Within the ERC funded GLOBAL project, we are seeking a highly motivated student to undertake a PhD (3 years) on the evolutionary and spatial determinants of Annonaceae species richness patterns across tropical rain forests.
Research Area and Project Description: The ERC Consolidator project “GLOBAL” aims to unravel the evolutionary history and diversification of tropical rain forests (TRF) at a global scale. The project focuses on the pantropical Annonaceae plant family, an important component of TRF worldwide with around 2550 species. During the project we will sequence nearly all species of the family with one individual each. For each species, around 460 Annonaceae-specific exons and the angiosperm universal exons (353) will be sequenced. This dataset will provide one of the first robust and near-complete phylogenies of any major pantropical plant families to date. This dataset will be used to test numerous TRF evolutionary hypotheses at a global scale. GLOBAL is highly collaborative with numerous collaborators from across the globe, especially in tropical countries. This will provide opportunities for the PhD to interact with a wide range of researchers during the PhD.
The PhD will tackle questions related to the spatial aspects of Annonaceae evolution, testing major hypotheses of tropical plant distribution at global (eg “odd man out”) and local scales (e.g. what determines diversity at local levels?). The PhD student will have access to the full Annonaceae phylogeny (+2000 species; which will already be generated and dated), data on the distribution of Annonaceae globally (of which the student will contribute in building), and a large morphological trait dataset.
Qualifications and Specific Competences: The applicant must have a recognized Master degree in evolution or ecology (or equivalent). The candidate should demonstrate a proven interest in evolutionary biology and/or spatial analysis of biodiversity. Experience with tropical biodiversity especially tropical rain forests is a plus. The candidate must have a proven record in one or several of the fields listed here: macroevolutionary diversification analyses using dated phylogenetic trees; spatial analyses of biodiversity (generate maps globally, estimate species richness); inferring species distribution ranges or species distribution modeling; experience in handling large datasets.
In addition, the applicant should have a good knowledge of programing languages such as R and/or Python (or a strong will to learn/master such languages). Finally, the student will have a good level of spoken and written English and good communication skills. International applicants who do not have English as their first language must prove strong English language writing skills and fluency. Knowledge of French is a plus, but not mandatory. The candidate should also have excellent organizational and communication skills.
Place of Employment and Work: The student will be based at the “Institut de Recherche pour le Développement” (IRD), UMR DIADE, DYNADIV team, 911 Avenue Agropolis, Montpellier France. Montpellier is a pleasant Mediterranean town with a vibrant and internationally recognized research community, especially in evolutionary biology (University of Montpellier). The successful candidate will be enrolled at the Université de Montpellier (France) for the PhD diploma.
Start date: The position needs to start by October 1st 2022 at the latest.
Application deadline: May 16th 2022 (23.59 Paris time). You will receive an automatic response when you submit your application. If you do not, please email the application again.
Application procedure: A short list of applicants will be selected by a committee shortly after the deadline for applications. An interview will be planned for short listed applicants, only via zoom, planned for early June. The application must be in English and include a motivation letter, a 2-page max curriculum vitae, degree certificate, full list of publications (including in press, submitted, or in prep), names and email of two recommenders (no recommendation letter should be sent in the application; recommenders will potentially be contacted directly afterwards). All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.
Contact: All questions about the project or the employment conditions, can be directly addressed to Thomas Couvreur, firstname.lastname@example.org
For applications please send the below files (PDF format) to the following emails: email@example.com.
Motivation letter, underlining past experience and why you want to undertake a PhD.
Name and email of two references (past supervisors for example)
Copy of the Master diploma (jpeg or pdf format) or statement on when you expect to have your master degree.
GLOBAL project: www.couvreurlab.org/erc-global
More info about Annonaceae: http://annonaceae.myspecies.info/
Thomas Couvreur, researcher in tropical biodiversity evolution