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Ghent University PhD position on the mechanisms and consequences of “low sex” in seaweed populations


The focus of the project is on seaweed populations (Dictyota) that display varying degrees of sexual versus asexual reproduction. The relative degree of sexual or asexual reproduction, likely determined by differences in sea surface temperature, should reflect on population genetic parameters and on the efficacy of natural selection. Using a combination of laboratory experiments, genetic data of natural populations and transcriptomic data, this project will

1) determine the precise mechanisms of asexual reproduction in Dictyota dichotoma; and

2) evaluate the consequences of mating system variation between Atlantic (sexual) and Mediterranean (largely asexual) populations on the genetic structure of the populations, the efficacy of selection and the adaptive potential of the populations.

We offer a fully funded PhD position with the aim to obtain a doctorate at Ghent University (4 years). He/she will work in a stimulating environment and gain expertise in evolutionary ecology combining field as well as lab experiments. In addition, he/she will have access to cutting-edge technologies (e.g. whole genome resequencing), personal career assistance and high level training courses. The position is available as of January 2020. The actual starting data is flexible.

Profile of the candidate

•    You have a demonstrable interest in the field of evolutionary biology and handling genetic data.
•    You have the necessary social skills, flexibility and critical thinking to function in a multidisciplinary and international academic environment. Competency of English (reading, writing, and speaking) is required.
•    You have an independent, problem-solving, organized and result-oriented attitude.

How to apply

Applications have to be sent in via email to  at the latest on December 15. The following documents should be attached:
•    cover letter
•    motivation letter
•    copies of your MSc degree
•    contact details of at least 2 persons. 
•    please merge all documents into one PDF attachment.