Alternative life histories: evolutionary ecology and genetics of
facultative anadromy in Brown Trout

We seek a highly motivated graduate who wants to gain a PhD in the area of
evolutionary ecology/genetics, working in collaboration with scientists
at University College Cork (UCC), the Marine Institute of Ireland and
Queens University Belfast (QUB). This 4 year position is funded through a
European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant and will attract an annual
tax-free stipend of euro 18,000 plus an amount equivalent to EU fee rates
(non-EU members may apply but would need to cover extra fees themselves).

What it’s about: Understanding how and why individuals develop
strikingly different phenotypes and life histories in variable
environments is a major goal in evolutionary ecology. It is also a
prerequisite for conserving important biodiversity within species
and predicting the impacts of environmental change and management
interventions on natural populations. This PhD will form part of a larger
ERC-funded research program to understand the causes and consequences of
‘facultative anadromy’ in brown trout (Salmo trutta), the phenomenon
whereby some individuals in a population migrate to the sea for part of
their lives, while others remain resident in freshwater and never go to
sea. See for a recent review. The successful
candidate with be involved in a large-scale, reciprocal transplant,
field experiment where the goal is understand how genes and environment
interactively determine alternative life histories. A background in,
or familiarity with the concepts of, quantitative genetics would be
particularly useful, and there is also ample scope and resources for
developing population/landscape genomics or gene expression approaches
to probe the genetic basis of anadromy/migration and associated traits.

The student will be supervised by Drs Tom Reed (UCC) and Phil McGinnity
(UCC and Marine Institute) and will work in a growing team of salmonid
researchers, with a broad network of collaborators across academic and
governmental institutions in Ireland and abroad. The student will be
primarily based at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental
Sciences (BEES) at University College Cork (UCC) in the south of Ireland,
which offers a vibrant and diverse research environment. Cork is a
dynamic, cosmopolitan and culturally-diverse coastal city with beautiful
landscapes and diverse options for outdoors pursuits on its doorstep. The
student will also be expected to spend periods of time at the Marine
Institute’s Newport Catchment Facility (

Candidates should possess at minimum a 2.1 BSc (Hons) degree in a relevant
discipline (e.g. Ecology, Evolution, Zoology, Genetics). Applicants must
be self?motivated with good numerical, communication, organisational
and writing skills. Experience working with fish would be advantageous
but not essential; as would molecular laboratory and/or bioinformatics
skills. The studentship is open to non EU students, though only EU fee
rates will be covered.

Informal Enquiries: Please contact Dr Tom Reed (Email:

Remuneration: This position covers an amount equivalent to EU fee rates
(non-EU members may apply but would need to cover extra fees themselves)
plus a tax-free stipend of €18,000 p.a.

To apply please send by email a CV, details of 2 referees, and an
accompanying letter of application outlining your relevant experience
and why you want to do this studentship to Dr T. Reed, School of
Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University College Cork,
Enterprise Centre, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland. E?mail

Dates: Application deadline is 31 Aug 2016. Start date autumn/winter 2016.

Webpage of PI:

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