We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow to work on eDNA of marine and estuarine communities in South Africa, in particular characterising the communities associated with seagrass meadows. This is part of a National Research Foundation funded project on eDNA, hosted in the lab of Prof. Sophie von der Heyden (www.vonderheydenlab.com), in collaboration with the Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Lab at Bangor University (http://mefgl.bangor.ac.uk/staff/si.php). The primary focus of this research project is to use an environmental DNA metabarcoding approach to characterise known and hidden genetic diversity in a variety of marine ecosystems in South Africa, to not only allow comparison between sites, but to 1. assess this methodology as a tool for monitoring change in African marine ecosystems and 2. utilise seascape genetic approaches to help disentangle the biological drivers of community structuring.

Applicants must have evidence of working with eDNA, including the necessary skills for the collection of samples, isolation of DNA, subsequent PCRs and relevant  bioinformatics skills. A proven track record of publications in international journals is a must. Ideally, the candidate would be familiar with southern African marine systems, but this is not essential. This is an exciting opportunity for someone looking to work in one of the most biodiverse and beautiful parts of the world as the project will cover much of the ~3600km of coastline that South African has to offer. Good people skills are a must,  as this project also supports postgraduate students.

The tenure of the postdoc would be for two years (starting date negotiable) or longer, depending on the availability of funds. The successful candidate will need to apply to the University of Stellenbosch Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme (details available from PI von der Heyden) and also apply to the Claude Leon Foundation for postdoctoral support (http://www.leonfoundation.co.za/postdoctoral.htm). The vdH lab is housed in the Department of Botany and Zoology at the University of Stellenbosch. This university is one of the top-ranked in the southern Hemisphere, with strong undergraduate and postgraduate training and research. Stellenbosch is a historical, safe and vibrant community surrounded by magnificent mountains, close to the sea. Find out more at www.sun.ac.za. To apply or to find out more about the projects, please contact Prof. Sophie von der Heyden (svdh@sun.ac.za) with a comprehensive CV, detailing your research background and publication record and a short statement on your expertise with eDNA, by the 24th March.

“Von der Heyden, S, Prof <svdh@sun.ac.za>” <svdh@sun.ac.za>


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