Research Associate

Job Description

We have an exciting opportunity for a motivated and enthusiastic individual interested in evolutionary biology and sexual selection to join the UKRI and the Leverhulme Trust funded project ‘Deciphering the genomics and evolution of honest sexual signals’. The project will combine experimental, comparative and single-cell sequencing approaches across multiple evolutionary levels to integrate patterns of sexual dimorphism within populations and across species, to break new frontiers in our understanding of sexual selection. The focus is a classic model of sexual selection - stalk-eyed flies. Males have highly-exaggerated eye-stalks compared to females, where eye span is an honest indicator of male condition and females prefer to mate with males with longer eye spans. Notably, there is extensive variation in female preference for male eye span and whether eye span is an honest signal across species. This is an excellent opportunity to undertake high-quality, international research on a novel, multi-disciplinary project that integrates cutting-edge genomics techniques with a classic model of sexual selection.

The post will be supervised by Dr Alison Wright at the University of Sheffield and embedded within the world-class Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Research Cluster. You will lead the collection of single-cell expression data (scRNA-seq) and be responsible for bioinformatically identifying the genes and networks responsible for honest male eye-stalks and their evolution across species.

Candidates should have PhD (or equivalent experience) in a relevant area and a strong analytical and quantitative skillset. As an integral part of the team, you will be encouraged and supported to develop your own research projects, contribute to the supervision of post graduate students, attend national and international conferences, and publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals. The successful candidate will also be required to work in collaboration with other Research Associates and PhD students in the laboratory.

The project has strong collaborative links with Prof Andrew Pomiankowski at University College London. Together, we provide a highly supportive environment with access to excellent development resources and cutting-edge facilities. This position therefore offers an excellent opportunity for career development of the successful candidate.

We’re one of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK. The University’s Total Reward Package includes a competitive salary, a generous Pension Scheme and annual leave entitlement, as well as access to a range of learning and development courses to support your personal and professional development.

We build teams of people from different heritages and lifestyles from across the world, whose talent and contributions complement each other to greatest effect. We believe diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through research, teaching and student experience.

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