Jobs and Positions within the Group

Below are details of positions within the group. Alternatively, if you are interested in working with us please just email one of the academics to discuss. We have projects suitable for MSc, PhD, Research Fellows, and visiting scientists. If you are considering applying for a fellowship such as NERC, Marie Curie etc, we have a support package that may interest you.

PhD Environmental DNA monitoring of conservation priority fish in UK waters (now appointed)

The proposed studentship will build our previous work and use eDNA for monitoring and conservation planning of priority freshwater fish species (vendace, Coregonus albula; powan, C. lavaretus and Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus).

Specifically the project will aim to:

  • Assess the applicability of eDNA approaches across a wide range of freshwater habitats including Scottish lochs and Cumbrian lakes.
  • Develop eDNA tools for monitoring the distribution of the target species and their associated communities on various geographic scales and use the data to address a number of conservation relevant questions regarding the ecology of the target species (e.g. timing and location of spawning).
  • Drive a step-change in eDNA technology by developing novel assays based on nuclear markers to infer genetic population structure and effective population size in native and refuge sites in Scotland and north-west England.

To apply, please send a two page CV and a cover letter including the names and contact detail of two referees to Dr Bernd Hänfling at

Deadline for applications: 3rd June 2016

Expected start date: September 2016


3 PDRAs in Evolutionary and Environmental Genomics (now appointed)

We have funding for three short-term PDRA position running until the end of July 2016. These are an exciting part of the expansion of our Evolutionary and Environmental Genomics research group.

(1) Biomonitoring of entire freshwater communities with environmental DNA We have recently developed a pipeline for sampling, DNA capture, metabarcoding and bioinformatics analysis of eDNA for monitoring of fish in large lakes (funded by the Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales, and in collaboration with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology). The successful candidate will develop and improve the methods for lake fish biomonitoring, for example by carrying out temporal sampling at our study sites, testing the method along an ecological gradient, and using site occupancy modeling to further improve estimates of abundance. The post-holder must also be prepared to carry out field work (water sampling) in remote parts of the UK including Cumbria, and potentially Scotland and Wales.

(2) Molecular food webs for sustainable fisheries management This project will work closely with stakeholder groups such as the Holderness Fishing Industry Group and Scottish Whitefish Producers Association to integrate metabarcoding technology into fisheries management. The successful candidate will further develop the metabarcoding protocols we are using in the laboratory for gut content analysis of lobsters (Homarus gammarus and Nephrops norvegicus), with a view to incorporating the information into stock assessment models, but also invasives such as the killer shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus).

(3) Experimental Officer: NGS coordination and open project development. This post will include oversight, coordination and development of a range of projects in evolutionary and environmental genomics. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to engage with a diverse array of PhD student, postdoc, and external collaborator projects and may additionally develop their own ideas in collaboration with staff. This is a short term post in the first instance, with a view to extending the post longer term.

These are short-term (to July 2016) positions that require existing expertise in molecular methods including DNA extraction, PCR, and ideally next generation sequencing (e.g. metabarcoding). An interest and some experience in data analyses including bioinformatics and R would be advantageous. The post-holders will join a dynamic, research team and must be able to work productively in highly collaborative manner with the academics, post docs, students and support staff. Given the short-term nature of the contracts, excellent time management is essential. The positions could also be suitable for someone in a flexible, longer-term position wanting to gain experience working in another lab.

How to apply: Please complete the online job application form (Job FS0210) and upload a cover letter (stating why you are applying for the job) and CV. Please state in the cover letter clearly which position(s) you wish to apply for. Applications for more than one position are welcome, and applicants intending to apply for more than one position need only prepare one application.
The closing date for application is 23rd December 2015. We are happy to discuss these positions informally, please contact Dr Lori Lawson Handley, T 01482 462061, E or Dr Dave Lunt T 01482 465514 E For more information about the advertised posts. Twitter feed @EvoHull

Bioinformatics Fellow in Evolutionary and Environmental Genomics (now appointed)

This is an exciting new Research Fellow position for a bioinformatician to work with staff in Evolutionary and Environmental Genomics. The post-holder will work closely with members of the Evolutionary and Environmental Genomics (EEG) group to analyse genomic datasets from a diverse range of projects and develop new collaborative research programmes. Previous expertise of work with eukaryotic genome assembly, RADseq, metabarcoding, or population genomics would be advantageous.

Temporary Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology (now appointed)

A one-year position (maternity cover) is available to work as a lecturer in the School of Biological, Biomedical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Hull, UK. The successful candidate will teach in Evolutionary biology, genetics, and related topics.

Postdoctoral Research Assistant cichlid hybridization genomics (Now appointed)

The successful candidate will analyse a large RAD-tag sequence data set to investigate the importance of hybridization for the evolution of Lake Malawi cichlids. Hybridization is increasingly recognised as playing a role in the evolution of biodiversity, and although genetic contributions from divergent lineages are often detected in adaptive radiations, we currently lack evidence that these contributions have been preferentially retained through natural selection. This project aims to reveal that functionally important genomic regions from divergent lineages comprise the Lake Malawi cichlid radiation, establishing the significant consequence of hybridization in the adaptive change leading to speciation. Dr Domino Joyce

PDRA Oak Processionary Moth and forest metabarcoding (Now appointed)

A 2-year postdoc is available using DNA barcoding and next generation sequence (NGS) metabarcoding to study forest ecological networks and forest health. This project has a particular focus on the Oak Processionary Moth (OPM; Thaumetopoea processionea), an invasive species that is highly damaging to oak trees and which poses health risks to humans. Our groups have very considerable expertise of DNA barcoding, including parasitoid barcoding experiments already running in agricultural systems, and metabarcoding of eukaryotic communities. There is considerable scope for a motivated PDRA to bring their own ideas to complement our own, and develop NGS metabarcoding approaches to characterise forest community composition more broadly. Drs Darren Evans and Dave Lunt

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evolutionary Genomics (Now appointed)

A 36 month PDRA position is now available with Dr Dave Lunt. This exciting project is to study the evolutionary comparative genomics of Root Knot Nematodes employing a variety of different reproductive modes. The PDRA will analyse an enormous comparative genomics dataset to understand how recombination and inbreeding influence genome structure and content. Some details of the project are on the linked page and you are welcome to contact me to discuss the position, but your application will need to go through the official channels.