I am seeking a PhD student to work on mathematical models of plasmid-borne antibiotic resistance in my new group in the Department for Evolutionary Theory at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany.

Plasmids are extrachromosomal DNA elements that can be transmitted vertically or be transferred horizontally between cells. Clinically relevant antibiotic resistance is often encoded on plasmids rather than on the chromosome, which can lead to special evolutionary dynamics. The aim of the PhD project is to develop mathematical models for the evolution and spread of resistance on plasmids. On the mathematical side, the analysis will mainly be based on branching process theory, complemented by deterministic ODE systems and stochastic computer simulations.

Applicants should have a degree in mathematics, physics, biology, or another related field. A prerequisite is a keen interest both in mathematical modeling and in biological systems. Good quantitative skills are essential. Experience in mathematical modeling and knowledge of a programming language (C, C++, Java, R, Python…) is an advantage.

The PhD student will join a vibrant interdisciplinary institute with departments spanning evolutionary genetics, experimental evolution, evolutionary ecology, and theoretical biology. The Max Planck Institute provides an international working environment with an excellent infrastructure. With the close-by Universities of Lübeck and Kiel and the Kiel Evolution Center, it is embedded into a collaborative scientific community. The town of Plön is surrounded by lakes and close to the Baltic Sea, offering ample opportunity for outdoor activities. The cities of Kiel and Lübeck can be easily reached by train in 30 and 40 minutes, respectively.

The payment and benefits are according to a 50% position of the remuneration level 13 within the TVöD and the appointment is for 3 years. This corresponds to a typical German PhD salary, includes social benefits, and easily covers the costs of living.

Interested students should send their application (motivation letter, CV, copies of certificates, contact details of two references) by email to [email protected] Please use the code PhD2017 in the subject line.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more handicapped individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Application deadline is December 10, 2017. However, the position will remain open until filled by a qualified candidate.

Contact:
Dr. Hildegard Uecker
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
August-Thienemann-Strasse 2
24306 Plön
Germany
Email: [email protected]

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