PhD / PostDoc Position in Invasion Ecology

The GEOMAR Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany, offers a position for an early stage researcher (PhD/PostDoc) interested in studying adaptation of non-indigenous species to different salinities.

The position will be within the project “Do Ponto-Caspian species have inherent advantages over Northern European or Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River species in colonizing new areas?” funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Sofja Kovalevskaja Award. The overarching goal of the project is to determine if species evolved in particular regions have inherent advantages over other species in colonizing new areas, and are those species capable to adapt to and invade habitats with different salinities than their populations are coming from.

The successful candidate will conduct molecular genetic study on phylogenetically close species with and without invasion record native to Northern Europe, Great Lakes and Ponto-Caspian region whose populations naturally occur in different salinities to determine historical transitions from marine to brackish and freshwater habitats and vice versa. He/she will deduce if evolutionary transition of species to different salinities went in both directions (i.e., from marine to freshwater and from freshwater to marine habitats). Finally, he/she will determine if salinity transitions are more common for species with invasion record than for species without invasion record, and if they are more common for Ponto-Caspian than for Northern Europe or Great Lakes’ species.
We are looking for an enthusiastic individual ideally with experience in molecular ecology, molecular genetic techniques and/or invasion ecology. Any experience with next generation sequencing is advantageous. Funding is available for 3 years. The anticipated starting date is 01. October 2014, however, the position remains open until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants must hold an MSc/PhD related to biological sciences, preferentially with a focus on molecular, quantitative and/or population genetics. Candidates should be willing to participate in extensive sampling in the Northern Europe, Great Lakes and Ponto-Caspian regions, have good organization skills, and be able to work independently and develop own scientific concepts. Excellent English communication skills are a prerequisite.

Open until filled.

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