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    Opportunity: Two PhD positions in human evolutionary history and adaptation at the Australian Centre of Ancient DNA @ University of Adelaide -- Adelaide, SA, Australia
    Submitted by Ray Tobler; posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2018

    BACKGROUND

    Two PhD positions in population genetics, human evolution, aDNA and bioinformatics

    We are seeking highly motivated students to fill (2) PhD positions and join two Australian Research Council (ARC) funded projects. The students join a world class team of researchers to develop and implement cutting-edge statistical and population genetic analyses to reconstruct human evolutionary history. The students will be involved in the landmark Aboriginal Heritage Project (www.adelaide.edu.au/acad/ahp/), which is using a remarkable collection of >6000 ancient hair samples to reconstructing the genetic history of Indigenous Australia (see Tobler et al. Nature 2017;544:180-184).

    Successful candidates will be involved in one of the following two projects:
    1) Population genetic analyses of Indigenous populations across Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia, with particular emphasis on reconstructing human migration patterns into Sahul and genetic admixture with archaic hominins.
    2) Developing innovative statistical and population genetic tools for detecting molecular signatures of natural selection using ancient DNA. Data from the Aboriginal Heritage Project and >1000 ancient human genomes from around the world will provide an unprecedented opportunity to build the first detailed portrait of human genetic adaptation through both time and space.

    REQUIREMENTS

    The candidates must have, as a minimum, an excellent undergraduate academic record and meet the English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement. The call is open to international and domestic students with backgrounds in biology, bioinformatics, mathematics, statistics, computer science, population/quantitative genetics, or a related field. While a background in biology is desirable, it is not a prerequisite for success, as training opportunities in genetics, human evolution, molecular biology, or other related areas can be provided during the PhD.

    PREFERENCES

    Good computational and analytical skills are of high importance and a successful candidate would be competent in one or more of the following:
    • Statistical analysis of large datasets and/or mathematical modeling
    • Fluency in using Linux systems, with a prior hands-on experience with Bash scripting
    • Programming in a scripting language such as Python and/or R

    LOCALE

    The PhD will be situated in the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD; www.adelaide.edu.au/acad/), a highly dynamic group based at the University of Adelaide, with world leading researchers in ancient DNA, human evolution, population genetics, epigenetics, microbiomics, and megafaunal extinction.

    HOW TO APPLY

    Interested applicants are encouraged to send a CV (including names and contact details of three references) and a cover letter to Dr. João Teixeira (jcamteixeira[at]gmail.com) or Dr. Christian Huber (christian.domitian.huber[at]gmail.com).

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