Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Postdoc– Origin of Land Plants at the Natural History Museum, London

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (PDRA) – Origin of Land Plants: Genomes, Rocks, Biogeocycles
Natural History Museum Department of Life Science, London

Job Description:
Applications are invited for a two-year position as part of the NERC funded research project “Origin of Land Plants: Genomes, Rocks, and Biogeocycles”.  The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team of palaeontologists, plant scientists, phylogeonomicists, and biogeochemical modellers located at some of the world’s foremost centres for palaeo- and biodiversity research namely Natural History Museum, Earth Sciences at Bristol, Earth & Ocean Sciences at Cardiff, Animal & Plant Sciences at Sheffield, and HEE at University College London. The main objective of the project is to reconstruct the colonization of land by plants, and its impact on Earth Systems by reconstructing the phylogeny and divergence times of all extant land plant lineages and their Paleozoic fossil relatives.

The PDRA will be mainly responsible to carry out the phylogenomic analyses, the integration of the fossil taxa into a phylogeny reconstructed using both genomic and morphological evidence, and the establishment of a robust divergence time frame using newly developed methods that allow a more realistic integration of fossil evidence into DNA based divergence time estimations.

The PDRA is expected to collaborate with all researchers involved in the proposal but especially with Philip Donoghue (Bristol), Harald Schneider (NHM), and Ziheng Yang (UCL). THE PDRA is expected to take the lead on the publication of the research results of the component on phylogenomics and divergence time estimates beside the communication of the research to both expert and non-expert audiences.

Desired Skills and Experience: We are looking for a highly motivated early-career scientist with experience in assembling datasets for phylogenomic analyses, phylogenetic analyses using phylogenomic datasets, and divergence time estimates using bayesian analytical tools.  A background in statistics and bioinformatics will be appreciated, whereas documented expertise in oral and printed communication of research results is a requirement.

Starting data: January/February 2016.
Salary: following the NERC guidelines.

Contact: Prof Harald Schneider, Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, UK. Email:

The position is open until filled. The interviews are expected to happen in early December 2015.

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