Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 46 000 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.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Project description

Scandinavia has been recolonized by plants after the last glaciation and only a few species are endemics. On the other hand, several groups of plants have developed more or less distinct ecotypes. These may represent a first step towards speciation, initiated after post-glacial migration. They may alternatively represent older lineages that have different immigration histories, which have arrived from different directions or at different times. Differentiation may thus have originated at one or several occasions and the future development is dependent on local selection pressures, gene flow among ecotypes and eventual development of sterility barriers. The Asteraceae family belong to the crown of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree, representing one of the fastest radiating families during the recent millions of years. We aim to understand what traits have made this plant family successful through studies of Scorzoneroides (Leontodon) autumnalis. This taxon incorporates several different ecotypes specialized for certain habitats – meadow ecotypes, coastal ecotypes, alvar ecotypes and most probably several different alpine ecotypes, of which at least one appear to be specialized for snowbed vegetation. The species is known to be outcrossing, uniform with respect to chromosome number and predominantly self-incompatible. It is one of the most widely distributed Scandinavian plants, but the ecotypes are still poorly characterized and only provisionally taxonomically investigated.

The doctorate project is devided into three subprojects: (1) Morphometric studies based on herbarium specimens aiming at a general description of the geographic distribution of morphotypes/ecotypes/taxa in the Nordic area and the degree to which different characters are affected by the environment. (2) Common-garden studies aiming at specifying patterns of interfertility and phenotypic plasticity of different morphotypes/ecotypes. (3) Assessment of genetic differentiation between ecotypes and populations from different geographic regions. We plan to use RAD-sequencing (restriction assisted DNA sequencing). RAD-sequencing is a next generation sequencing technique by which thousands of SNPs distributed over the entire genome are studied. RAD sequencing will enable to study differentiation between the ecotypes and trace phylogeographic patterns.

At a later stage we are interested to identify loci under selection and which are potentially linked to the differentiation into ecotypes. The ultimate goals of the project are to understand the processes that are promoting respectively counteracting speciation in plants, and to understand which traits are selected among the ecotypes and how this is linked to differences at genomic level.

Required qualifications

You should hold a Master of Science (or equivalent) in Biology. You should have a specialization in systematic botany, evolutionary ecology and/or plant genetics, with experience in the analysis of trait variation. You should have competence in plant determination, cultivation and monitoring. You should also have experience in experimental design and statistical analysis. A good knowledge in written and spoken English is required and documented experience in scientific publication in English is desirable. Ability and interest to carry out field work, to work well independently and with others is a neccessity, as are strong communiction skills. Previous experience in using any of the following methods is desirable: molecular analysis, bioinformatics, plant culturing and collections-based research. It is desirable that you have a driving license.

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2017/1305
  • Stefan Andersson, Universitetslektor, 046- 222 4408,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62,
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66,
Published 02.May.2017
Last application date 23.May.2017 11:59 PM CEST

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