Project title: Life history and Biogeography: a comparative evolutionary study of the Terrestrialisation of African amphibians September 7, 2010
PhD-POSITION IN Biogeography. We are looking for a highly motivated graduate student interested in biogeography. The research of our group is focussed on diversification patterns – and the processes that govern them. The research in our group has focused primarily on the phylogenetic diversification of amphibians (our model group), and mainly on the continent of Africa (our model area). The research is characterized by the integration of a broad range of techniques – fieldwork, taxonomy, molecular and morphological systematics, traditional descriptive and modern biogeographic approaches – used to interpret patterns of diversity in Africa, particularly in rainforest habitats.The SNF funded project seeks to address fundamental questions on how ife history strategies in African amphibians have developed over time and space. We address this question by looking at the biogeographical correlates that might explain the evolution of the diversity of developmental terrestrialization in African amphibians. This will be investigated through state of the art methods and novel approaches that combine ecological and evolutionary approaches. We will look for significant correlations between life history strategy traits and environmental parameters (e.g. climate and habitat). Complementing this we will conduct phylogenetic analyses to reconstruct evolutionary trees (timetrees). Understanding the overall patterns by which life histories have changed through evolutionary time will elucidate potential mechanisms of how, and under what circumstances key innovations, such as terrestrialization, have developed spatially and temporally.
BACKGROUND. Applicants should have a MSc degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field, and a strong background and keen interest in systematics. Previous experience in molecular systematics is necessary, and an interest in learning GIS and climatic niche modelling techniques would be important.
RESEARCH GROUP AND INSTITUTE. Our research group is part of the Biogeography Institute at the University of Basel, which hosts groups sharing a common interest in biogeography (see www.biogeography.unibas.ch for more information). For the project we are also collaborating with other international institutes in Jena, Berlin, Trento and London.
POSITION AND APPLICATION. The PhD-position is funded through a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) research grant for the duration of three years. Starting date is negotiable, but should ideally be between 1st November 2010 and 1st January 2011. Please send your application documents (CV, list of publication, short summary of your
current research, a statement on your reasons to pursue a PhD, contact details for two referees) by e-mail and as single pdf to:
Dr. Simon Loader, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Institute of
Biogeography, University of Basel, Klingelbergstr. 27, CH-4056 Basel,
Applications received on or before **Friday, 1st October 2010** will be given full consideration
Dr Simon Loader
Dept. of Environmental Sciences
Institute of Biogeography
University of Basel
Tel: ++41 61 267 07 23
Personal Homepage: http://web.mac.com/simon.loader
Tanzanian Herps Homepage: http://www.tanzaniaherps.org/
Associate Editor, The Herpetological Journal