PhD Position in Biogeography 2010, Basel, Switzerland

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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,
Switzerland.
E-mail: Simon.Loader@unibas.ch;
internet: www.biogeography.unibas.ch/loader

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
Klingelbergstr. 27
CH-4056 Basel
Switzerland

Tel:    ++41 61 267 07 23
e-mail: Simon.Loader@unibas.ch
Homepage: http://www.biogeography.unibas.ch/loader
Personal Homepage: http://web.mac.com/simon.loader
Tanzanian Herps Homepage: http://www.tanzaniaherps.org/
Associate Editor, The Herpetological Journal
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bhs/thj

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