PhD-student position Uppsala DNA barcoding of African plants in trade

PhD-student position in Biology with specialization in Systematics at the Department of Organismal Biology.
Application no later than 2012-11-01. UFV 2012/2245

Starting date: As agreed upon.

The overall objective of the PhD project is to improve quality in identification of traded plant wildlife using molecular barcoding. The project aims to develop tools and reference libraries for accurate species identification of traded plant material such as roots, powders and mixtures, using both standard and experimental DNA barcoding markers; and to use next generation sequencing for the identification of individual ingredients in processed products such as powders and mixtures. The project will look specifically at the regional and international trade of wild harvested medicinal plants and orchids in/and from Tanzania.

In addition to the objectives above the project aims to conduct quantitative investigations of wild-harvested traditional herbal medicines to identify diversity and volumes of medicinal plants traded in Tanzania. Surveys to monitor the chain of commercialization will give insights into the processing, collection, identification and availability of plant species traded.

The project includes fieldwork in Tanzania, studying herbarium collections in Leiden and St. Louis, and molecular lab work in Uppsala and Leiden, as well as phylogenetic analyses and taxonomical studies. The student is expected to follow appropriate courses in systematics theory and practice, including molecular barcoding, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, bioinformatics, statistics, taxonomy, ethnobotany, participate in the research school in biosystematics (ForBio), and have no moral objections to carry out experiments with zebrafish embryo’s.

The PhD student will be supervised by a team of researchers on a collaborative TASENE funded project: Hugo de Boer, Uppsala University, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, NHM-Oslo; Sandra Baldauf, Uppsala University; Barbara Gravendeel, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, University of Applied Sciences Leiden; Tinde van Andel, Naturalis Biodiversity Center; and Joseph Otieno, ITM-MUHAS Dar es Salaam.

The applicant should have a Master of Science degree in Biology or similar qualification. A strong academic record and training in molecular barcoding, quantitative ethnobotany, systematics, or molecular sequence analyses is preferable. The project will require an independent and dedicated person, proficient in both written and spoken English. She/he should be able to work well as part of a team but also independently; be flexible and willing to travel for field and labwork; and have excellent communication and reporting skills. In filling this position the university aims to recruit the person who, in the combined evaluation of competence, skills and documented qualifications, is judged most suitable to carry out and develop the work-in-hand and to contribute to a positive development of the department.

The PhD-student will primarily devote the time to his/her own research studies. The PhD student ship consist of a 1-year study grant followed by a 3-year appointment. Furthermore other departmental work, such as teaching or administration, can be included in addition to the appointment (max 20 %). Salary placement is in accordance with local guidelines at UppsalaUniversity. The applicant must be eligible for PhD studies at UppsalaUniversity. Information about research education can be found at the web site of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Regulations for Swedish PhD-students can be found in Högskoleförordningen 5 kap.§§1-7 and in the regulations and guidelines of Uppsala University

The application should be written in English and should include a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, two support letters from referees, addresses and phone numbers of two academic reference persons, copies of the diploma, and the master thesis. The letter of intent (no more than two pages) should describe yourself, your scientific/educational background, and your interest in and competence for the position.

More information about the position can be obtained from Hugo de Boer , tel: +46 18 471 29 32, +46 704 666 139 or Sandra Baldauf , tel: 018-471 64 52. Union representatives are: Anders Grundström, Saco-rådet, tel: 018-471 53 80, Carin Söderhäll, TCO/ST, tel: 018-471 19 96, and Stefan Djurström, Seko, tel: 018-471 33 15.

You are welcome to submit you application no later than November 1st, 2012, UFV-PA 2012/2245. Use the link below to access the application form.

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