The research project
Genome evolution following transition to separate sexes
Males and females of the same species are often quite different from each other (i.e. exhibit sexual dimorphism). In fact, in some species the differences between genders can be stronger than between individuals of different species or even genera. In humans these differences (e.g. in behaviour) are partly cultural, but to a large extent they are determined by genes. This is more surprising than it may seem as the two sexes share almost identical sets of genes and separate regulatory pathways have to evolve in order to build different male and female phenotypes from a shared pool of genes. How long does it take to develop sexual dimorphism when a species switches from a hermaphroditic state to separate sexes (dioecy)? What happens at the genome level when such transition occurs? These questions will be addressed in this project using a plant species that evolved dioecy and sex chromosomes only a few million years ago.
The project will mainly focus on plant genus Silene that offers unparalleled opportunities to study recent evolution of separate sexes (from an ancestral hermaphroditic stage) and sex chromosomes. It will benefit from newly developed genomic resources for this genus and will build upon our previous work in this system (e.g. Filatov 2005 Genetics 170(2):975-9; Chibalina and Filatov 2011 Curr Biol 21:1475-9). The successful candidate will be encouraged to develop their own direction of analysis but guidance and training will be also provided.
This is a 36-month project financed by the BBSRC, with an immediate start date. This grant is held by Dr Dmitry Filatov and the work is to be conducted in his lab in the Department of Plant Sciences, Oxford. Dr Filatov’s lab is part of a broader Oxford community of evolutionary biologists and geneticists based in the departments of Plant Sciences, Zoology and Statistics.
· Extensive experience in computational or statistical analysis of biological data.
· High motivation with intellectual curiosity and rigour.
· A PhD and publication record in a relevant area (e.g. evolutionary genetics/genomics, bioinformatics).
· Ability to work independently and manage multiple tasks.
· Ability to manage the day-to-day running of a research project, including supervision of research students (undergraduate or postgraduate).
· Excellent oral and written communication skills, including ability to present research at national and international symposia.
· Experience in high-throughput sequence data analysis in any species.
· Expert knowledge of one or more scripting or programming languages (e.g. Perl, Python, Ruby, C++ or Java etc.).
The appointment will be on the postdoctoral Grade 7 scale for academic-related staff on a starting point within the range £29,541 - £36,298 per annum. The annual holiday entitlement will be 38 days (including days taken on fixed dates at Christmas and Easter and 8 public holidays). The appointment is subject to satisfactory completion of a six-month probationary period, during which the notice period will be one week on either side. Once the appointment has been confirmed the notice period will be one month on either side. The appointment of the nominated candidate will be subject to the satisfactory completion of a medical questionnaire and evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK.
The successful applicant will have the option of becoming or remaining a member of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), a pension scheme that provides a pension and lump sum based on length of service and final salary. All new staff are automatically treated as members unless they give notice in writing to say they do not wish to take part in the scheme. The University also offers a Stakeholder pension scheme, which most employees may join either instead of, or in addition to, the main scheme. The University has a generous maternity leave scheme and also offers paternity leave to expectant fathers and partners, and adoption leave. It offers subsidised nursery places, and tax and National savings schemes. The University has a no-smoking policy and smoking is not permitted within the Department.
All University staff may use the study facilities provided by university libraries and museums; join the University Club, a sports and social club which has its own bar, café, and reading room; and make use of the University Sports Complex and the Pulse fitness centre. A number of discounts are available to university staff e.g. for insurance, holiday travel, and computer equipment.
How To Apply
Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. To apply for this role and for further details, including the job description and selection criteria please visit www.recruit.ox.ac.uk and search for vacancy number 107853. Follow the on-screen instructions to register as a user. You will then be required to complete a number of screens with your application details, relating to your skills and experience. When prompted, please provide details of two referees and indicate whether we can contact them at this stage. You will also be required to upload your curriculum vitae and statement of research interests and a list of principal publications. Informal enquiries should be directed to Dmitry Filatov at email@example.com .
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All applications must be received by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 5th June 2013 as stated in the online advertisement.
Information for Priority Candidates A priority candidate is a University employee who is seeking redeployment owing to the fact that he or she has been advised that they are at risk of redundancy, or on grounds of ill-health/disability. Priority candidates are issued with a redeployment letter by their employing departments and this letter must be attached to any application they submit.
The priority application date for this post is noon on Wednesday 22nd May 2013.
Full details of the priority application process are available at: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/end/red/redproc/prioritycandidate .
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