Doctoral Student in Evolutionary Genetics

Uppsala University Department of Ecology and Genetics


Doctoral student in evolutionary genetics


Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 44.000 students, 7.100 employees and a turnover of SEK 7 billion.



The Department of Ecology and Genetics is an international environment with staff and students from all over the world. Our research spans from evolutionary ecology and genetics to studies of ecosystems. For more information, see A PhD student position in evolutionary genetics is available at the Department of Ecology and Genetics, plant ecology and evolution.

Project description: The evolution of separate sexes is of fundamental importance in biology. Sex-determining mechanisms are highly variable and labile and sex chromosomes often degenerate; however, the underlying evolutionary mechanisms are unclear. Theoretical studies predict that sex chromosome evolution is driven by sex ratio selection and/or by different forms of genetic conflict, for example, between males and females or between cytoplasm and nucleus. Empirical evidence for these predictions is scarce, in part because the best-studied systems are animals with ancient and degenerate sex chromosomes. The overarching aim of this project is to contribute to the understanding of sex determination and sex chromosome evolution by closing this gap between theory and empirical studies. In this project, we use a plant genus, Salix, with a high turnover of nascent sex chromosomes.  Strong sex ratio bias in crosses and in natural populations and in crosses is common in Salix suggesting that sexual antagonism or some other form of genetic conflict operates in this system. The project has three main aims: (1) to identify the mechanisms determining sex and sex ratio bias in Salix herbacea, (2) to analyze the extent of degeneration and signs of selection in sex-associated region(s) and (3) to study possible turnover events of genomic regions associated with sex and/or sex ratio. We will combine whole-genome assembly and individual re-sequencing with allele transmission analysis of at loci with sex-associated polymorphisms in controlled crosses and with population genomic analyses and theoretical modeling. This comprehensive approach will allow us to gain novel insights into sex chromosome evolution and evolutionary processes at large. 

The project will be done under the supervision of Sophie Karrenberg, Uppsala University (main supervisor) and Pär Ingvarsson (SLU Uppsala, second supervisor).

Duties: The PhD student will mainly engage in bioinformatic and population genomic analyses, but will also contribute to work in the greenhouse and in the wet-lab. Participation in fieldwork (crosses, sampling, mainly in the Alps, Switzerland, June-July 2020) would be great, but is optional, depending on starting date and competence of the successful candidate. Theoretical modeling or can also potentially be included in the thesis, depending on the interests of the student.

Qualifications required: To be eligible for a PhD-student position the applicant must hold a master degree (or equivalent) in biology or related area. Education and experience in large-scale sequence analysis as well as education in evolutionary biology at the master level is required. Candidates must be able to express themselves very well in spoken as well as written English.

Qualifications desired: education and experience in bioinformatics, analysis of sex chromosomes, theoretical modeling, experience with field experiment in Alpine areas.

Position: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. The graduate program covers four years of full-time study. The position can be combined with teaching or other duties at the department (maximum 20%), which prolongs the employment with the corresponding time. The salary will be set according to local agreements. Rules governing PhD candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala university's rules and guidelines More information about postgraduate studies at Uppsala University is available at

Application: The application should include 1) a letter of intent describing yourself, your research interests and motivation of why you want to do a PhD, and why you are suitable for the position, 2) your CV, 3) a short description of your education in relation to this position, 4) a copy of your master degree, your course grades and a copy of your master thesis, 5) the names and contact information to at least two reference persons including your main Master thesis (e-mail address and phone no.), and 6) publications. The application should be written in English.

Uppsala University strives to be an inclusive workplace that promotes equal opportunities and attracts qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 2020-05-01 or as otherwise agreed (earliest 2020-03-01, latest 2020-09-01).

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: professor Sophie Karrenberg,, +46 18 471 2863.

Please submit your application by 17 February 2020,  UFV-PA 2020/120.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at



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Submit your application through Uppsala University´s recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Ecology and Genetics

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/120

Last application date: 2020-02-17

In your application, please refer to


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