at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Closing date: 23 February 2018.

At the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences at Stockholm University, research and education is conducted in an international environment. The subject areas are Ecology and Evolution, Ecotoxicology, Marine Biology, Plant Physiology and Plant Systematics. Some of the research has direct environmental and societal relevance and the approach is often broad and interdisciplinary. About 140 people are working at the Department, of which ca. 35 are teachers and researchers and 50 are PhD students.

Project description
The Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences invites applications for a four-year PhD position associated with the ERC funded project SuperGenE: Supergene evolution in a classic plant system.

Supergenes are tightly linked clusters of genes, which control complex adaptive phenotypic polymorphisms, and that are inherited as a unit. Supergenes are important for a wide range of balanced polymorphisms in natural populations. An emerging insight from studies of supergenes in disparate systems is that they exhibit great similarities from an evolutionary genetic perspective. However, many fundamental questions remain regarding the tempo and mode of supergene evolution.

In this project, we will assess evolutionary processes at one of the first discovered supergenes, the distyly S-locus. This supergene governs distyly, a balanced floral polymorphism that ensures outcrossing and efficient pollen transfer between compatible plants. We will conduct these studies in Linum, where the dynamic nature of distyly presents an outstanding opportunity to study supergene evolution and loss. Specifically, we will make full use of the latest advances in genome sequencing to generate multiple de novo genome assemblies of Linum species with and without distyly, and identify the S-locus region using genetic techniques. We will then use this genomic framework to comprehensively test hypotheses on the evolution and breakdown of the distyly supergene. The project will involve a large component of evolutionary genomic analyses but also experimental plant work and molecular genetic work.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to work on the SuperGenE project. The PhD student will join a group of postdocs and PhD students led by Dr. Tanja Slotte. For recent examples of our work, see e.g. Laenen, Tedder et al. 2018 PNAS, Steige, Laenen et al. 2017 PNAS, or Steige et al. 2015 MBE. The student will be based in the Slotte lab, a part of the Dept. of Ecology, Environment and Plant Science, Stockholm University. We are located at the Science for Life Laboratory in Stockholm, which holds considerable expertise in high-throughput sequencing technology and bioinformatics. The working atmosphere is international with English as the working language, and the position offers plenty of opportunities for scientific exchange with both genomicists, evolutionary biologists and ecologists at SciLifeLab and Stockholm University.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Ecology and Evolution stipulates, that applicants must have completed at least 60 higher education credits in the second cycle, of which 15 credits must be from a course in one of the areas Ecology or Evolution, and 30 credits from a project in one of the areas Ecology or Evolution. Applicants may also have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

The criteria used in the selection for admittance to research training in Ecology and Evolution are knowledge of theory and applications in the research field, ability to communicate orally and in writing, knowledge of English, creativity, analytic competence, initiative, independence and collaboration ability. Documented training and interest in evolutionary genetics or population genetics are required. Experience of bioinformatic analyses of genomic data, or proficiency in scripting/programming is a merit. Experience of basic molecular genetics lab work or experimental work with plants is beneficial.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at:

Terms of employment
Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact project leader Dr. Tanja Slotte, Further information about the position can be obtained from the Subject Representative, Johan Ehrlén, telephone: +46 8 16 12 02,

Union representatives 
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S) and Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST and Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 20 00 (operator), (SEKO), and PhD student representative,


Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system by clicking the "Apply" button. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. We recommend that you hand in your application, including necessary documents, in English.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest university degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 reference persons

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter (2-3 pages), containing
    – Your expectations from, and intentions with the education
    – Why you are interested in the specific project
    – What makes you suitable for the specific project
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions – Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!

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Closing date: 23/02/2018