Host and PhD Awarding institution: University College London (UCL), UK

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Max Telford

Project duration: 36 months.

Project description: Many marine animal species have indirect development via a larval stage – this is particularly true of the phyla within the major clade of Lophotrochozoa. These larvae are, at least superficially, similar across phyla but their homology is uncertain. The student will compare a distinctive larval feature that is similar across lophotrochozoan larvae – the apical organ. The student will analyse individual component cells of apical organs of multiple animal phyla (with a focus on the flatworm Prostheceraeus crozieri and the phoronid Phoronis mueller) they will characterise gene expression, cellular phenotype and connections between these cells and with other cells (eye spots, ciliary bands etc.). Demonstration of complex similarities would support homology of this larval structure across phyla. Broader comparisons will be made possible by collaboration across the network. The student will also be able to participate in work to resolve the phylogeny of the Lophotrochozoa.

Required applicant profile:

  •       Experience in molecular biology and embryology methods is essential
  •       Electron microscopy and bioinformatics are advantageous
  •       A background in evolutionary biology is beneficial.
  •       A high motivation and passion for science is essential.

Application deadline: 30th June 2024.

How to apply: To apply for this position, visit the following link.
When applying you will be asked to supply: a cover letter, your Curriculum Vitae and MSc & BSc diploma incl. Grade Transcripts.