Wednesday, October 10, 2018

My metabarcoding online course starts soon!

We're going into another round of the Metabarcoding Course I developed a few years back. I just finished updating its modules especially given how fast the field develops.

Date: November 12, 2018 to December 09, 2018

This 4-week, web-based course will provide an overview of the state of current technology and the various platforms used. The course consists of a series of online lectures, readings, videos, and research exercises introducing different aspects of metabarcoding and environmental DNA research. We will also touch on the suite of bioinformatics tools available for sequence analysis and data interpretation.

We tried to cover as much as possible given the online format and the limited time participants usually have available to do such training. The course is designed for four weekly instructional hours. 

If you are interested and sign up quickly (by end of the week) you would be eligible for a $100 early bird discount :-)

Special discount $100 (code: DNA2018)

Friday, October 5, 2018

From the inbox: Postdoctoral Researcher and PhD Positions at University of Oulu

The University of Oulu is an international scientific community, with 14,000 students and approximately 3,000 employees. The strengths of the University are wide multidisciplinary study/research interests and modern research and study environment, as well as good cooperation with international educational and research institutes. More information.

The following full-time jobs are open in the Insect Genomic Systematics Group at the University of Oulu, Finland:

1.     Postdoctoral Researcher
2.     PhD student

Project description: Taxonomy, and its central concept ‘species’ in particular, underpin all biological research and are important in numerous other ways for humanity. Despite its crucial role, taxonomy has long been suffering from a complication termed the ‘taxonomic impediment’. At the core of this impediment has been our inability to efficiently document the vast biodiversity of Earth with the available resources and methods. At the same time, the majority of Earth’s biodiversity awaits discovery. Emergent new and powerful methods in DNA sequencing technology have enabled the acquisition of breathtaking amounts of genomic data from organisms in straightforward and fast ways. In this project, genomic methods, particularly anchored hybrid enrichment (AHE), will be applied to develop novel approaches to define species boundaries under different evolutionary circumstances and with taxonomically challenging groups of species. The aim is to point the way ahead towards an entirely DNA-based taxonomy, and fostering the integration of taxonomic principles and practices into the genomic era. The primary model taxa will be Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and, to a lesser extent, Symphyta (sawflies). Sympatric, allopatric, parapatric, and asexual taxa will be considered, because the geographic relationship between species and mode of reproduction have great theoretical and practical effects on species delimitation. Influence of sexual pheromones, chromosomal re-arrangements, ecological differentiation and gene flow on species delimitation will also be considered. The research will be conducted with extensive national and international collaboration. The project is financed by Academy of Finland. Principal Investigator of the project is Marko Mutanen (University of Oulu, Finland).

Duties: The postdoctoral researcher will participate in material collection (incl. fieldwork), laboratory analyses, data analyses (incl. bioinformatics), manuscript preparation and supervision of the PhD student. She/he is also expected to teach at the department at most 5 % of working time. While studies will be conducted in a team, capability for independent working is expected. The PhD student will participate in 3 – 4 separate research studies. She/he will participate and is expected to gain good skills in fieldwork, laboratory analyses, data analyses, bioinformatics and scientific writing. She/he will be a leading author in at least two research papers. She/he will be supervised by the team leader and other senior core team members.

Qualification and selection criteria: The postdoctoral researcher must have a PhD in evolutionary biology, ecology, genetics or related area. The PhD degree must have been reached before the start of the contract. The postdoctoral researcher is expected to be highly motivated, committed to the project, and to have excellent English communication (writing and speaking) skills. Previous experience and knowledge of the study organisms, taxonomy, systematics, phylogenetics, genomic methods or bioinformatics is considered as an advantage. The PhD student must reach the MSc degree in biology (or similar) before the start of the contract. She/he is highly motivated and committed to finish her/his PhD studies during the funding period, and has good English communication skills. All above-mentioned experience and relevant skills are considered as an advantage.

Duration and terms of employment: The postdoctoral researcher: The earliest possible starting date is 1st of January, 2019. Optimally, the position is filled not later than 1st of March, 2019. The duration of the contract is 3 years (a short continuation to this is possible). The salary will be based on the levels 5 – 6 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 46.3 % of the job-specific component). The gross salary will be 3,100 – 3,600 euros/month. The PhD student will start earliest on 1st of January 2019, and not later than 1st of March 2019. The maximal duration is 3 years and 8 months. The last possible end date of the contract is 31st August 2022, so the delayed start will shorten the funding period. The salary will be based on the levels 2 – 4 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 46.3 % of the job-specific component). The gross salary will be about 2,300 – 2,500 euros/month. The six-month trial periods are applied in the beginning of employments. Healthcare is provided by the employer.

Inquiries: For further information, please contact Marko Mutanen (phone: +358 40 824 6749).

How to apply: Submit your application online latest on Thursday 1st of November 2018 at 24:00 (EET). The application must be submitted using the electronic application form with the following documents:
(1)   Motivation letter where the reasons for interest in this position are clearly indicated (max. 1 page). In the motivation letter, indicate clearly which position (PhD student or postdoctoral researcher) you apply.
(2)   CV formatted according to the guidelines of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK)
(3)   List of publications formatted according to the guidelines of the Academy of Finland 
(4)   Contact information of at least two referees (recommended but not mandatory) and copy of the MSc or PhD degree as applicable.