentship is available for the entire duration. Positions will be supported by contracts with salary and benefits based on the German public service pay scale (TVöD) and are commensurate with training and experience. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are underrepresented, and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck Society is committed to employing individuals with disabilities and especially encourages them to apply.

To Apply: Consideration of applications will begin on 1st May, 2016, and will remain open until filled. Please send your application with 1. a cover letter outlining your background, achievements and motivations; 2. your CV, and 3. two reference contacts to Dr. Felicity Jones (fcjones@tuebingen.mpg.de) or the postal address below. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

Dr. Felicity Jones

Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society

Spemannstrasse 39

72076 Tübingen



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