PhD position Systematic Botany, specifically orchid systematics and conservation genetics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Systematics, colonization history och conservation strategies for two Scandinavian orchid species, Nigritella nigra and Pseudorchis albida

The task of documenting biodiversity and implementing such knowledge in conservation programmes requires good knowledge about within-species variation patterns, how genetic diversity is distributed within species, how genetic diversity is correlated with other factors of importance, and how genetic diversity matters in long-term evolution and conservation. Knowledge about the genetic level is frequently lacking in conservation planning, but here we will extract critical data that help us to preserve two specis of orchids that have become increasingly rare in Scandinavia during the last century, Pseudorchis albida and Nigritella nigra.

The project is based on molecular data obtained by modern sequencing technology. For each species we will describe the genetic diversity structure overall, compare populations from original and semi-natural growth sites, and compare historical and extant populations from the cultural landscape. We will also clarify taxonomic positions and colonization history.

The project involves field collection of samples for DNA extraction in Scandinavia, laboratory studies by hy-RAD and RAD sequencing, bioinformatics, population genetics and phylogenetic analyses. The results should be used, i.a., to formulate recommendations for continued conservation projects and possibly also reintroduction programmes.

The project requires collaboration with local conservationists as well as nature protection agencies at both regional and national levels.

Admission requirements

  • A MSC in Biology with emphasis on systematic botany, evolutionary botany, conservation genetics, phylogenomics or a related field.
  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Demonstrated ability for analytical and independent work.
  • Practical experience of and aptitude in molecular laboratory work.
  • Practical experience of and interest in conducting biological field work.

In addition to the mandatory requirements, documented experience in the following areas will be considered as strong merits:

  • General knowledge and interest in floristics and systematic botany
  • A particular interest in the systematics and the conservation of indigenous orchids in Northern Europe
  • Driving license.
  • Sufficient capability in Scandinavian languages to read texts written in Swedish or Norwegian and to enable oral communication on the general level in the subject area.
  • Experience of biological field work
  • Experience of data management and bioinformatics.
  • Experience of hands-on molecular DNA work including DNA extraction, DNA library preparation and quality assessment.

For a full description of the position, and how to apply, see:

In English:

In Swedish:

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