PhD in Epigenetic Theory at University of Otago, Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND 

A PhD position is available within the Department of Zoology at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. This position in the laboratory of Professor Hamish G. Spencer is funded by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand. A scholarship covering fees plus a tax-free stipend of NZ$27,500 per year is available for three years.

The project is part of a larger project entitled “Epigenetics and Evolutionary Theory.” Just as natural populations exhibit genetic variation, so too do they harbour epigenetic variation, some of which is transmitted from one generation to the next. This project asks how we can explain this transgenerationally inherited epigenetic variation in natural populations and what might be the consequences for evolution. The candidate will construct and analyse novel mathematical models to investigate these matters, validating these models with data from real examples, and using the models to make novel predictions about the properties of epigenetic variation in nature.

The successful candidate will have a strong interest in applying quantitative methods in biology. They will have a degree (e.g., BSc(Hons), MSc) in biology and/or mathematics (or a related field) that included a research component (e.g., a dissertation or a thesis).

Our research group and the wider Department includes world-class research staff, facilities and strong international collaborations, offering excellent opportunities to gain a variety of highly pertinent research and technical skills.

Dunedin, in the South Island of New Zealand, is a great place to live, with a vibrant music culture. It regards itself as the “Wildlife Capital of New Zealand,” with breeding albatrosses, penguins, fur seals and sea lions all found within the city limits. For details about living in Dunedin see http://www.otago.ac.nz/humanresources/join-otago/lifestyle-and-culture/dunedin/index.html

As part of your application, please submit a CV, a transcript of your university grades, a personal statement of suitability and the names and contact details of two referees to Professor Hamish Spencer (hamish.spencer@otago.ac.nz).

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