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Research Associate - Ecology, Genetics

University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom
£35,333 - £39,745
Closing date
Nov 25, 2022

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The role

We are seeking an enthusiastic and dedicated postdoc to work on our NERC funded project, 'Genetic architecture of brain evolution during ecological divergence'. This NERC project aims to reveal the nature of genetic variation facilitating brain evolution between ecologically divergent cichlid fishes to test the extent, nature and conservation of genetic associations among brain components. We are working on intraspecific variation and interspecific crosses between cichlid fish, to quantify and genetically map variation in brain composition. Alongside this, we will identify key developmental periods where trajectories of brain structure divide, providing a foundation to confirm the causative effects of genes implicated in brain evolution, and to examine how changes in the development of one structure impact another. The position is based at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, but will also work in collaboration with Dr Emilia Santos and a post-doc in her group at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge.

What will you be doing?

This role focuses on quantifying and genetically mapping variation in brain composition. The successful applicant will exploit existing samples of hundreds of fish, using DICE-CT and advanced image analyses to quantify brain composition in our sample sets. You will be responsible for managing this process, and subsequently combining it with genomic datasets to perform genome wide association studies (intraspecific variation) and mapping quantitative trait loci (interspecific crosses) to test hypotheses concerning the genetic architecture of brain evolution.

You should apply if

The role will suit someone with experience in either handling large phenotypic and/or genomic datasets, or in using quantitative genetics to map variation in complex traits. You will have a good knowledge of modern methods for imaging and analysing brain structure, and strong interest in brain and behavioural evolution. Independence and good organizational skills are essential, and you should also work well within a team and communicate effectively with others. Excellent data management practice is also essential. We encourage under-represented groups to apply. Informal expressions of interest can be directed to Stephen Montgomery,

The University of Bristol aims to be a place where everyone feels able to be themselves and do their best in an inclusive working environment where all colleagues can thrive and reach their full potential. We want to attract, develop, and retain individuals with different experiences, backgrounds and perspectives - particularly people of colour, LGBT+ and disabled people - because diversity of people and ideas remains integral to our excellence as a global civic institution.

Available documents
  • ACAD106449 - Research Associate - JD.pdf
  • BISC Further Particulars.pdf

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.
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