Modelling the population genetics of invasive species
We seek to hire a post-doctoral research associate for a Grand Federative Project funded by the French Agropolis Fondation called BIOFIS “Bioagressors and invasive species: from individual to population to species”. The project is dedicated to develop, coordinate and communicate research actions on bioagressors in Europe (insects, mites, trees, fungi and virus) and on their associated natural enemies. It is coordinated by A. Estoup and J.-Y. Rasplus (CBGP, Montpellier, France).
Term: The position could begin as early as December 2013, and as late as December 2014. Support is for one year.
Location: This position is co-supervised by E. Klein (INRA – BIOSP, Avignon France) and V. Ravigné (CIRAD – BGPI, Saint-Pierre, Réunion island, France until July 2014 and Montpellier, France afterwards). We encourage applicants to be based in Avignon, with possibly one or two short stays in Réunion island, but other combinations can be envisaged.
Eligibility: Agropolis Fondation typically considers applications from candidates that have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the date of submission of the proposal and that have obtained their PhD degree for no more than 3 years upon the date of application. However, we encourage excellent candidates not entirely fulfilling these conditions to contact us, as these might be funded if no other eligible candidate satisfies scientific requirements for the job.
Project: Developing empirical approaches aiming at detecting traces of selection during bioinvasions relies on the analysis of the spatial genetic structure of populations at a large number of loci in colonizing species (genome scan). However, the strong effects of genetic drift associated to the specific demography of an expansion (in particular successive funding effects distributed in space) interact with selection and might lead to erroneous conclusions. To better understand the interaction between drift, selection, dispersal, we wish to design and analyze spatially explicit simulation models allowing studying the spatial spread of beneficial/neutral/deleterious mutations during a colonization process. We are particularly interested in studying the effect of i) environmental heterogeneity and ii) non-standard mating systems (e.g., mixing sexual and asexual reproduction) on the process. In the end, these theoretical results may be confronted to population genetics data in different species.
We seek a young researcher who combines very good technical talent for modeling (mathematical and computer science skills) with an interest and enthusiasm for invasion processes and population genetics. Experience with programming, bioinformatics and population genetics is required. Skills in data analysis are not necessary but will be considered positively. Facility in writing is important. The post-doc will benefit by working as a member of the BIOFIS project team with an extent network of collaborators interested in dispersal, invasion biology, plant pathology, evolutionary biology and population genetics.