Project title:

Unraveling the genetic architecture of dolphin genomes using new
sequence technologies and bioinformatics, and application of genomic
data to populations

Project description:

Innovations in sequence technology and computational methods have
prompted a shift towards individual bioinformatics-savvy laboratories
being able to accurately assemble large and complex genomes. These
developments make it feasible to generate detailed evolutionary
analyses for non-model organisms. In this project, we will sequence and
assemble a reference genome of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin
(Tursiops aduncus) with a new protocol that gives long-range genetic
information. We will then re-sequence relevant subpopulations to infer
the demographic history and assess speciation patterns in the genus
Tursiops. Among marine mammals, bottlenose dolphins are a fitting
candidate to explore, given the detailed knowledge on their biology,
high levels of adaption, global distribution, and their many convergent
features with humans and great apes.


This 4 year PhD position is based in the Robinson
( and Krutzen ( labs at the
University of Zurich and will be embedded in the Zurich Life Science
Graduate School’s program in Evolutionary Biology
( Remuneration is according
to Swiss PhD salary scales (CHF 48’540 p.a. plus employer social
security contributions). Expected start date will be 1 January 2017.

We are seeking a highly collaborative, motivated and dynamic student
with a Bachelors or Masters degree in Evolutionary Biology. The student
possesses a good mathematical grounding, in particular, sufficient
training in mathematics, statistics, computer science, bioinformatics.
The student will have a passion for collaborative and open science with
a flare for developing high-quality tools for the community. In
addition, the ideal student will have experience in evolutionary
biology and population genomic data analyses and is knowledgeable in
modern data science tools. A strong background in programming,
scripting and managing large datasets will be considered an asset.


Interested students should send their application package to Mark
Robinson ( and Michael Krutzen
( before 29 September 2016. The package
must include, in a single PDF file:

1) A one-page cover letter expressing research interests relevant to
the position

2) A complete CV

3) Names and email address of at least two academic referees

Please also attach low-resolution copies of your official academic
transcripts and degrees, as well as copies of any publications and
Diploma/MSc theses.

PD Dr. Michael Krutzen
Anthropological Institute & Museum
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstr. 190
CH-8057 Zurich / Switzerland
(p) +41 44 63-55412
(f) +41 44 63-56112

Michael Krützen <>

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