PhD Student (m/f/d) | Department of Archaeogenetics

Young Researchers Leipzig
Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Behavioral Sciences Cognitive Research

Job Code: FT-17-2023

Job Offer from August 25, 2023

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig invites applications for the position of a  PhD Student (m/f/d) at the Department of Archaeogenetics.

Who we are

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology is one of the leading institutions investigating fundamental questions in the evolution of humankind. We unite scientists with various backgrounds (natural sciences and humanities) who work together from an interdisciplinary perspective to gain insights into the history, diversity and capacities of the human species.

At the Department of Archaeogenetics, we utilize novel scientific approaches such as high throughput sequencing of ancient DNA from human populations and their pathogens to explore research questions related to human history, gene-culture coevolution, microbiome evolution, and adaptation to infectious disease.

About the project

The position will be part of the Computational Pathogenomics Group led by Dr. Alexander Herbig, which focuses on genome evolution of human pathogens. In a DFG funded collaborative research project with the department of Prof. Dr. Christian Kost (University of Osnabrück), we aim at exploring the eco-evolutionary causes and genomic consequences of synergistic coevolution.

A major challenge in evolutionary biology is to understand how interactions between different organisms shape the process of coevolution. While this issue is well-understood for antagonistic interactions, such as between parasites and their hosts, our knowledge on synergistic coevolution is rather poorly developed.

The main goal of the proposed project is to elucidate how synergistic coevolution affects the evolutionary dynamics of interacting genotypes. This will be addressed by performing extensive comparative genomics analyses on Escherichia coli strains derived from coevolution experiments, in which a cooperative mutualism evolved between two genotypes.

Your qualifications and responsibilities:

  • You hold a Master degree (or be nearing completion) in biology, bioinformatics, computer science or a related field.
  • Solid bioinformatics skills are a requirement.
  • Previous experience in bacterial genomics analysis, statistics and/or programming are beneficial.
  • Publication of research articles in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national and international conferences will be expected.
  • You will be required to take part in frequent communication and exchange with the department of Christian Kost, where coevolution experiments will be performed.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English are essential. Knowledge of German is not required, although we encourage and support learning German.
  • We also expect a strong commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork.

What we offer:

  • We offer research in an interdisciplinary and international team located at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, Germany.
  • The full-time position is available as soon as possible for a period of 3 years.
  • Salary and social benefits will be in accordance with the pay scale of public services in Germany (TVöD-Bund, E 13 65%), including the corresponding social benefits.
  • Budget is offered to attend international conferences.
  • The Max Planck Society offers flexible working hours, and active support of healthy work-life balance and a family-friendly working environment.

How to apply:

Interested candidates should submit their application materials including the following documents:

  • a cover letter explaining your motivation to join the project and the department
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • letters of reference or contacts of two scientific references
  • relevant certificates and diplomas
  • reprints of a writing sample (e.g. Master thesis)

via the following link: PhD student position

Applications will be considered until September 30, 2023.

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.

The Max Planck Society and the Department of Archaeogenetics of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology are very committed to equal opportunities, diversity as well as gender equality. We actively support the compatibility of work and family and have set ourselves the goal of employing more severely disabled people as well as groups that are underrepresented in science and especially in the given field of activity. Therefore, we explicitly encourage them to apply and welcome applications from all backgrounds. Information about the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology can be found here:

Further information:
Please direct any inquiries (no application) to Ms Franziska Pfab through .

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