Data Clerk on Arthropod Supertree Project
Applications are invited for a two-year, data curatorial position within the Department of Biology and Biochemistry.
We are seeking to appoint a graduate biologist or other life scientist with an interest in the diversity and phylogeny of arthropods. They will work as an integral part of a BBSRC funded project “The Arthropod Supertree of Life: An Online Interactive Resource for Testing Patterns in Arthropod Evolution and Biodiversity” within the Biodiversity Lab at the University of Bath. Main duties will include searching the scientific literature for phylogenetic trees, then curating and processing these data using bespoke software written by members of the Biodiversity Lab. Applicants must be self-motivated with strong computational skills and should have an interest in evolution and phylogenetics. Programming skills and knowledge of arthropod taxonomy would be an advantage.
The University of Bath has a significant international reputation for high quality research and is a dynamic and lively working place in the beautiful surroundings of historic Bath. The University of Bath was named UK University of the Year for 2011-12. The position is available to start from the 1st April 2013.
The closing date for application is Tuesday 19th March 2013. For further information on applying, please see: http://www.bath.ac.uk/jobs/Vacancy.aspx?ref=VH1512
PhD project available: Towards a supertree of arthropods
Why construct supertrees? The development of new supertree methods and the construction of supertrees for particular clades is a burgeoning area of research in systematics. Although the rate at which phylogenomic data can be acquired is increasing exponentially, fully inclusive supermatrix phylogenies of many thousands of terminals are still some years away. Supertrees offer the means to meta-analytically synthesise published trees, simultaneously resolving conflict between them using a variety of objective optimality functions. They enable researchers to see the state of published knowledge, as well as being essential for macroevolutionary, macroecological, comparative and conservation studies that rely upon complete species phylogenies.
Why arthropods? Arthropods are the most abundant and diverse of all animal phyla containing an estimated 30 million species. They have evolved to fill virtually every habitat and exploit almost all imaginable lifestyles. Despite a century of study, there is still no consensus on their relationships, and their radiation has been the focus of debates concerning the overall pattern of the diversification of life. Arthropods are of great economic value and are also a vital component of many ecosystems. Moreover, a supertree of all arthropods has never been attempted before.
What does this project entail? The successful candidate will be part of collaborative team from the University of Bath and the Natural History Museum in London. The student will apply a variety of established and novel supertree methods to a selection of arthropod clades and benchmark their performance. They will also explore alternative supermatrix approaches and write scripts for their automation. The student will receive training in supertree methods, bioinformatics, and arthropod systematics, as well as in the use of programming languages including Perl, Python, MySQL and R.
Supervisors: Matthew Wills (Biology & Biochemistry, Bath), Araxi Urrutia (Biology & Biochemistry, Bath), Mark Wilkinson (Natural History Museum, London) and Katie Davis (Biology & Biochemistry, Bath)
**We welcome applications from self-funded students and applicants seeking their own funding**
Some very limited funding is available on a competitive basis, for which the strict deadline by which candidates must have applied online is Tuesday 18th December 2012.
Applications from self-funded students are accepted all year-round.
Needed: Monitoring Volunteers for the Great Bustard Reintroduction Project
The Great Bustard LIFE+ Reintroduction project on Salisbury Plain is a five-year project that runs until August 2015. The project partners are Great Bustard Group, RSPB, University of Bath and Natural England. A fundamental part of the project is undertaking monitoring of the Great Bustards released onto Salisbury Plain; this is being led by the University of Bath.
We seek monitoring volunteers to assist in tracking birds and recording behavioural observations for an important four-month period; from when they are released in September through to December.
This will involve working alongside the Monitoring Officer, voluntary field assistants and other LIFE+ project staff to perform monitoring fieldwork. You will work in small teams to survey areas for bustards, helping to record behavioural observations and habitat information. This may involve driving on hard tracks on MoD land on Salisbury Plain, byways and farm tracks; a 4×4 vehicle will be available. We ask monitoring volunteers to commit to one day a week. By volunteering on this project you will directly con
tributing to a major conservation project in the UK and gain valuable conservation experience working with the partner organisations involved in this project.
The skills you will need: Good basic knowledge of British wildlife and their habitats; excellent observational skills; ability to learn data collection methods and keep accurate records; ability to undertake challenging fieldwork; ability to work well in a small team; and UK driving licence and ability to travel to and from remote locations not served by public transport.
For further information or to express your interest in joining the monitoring team, please contact Kate Ashbrook.
Would you like to work with us?
Each academic year new people join the lab, usually about two new PhD students as well as visiting students and collaborators. If you are interested in working in our research group please read about our research projects on these pages to identify how your research interests complement ours. You may also want to look at the Postgraduate study section of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry website. Send an e-mail enquiry to either Matthew Wills or Tamas Szekely.
We are especially interested in hosting post-doctoral fellows who bring new skills to the Biodiversity Lab. Funding, as always, is a major issue: however there are various funding schemes we could help you apply for. If interested, send us your CV and a rough idea of what interests you.
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