The Systematics & Evolutionary Biology Lab at the Department of Life Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) in Taipei, Taiwan is seeking a self-motivated and enthuasiastic PhD student to work on comparative phylogeography of ecological speciation on Asian continental and oceanic islands.

The Project:
This research project will analyze the speciation mechanism of endemic freshwater insects between Taiwan and Yaeyama Islands of Japan (oceanic island), and between mainland Asia and Hainan Island (continental island). Several insect species are endemic to these islands and show adaptation to novel
environments (ecological speciation) between islands. (See a damselfly example, Lee & Lin 2012:http://web.ntnu.edu.tw/~treehopper/lib/publications_lib_pdf/lee_lin_2012_mol_ecol.pdf)

The project will generate sequence/genomic data from multiple individuals of selected endemic species of the islands. First, phylogenetic and population genetic analyses will be used to infer the process of speciation between species pairs on the islands. Second, the level of intrinsic reproductive isolation between species pairs will be measured through crossing experiments. Third, the strength of natural selection between species pairs will be accessed through field studies of fitness components. Lastly, through the analysis of genome-wide DNA polymorphism of target species, the genomic regions and candidate genes underlying ecological speciation will be uncovered. International students with an
interest in studying tropical island biology are encouraged to apply.

Funding:
Funding includes a competitive monthly stipend of NT$34,000 (US$ 1,133) for up to 3 years for both domestic and international students through the TIGP Biodiversity (Taiwan International Graduate Program – Biodiversity) (http://biodiv.sinica.edu.tw/TIGP-BP/), a jointed graduate program between NTNU and Academia Sinica. Students are also eligible for on-campus housing during the years of their studies.

Eligibility:
The position is open to all applicants that meet TIGP admission criteria, but preference will be given to students with a master degree or prior experiences in phylogenetics, population genetics and insect biology. Criteria/material used to evaluate the applicant’s qualifications for the admission:
(http://biodiv.sinica.edu.tw/TIGP-BP/index.php?page=3Dadmission)

How to apply:
Interested candidates should email (1) a CV, (2) a list of prior experience and publication, (3) three references (contact info & e-mails), and (4) a one-page statement of research interests in one PDF file to Chung-Ping Lin ([email protected]) with the subject line « TIGP application – Island Speciation ».

Additionally, candidates should submit a formal online application for admission in TIGP Biodiversity (http://db1x.sinica.edu.tw/tigp/index.php). Deadline for applications through the online portal is March 31st for a September 2016 start.

Web pages:

The Systematics & Evolutionary Biology Lab
(http://web.ntnu.edu.tw/~treehopper/index.php?page=3Dhome&lang=3Den)

The Department of Life Sciences
(http://www.biol.ntnu.edu.tw)

National Taiwan Normal University
(http://en.ntnu.edu.tw)

TIGP Biodiversity Program Website
(http://biodiv.sinica.edu.tw/TIGP-BP/)

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