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PhD studentship grant | Biological Sciences

Reference: BIOPOLIS 2022-45
Job description:

PhD studentship grant

Reference: BIOPOLIS 2022-45
Research field: Biological Sciences

The Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources - Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (CIBIO-InBIO) is opening a Call for 1 (one) PhD studentship grant in Biological Sciences, complying with the provisions of the FCT Regulation for Studentships and Fellowships (RBI) and the Research Fellowship Holder Statute (EBI).

The scholarship will be funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. (FCT) under the Financing Collaboration Protocol of the Multiannual Plan for Research Scholarships for PhD Students, signed between FCT and the R&D Unit, Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (InBIO), No. 50027.

The Call is open from July 25th to 5:00 pm (Lisbon time) of October 25th, 2022.


Title: The causes and consequences of ancient hybridization among hares (Lepus spp.)

It is now well documented that related species often exchange genetic material in the wild. Interspecific genetic introgression is thus a potentially important player in biodiversity evolution, yet poorly quantified

and characterised. Modern genomics offers unprecedented opportunities to fill this gap and address several questions of great importance for our understanding of evolution: under what conditions does introgression occur, what is the role of natural selection in promoting or impeding it, and the origin selection? The project will focus on species of south European hares (genus Lepus) that were affected by introgression from an arctic/boreal species that they replaced in this region during the current deglaciation. Analysing a collection of full genome sequences and additional population genetics data, this project will aim to detect and quantify all factors modulating introgression, related for example with sex-linked transmission and behaviour, the interplay between recombination rate variation and genetic incompatibilities, positive natural selection, and coadaptation between genomic regions.

This project will allow the acquisition of skills in bioinformatics and sophisticated cutting-edge population and evolutionary genomics, by handling large-scale genomic datasets. This work is expected to have a general impact on the understanding of speciation and evolution through genetic exchange, broadening our understanding of biodiversity beyond species inventories. The PhD studentship will be supervised by José Melo-Ferreira, Researcher and Group Leader at CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto, and Pierre Boursot, Director of Research of CNRS at ISEM, University of Montpellier, and developed in both institutions. A co-tutelle agreement between the Universities of Porto and Montpellier is envisioned. The work plan is predicted to start on March 2023

Applications, and all the supporting documents described in this Notice, must be submitted online using the application form available at

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