The recently formed group of Dr. Macarena Toll-Riera is seeking a PhD student to study the limits of thermal adaptation through the combination of experimental and high-throughput sequencing approaches. We are hosted at the Institute of Integrative Biology, in the Professorship of Evolutionary Biology.
Climate change is increasing the global mean temperature, but also the frequency and severity of heat waves. The potential for organisms to adapt to warmer environments, especially if temperatures approach or exceed their upper thermal tolerance, is currently unknown. Recent research suggests that there might be hard physiological boundaries that limit the extension of upper thermal tolerance. But, is it possible to overcome the hard limit in upper thermal tolerance?
In this project we will investigate the evolvability of upper thermal tolerance and its potential limits using a cold-adapted bacterium isolated from Antarctica. We have recently adapted this cold-adapted bacterium to high temperatures, but we have encountered a hard limit. We will use several approaches to investigate whether we can overcome this hard limit.
The candidate will use molecular tools to engineer the genome of the cold-adapted bacterium and she/he will couple laboratory evolution experiments to next generation sequencing to disentangle the genomic basis of adaptation to high temperatures.
We offer 3 years of funding and to be part of a small, but collaborative and dynamic group. We are hosted at the Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH Zurich. The candidate will benefit from a vibrant and interdisciplinary academic environment with excellent opportunities for education, training and collaboration. Aside from the high quality of life, Zurich provides easy access to outdoor activities.
You should hold a master degree in a relevant area such as evolutionary biology or microbiology, have a genuine interest in evolutionary biology and have a good command of English. Microbiological techniques, molecular cloning and programming skills are an asset.
You should be highly motivated, enthusiastic, curious and able to work independently but also as a team member.
We look forward to receiving your application with the following documents:
- motivation letter
- academic records
- contact information for 2-3 potential references
Please send your application (one single PDF file) by email to Macarena Toll-Riera (email@example.com). We will begin reviewing applications immediately, until the position is filled.
Starting date: September-October 2021.