PhD student position in evolutionary genomics

A PhD student position in evolutionary genomics is available at the
department of Biology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Title: Adaptive responses of an aquatic vertebrate to chemical

Closing date: 2016-12-23

Starting date: 2017-03-01

Project description: Despite chronic exposure to contaminants at
levels known to elicit toxicities in naive animal models, fish
populations may thrive at highly polluted sites. Such resistance may
involve either intra-generational physiological acclimation or
inter-generational genetic adaptation. On the other hand, adaptation
doesn’t always occur in those situations where it might be expecÂted.
While there is a large body of research on acute and chronic toxicant
responses in terms of acclimation within generations, the effects of
multi-generational exposure on adaptive responses is less well
understood and among others requires relevant exposed wildlife
popuÂlaÂtions. The focus of our proposal involves the identification of
the genetic and molecular mechanisms that underlie evolutionary
processes following multi-generational exposure to biologically
relevant chemical pollutants. Model organism is the three-spined

The project is part of a larger program that links population genomics,
ecotoxicology and modeling. The successful candidate will work in
Professor Filip Volckaert’s research group (
in close collaboration with another PhD student at the ecotoxicology
research group of Gudrun Deboeck at the University of Antwerpen (B) – The group
consists of ~12 researchers (senior scientist, postdocs, graduate
students and research engineer) with different areas of expertise.
Research at the Volckaert lab focuses on population genomics of fish
and their parasites, and the lab uses a combination of field data,
monitoring data, experiments, modeling and in depth analysis to
understand the complex patterns of natural and human-induced genetic
variation and their implications for evolutionary history.

Qualifications: A master degree in (applied) biology or a related field
is required.

The ideal candidate is highly motivated with thorough education in
quantitative disciplines, such as statistical/quantitative/population
genetics, bioinformatics, computer science, statistics and with a
strong interest in population genetics and evolution in aquatic

For further information about the position please see of the
Arenberg Doctoral School.

or contact Professor Filip Volckaert, +32 16 32 39 72.

Filip Volckaert <>