PhD position available

A three year PhD position is now available to be started soon. I recently was granted a DFG grant to hire a PhD student to work on the evolution of recombination rates. In the project we will try to study how (in)flexible the recombination landscape of fission yeast is and if strong selection can generate recombination hotspots, coldspots and super genes. This question is of relevance for the evolution of sex chromosomes, mating types, but also for example for local or divergent adaptation.

In the project we will combine experimental evolution approaches, analyses of natural variation in fission yeast and genomic analyses for variants. In collaboration with Dr. Alexander Lorenz at Aberdeen University UK, we will then perform functional analysis to further understand potential mechanisms responsible for variation in recombination rates.

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Fitness in fungi

Fitness is the relative contribution of one genotype, relative to that of another. But how does one measure and quantify this? In fungi, a variety of measures (“fitness proxies”) are used. Growth rate of the mycelium is a popular one, because it can repeatedly and consistently be measured; but does it reflect fitness? In some species under laboratory circumstances it probably does, such as in for example in Aspergillus. In the lab, the growth rate of the mycelium reflects the spore production which is linearly correlated (Gifford & Schoustra 2013). But can this be generalized? 

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