PhD Studentship in Evolution within the Discipline of Plant Evolution and Systematics

PhD studentship in Evolution within the discipline of Plant Evolution and Systematics
With placement at the Department of Ecology, Section for Plant Ecology
and Systematics, Faculty of Science, Lund University.
Project title: Allelic variation and protein function in a plant community context
This interdisciplinary project represents a collaboration between the Section of Plant Ecology and Systematics, and the Section of Microbial Ecology within the Department of Ecology, Lund University.

The project will focus on genomic ecology and community genomics and will develop a novel system for the study of gene variation and function in the context of natural plant communities. Molecular differentiation will be investigated at a pair of loci coding for a key metabolic enzyme, phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI), in the wild plant Festuca ovina, and the distribution and function of individual PGI alleles will be explored in natural populations within grassland plant communities on the Baltic island of Uland. The project will involve characterization of sequence differentiation between the multiple alleles at the two loci and the development of allele-specific primers. Relationships between individual alleles and fine-scale niche-variation within natural grassland communities will be investigated and the functional consequences of the allelic variation will be inferred through analyses of predicted protein structures.

The PhD project will be linked to the Research School in Genomic Ecology within the Centre for Genomic Ecology (CGE). Genomic ecology represents a new interdisciplinary field on the interface between ecology, evolutionary and molecular biology, and genomics. The long-term goal of CGE is to achieve an integrated understanding of the molecular, evolutionary and ecological mechanisms and processes that are involved in the generation of the immense diversity of form and function that characterizes living organisms. The Research School in Genomic Ecology will provide the PhD student with access to advanced courses and opportunities for placements in other laboratories as well as a stimulating social network. Further information about CGE and the research school can be found at

Applicants should have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in biology, with specialization in botany, plant ecology, plant genetics, molecular ecology, molecular genetics, or a similar subject area. Experience with molecular techniques is a central requirement for the position. Competence with univariate and multivariate statistics, bioinformatics and plant cultivation is also a desirable merit. A very good knowledge of written and spoken English is required. A valid driving licence is also a desirable merit.

Additional information:
A Swedish PhD represents four years of full-time study. Of these four years, three years are devoted to research activities and one year is devoted to advanced course work, in which course points are obtained via attendance at research-level courses given in Lund or elsewhere in Europe.

Regulations concerning appointment as a full PhD student can be found in HF 5 Chap 1-7 and SFS 1998:80. Also consult the admission regulations found at: An educational stipend is awarded for the first 18 months of full-time study, following which time the student is appointed as a full doctoral student. Regulations concerning educational stipends for doctoral students can be found in SFS 1995:938 and 1998:81. Regulations concerning appointment as a full PhD student can be found in HF 5 Chap 1-7 nd SFS 1998:80. Those who hold an educational stipend or a doctoral student appointment must first be accepted for postgraduate study. To be accepted, a student must be judged to have the competence necessary to complete a course of postgraduate study. In addition to pursuing postgraduate studies, the doctoral student may also perform other duties - including teaching and administration - according to the specific regulations. The university strives for a more even gender representation within postgraduate education.

Applications are made on a specific application form found on the website:

The application must reach the Registrar, Kansli N, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden, not later than Wednesday 8 April 2009. All submitted document must be attested as to their authenticity.

Reference Number: N 2009/119
Starting Date: As soon as possible
Information: Prof. Honor C. Prentice +46 46 2228971 (+46 73 5968334)
Prof. Anders Tunlid +46 46 2223757 (+46 70 3140067.
Worker’s unions at Lund University: OFR, SACO och SEKO