Paleonet: PhD position in palaeobotany available
kerp at uni-muenster.de
Mon Aug 23 06:49:53 GMT 2010
Studentship available within a Marie Curie Initial Training Network
A Marie Curie Fellowship (Early Stage Researcher), leading to a doctoral
degree, is available at the Institute fuer Geologie und Palaeontologie,
University of Muenster, Germany as part of a Marie Curie ITN Network, in
cooperation with Universities, Research Institutes and Industrial
Partners in Oxford, London (UK), Prague (Czech Republic), Lisbon and
Alcabideche (Portugal). The overarching and long term scientific
question of PLANTORIGINS-ITN is: how did the major tissues and organ
systems of plants evolve and what is their genetic regulatory basis? The
three disciplines of plant morphology, phylogenetics and developmental
genetics are of fundamental importance to addressing this question.
Plant morphology documents basic aspects of organ and tissue systems,
and because these (e.g., roots, epidermis, leaves, sporangia,
gametangia, vascular system) evolved during the Palaeozoic, the fossil
record provides crucial information on missing links that are absent in
living species. Phylogenetics gives us the evolutionary framework within
which key scientific questions are framed, linking modern and fossil
forms and enabling the evolution of organs and tissues to be traced.
Developmental genetics provides the tools to gain the mechanistic
understanding that we seek. An integrated approach is essential to
moving the field forward.
The Lower Devonian Rhynie Chert, which ranks among the world’s most
famous fossil plant localities, has yielded a very rich fossil
terrestrial biota, including anatomically preserved early land plants.
Plants are preserved in amazing detail. Specific research topics based
in Muenster will focus on (1) documenting the morphology of key organ
systems and the life cycle of early extinct rhyniophytes, and (2) fully
integrating these new data into the broader picture of plant evolution
(Tree of Life) using modern phylogenetic methods. Specific training
associated with this research plan offered by other institutions
participating in PLANT ORIGINS ITN includes (1) phylogenetic analysis of
fossil data and integration with living plants (sequence data and
morphology), (2) characterisation of “rooting” systems morphology in
/Physcomitrella/ with a view to characterisation of bryophyte “rooting”
systems in the Rhynie Chert.
The Muenster institute houses the word’s largest collection of Rhynie
Chert thin sections. The institute has excellent facilities for and over
30 years of experience in Rhynie Chert research. Research includes
making and studying thin sections. The ideal candidate should have a
background in palaeobotany or plant anatomy. The applicant should have a
good command of both written and spoken English.
The normal eligibility requirements of Marie Curie Fellowships apply.
Researchers must be nationals of a EU country other than the country of
the host organisation where they will carry out the project, and must
not have resided in the country of their host organisation for more than
12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to date of selection by the
host institution. The applicant must also satisfy the requirements to
register as a doctoral student in Muenster, which generally involves
holding an appropriate Diploma or Masters degree. Marie Curie
Fellowships have substantial benefits, both in salary and in mobility
and family allowances. The duration of the Fellowship is 3 years.
Prospective applicants should contact:
Prof. Hans Kerp either by e-mail (kerp at uni-muenster.de) or telephone
(+49 251 8323966) from whom further information can be obtained.
Prof. Hans Kerp
Forschungsstelle für Paläobotanik am Institut für Geologie und Paläontologie
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