Ph.D. students to join a project on molecular evolution of sensory genes in fishes

We are seeking two highly motivated Ph.D. students to join a project on
molecular evolution of sensory genes in fishes. The selected Ph.D.
candidate will be focused on the following topics within the framework of
the main project: „Genomics of sensory adaptations: evolution of vision,
smell and taste in fishes“ funded by SNSF (Switzerland):

1) PhD position I: Molecular evolution of vision and olfaction in teleost
(model groups: Mormyridae, Cyprinidae, deep-sea fishes; methods: genomics,
transcriptomics, stable isotope analysis; offered field work participation:
Cameroon, Czech Republic)

2) PhD position II: Transcriptomics and developmental plasticity of sensory
systems in fishes
(model groups: Cichlidae, Cyprinidae, deep-sea fishes; methods: genomics,
transcriptomics, experimental biology; offered field work participation:
Cameroon, Zambia, Czech Republic)

Genomic and transcriptomic methods will be employed to identify molecular
evolution and mechanisms of adaptation in fishes. Sensory systems, such as
vision, smell and taste, serve animals to directly receive information from
their environment. Photoreceptors (for vision) and chemoreceptors (for
smell and taste) are proteins present in various copies in the genome and
in some cases became highly adaptive molecules during fish evolution.
Project is focused on four model groups of teleost fishes (elephant fishes,
tropical African cichlids, cyprinids and various deep-sea fishes) with
different ecology, life-history and belonging to different evolutionary
lineages spanning the teleost phylogeny. The performance and molecular
background of the sensory systems is further known to change during
ontogeny. The research project aims to integrate the findings of molecular
genetics with trophic ecology and developmental stages in different species
and, therefore, it offers a great combination of field observation,
experimental setups and laboratory approaches.

The research group is located in Prague (Czech Rep.) and the selected Ph.D.
students will process collected material, as well as will have an option to
actively participate in the field sampling. The project is funded by the
Swiss National Science Foundation. Selected candidates are expected to
actively participate in international conferences and produce research

Start: October 2017, Duration: 4 years

Competitive salary is composed of the fulltime project position (240’000
CZK annually) + standard university scholarship (will start at 75’600
annually and raise up to 115’000 CZK according to the progress of the study
duties; additional bonuses available for published research papers), which
in total corresponds to the average national salary and sufficiently covers
living expenses in the Czech Republic.

Required: motivation and enthusiasm for biology, nature and science;
fluency in English; a M.Sc. degree in biology or related fields (or to be
finished until September 2017).

Desirable (but not necessary): previous experience with laboratory work,
especially molecular genetic methods; (basic) bioinformatics skills (please
highlight if you have any), experience with research projects evidenced by
a (co)authorship of research papers or conference contributions.

Deadline: review of applications will begin on 15th March 2017 (the
candidate has to be assigned to the position by mid-April).

All questions and applications (CV + half-page motivation letter + 2
reference letters) should be sent directly to Zuzana Musilova ( – preferred, Please
indicate which position you’re interested in. More info about the Division
of Animal Evolutionary Biology, and Department of Zoology:…