Research Opening in Biological Sciences at Nanyang Technological University

Applications are invited for a postdoc position in molecular biology to join Nanyang Technological University. Applications will be evaluated on a continuous basis.

School of Biological Sciences is seeking a highly motivated and creative Research Fellow to join a research group on comparative population genomics of forest trees at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

In this project you will carry out a comparative population genomics study of three closely related sympatric forest tree species from birch family, two diploids and one tetraploid, each having slightly different life styles and ecological niches. Altogether 20 sites from Eurasia have been sampled, and high-quality reference genomes for the species have been completed within the group. Whole genome sequencing of the populations will be carried out to identify convergent and diverging patterns of adaptation among the species, and to understand the extent of gene flow as well as historical population dynamics.

Trees within the birch family have several properties which make them an interesting model for tree genomics. The trees can be easily inbred, and in many cases hybrids between related species can be established. This hybridization is present also in nature and across species with different ploidy levels. Genetics can be studied by controlled crosses, since flowering can be induced within less than a year from germination. There is an ongoing co-operation with Uppsala Universitet Sweden to estimate mutation rate and establish birch as the foremost temperate forest tree model.

The work is carried out in the research group of Asst.Prof Jarkko Salojrvi. The group studies population genomics and systems biology in plants. A particular research interest is the link between microevolution and macroevolution, that is, adaptation in populations versus long-term evolution at genome level. The group is divided between Nanyang Technological University at Singapore and University of Helsinki at Finland. The Singapore group is recently established and focuses on computational analyses, for which the host university has provided ample resources. NTU was ranked the fastest-rising young university globally by Times Higher Education, and 12th in the world in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.

The Finland group was established in 2014 and is a part of Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology of Primary Producers and Viikki Plant Science Centre. The group is located within the Viikki Biocentre campus, which has exceptional research facilities such as state-of-the-art core facilities for next generation sequencing and high-throughput plant phenotyping. Several research visits to Finland during the research fellow position will be expected.

Salojrvi, Smolander et al. Genome sequencing and population genomic analyses provide insights into the adaptive landscape of silver birch. Nature Genetics 49(6):904-912, 2017.

The candidate should preferably have a PhD in population genomics and necessary skills to learn advanced statistics. Programming/scripting experience (preferably R) and strong background of working in a Linux environment with whole genome sequencing data is required.

To apply, please send a letter of motivation to Asst ProfJarkkoat describing your reasons for applying to the position, CV, transcripts and contact details for at least two references.

Review of applications will continue until a suitable candidate is found.


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