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3-Year PhD position available at the Roscoff Marine Station,Team: ³Plankton Evolution and Paleoceans² .


Michael Guiry <[log in to unmask]>


Michael Guiry <[log in to unmask]>


Tue, 16 May 2006 22:44:55 +0100





text/plain (71 lines)

3-Year PhD position available at the Roscoff Marine Station,
Team: “Plankton Evolution and Paleoceans”.

The group “Plancton Oceanique” at the SBR in Brittany, France, is a one of
the world leader in the fields of molecular ecology, evolution, and
physiology of marine unicellular plankton
( The new team “Plankton Evolution and
Paleoceans” (PI: Colomban de Vargas; Research Engineer: Ian Probert; PhD
students: Miguel Frada and Hui Liu) explores key aspects of the
biological, functional, and ecological diversities within the two main
groups of pelagic micro-calcifiers: the coccolithophores and foraminifers.
Having build kilometer-thick, exceptionally well preserved carbonate
deposits at the ocean floor, these protists have played a
fundamental role in the ecology and geology of Earth System for the last
~200 My. The biological (genomics, physiology, ecology, biogeography),
chemical (isotopics, trace elements within the micro-skeletons), and
morphological (optic and electron microscopy) information we extract from
living species are used to assess their mode and rate of evolution, and
re-interpret their fossil record and impact on biogeochemical cycles.

PhD project: Role of Red-Queen selection, life cycle, and sex in the
evolution of
marine pelagic viruses and their hosts (coccolithophores).

This project will be co-supervised by Colomban de Vargas (SBR) and Willie
Wilson (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, It is part
of ESTeam, a new European PhD program of excellence in marine genomics and
molecular ecology, hold at the SBR (

Project Abstract: Modern optical and genomic techniques have revealed
extremely abundant and
diverse marine planktonic viruses. Although the influence of viruses on
marine geochemical cycles
(via the regulation of host populations), and prokaryote evolution (via
lateral gene transfer), is well
recognized, the processes creating and maintaining such huge oceanic viral
diversity, including its rate of evolution, are largely unknown.
Mechanisms of co-evolution between hosts and their viruses, where both are
fighting to respectively decrease and increase virulence, are certainly
playing critical roles. We propose to test two main hypotheses, using the
coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi as model: (A) virulence in pelagic
host-virus interactions is highly specific, constrained by the boundaries
between species, sub-species, or strains; (B) virulence is not species
specific, but life-stages specific, and thus constrained by the sexual
alternation between haploid and diploid populations. Experiments will test
if “Red-Queen” processes are driving ecological/evolutionary
diversification in coccolithoviruses and their hosts, and will address
whether host evolution is driven by rapid genomic mutations, or rather by
genomic restructuring through haploidization and/or genetic recombination
associated with sex. Results will enhance our understanding of the nature
and tempo of evolution of planktonic host-virus interactions.

The complete project can be downloaded @:
Application dealine: May 26th 2006; Interviews: June 15-16th 2006;
Starting date: Fall 2006.
Salary: 1532,94 Euros net/month; in addition: travel allowance, 750
€/year; mobility: 523,50 €/month; career exploration: 2000 €/fellow.
Further detail about the ESTeam program can be found @

Application form can be found @ and will
be sent, together
with a CV, a letter of motivation, and 2 recommendation letters, to
[log in to unmask], i.e.
Mrs Celine Houbin, ESTeam operational manager, SBR/CNRS-UPMC, BP74,
F-29682 cedex,
FRANCE. A copy of the documents should be emailed to the Dr. Colomban de
[log in to unmask]; Any questions? Do not hesitate to call: 00 33 2 98
29 25 28.

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