London, UK: PhD, evolution of tetrapods Tisk
We are currently accepting applications for a fully-funded 4-year PhD
studentship on morphological evolution and modularity in tetrapods in
the Goswami lab at University College London
Further details about the lab at
 Project Description:
Morphological variation is the foundation of evolutionary theory, but the
basic influences on morphological variation are still poorly understood.
Developmental interactions are often discussed as a major control on
variation, but direct analysis of this hypothesis has been hindered by
the lack of quantitative comparative data.  Similarly, robust analyses
analysing both extrinsic and intrinsic influences on morphological
evolution are often limited by data availability.
Using advanced biological imaging techniques (CT- and laser scanning)
combined with surface-based 3-D morphometrics, this study will build on
existing work in mammals by providing the first broad comparative data
on modularity and disparity of skulls, jaws and limbs for living and
fossil tetrapods.  The PhD studentship will focus on one of the major
non-mammalian clades, such as lissamphibians or reptiles, clades with
incredible diversity in reproductive strategies, ecology and morphology.
This project will require extensive international travel for data
collection, as well as running analyses and possibly writing new code
in R. In combination with existing data from an ontogenetic sequence
of Xenopus, and juvenile and adult neontological and paleontological
specimens of mammals, this project will produce a robust analysis of the
relationships among modularity, morphological disparity, evolutionary
rates and how each of these responds to major life history and ecological
transitions as well as large-scale biotic and environmental events.
In addition to training in biological imaging and quantitative analyses,
there will be opportunities for international palaeontological fieldwork
during the course of this project. This project is part of a larger
European Research Council grant that will fund a total of 5 team members,
including this studentship.
Research relating to this project:
A. Goswami, J.B. Smaers, C. Soligo, and P.D. Polly. 2014. The
macroevolutionary consequences of phenotypic integration
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B, 369:
A. Goswami and P.D. Polly. 2010. The influence of modularity
on cranial morphological disparity in Carnivora and Primates (Mammalia)
PLoSOne, 5(3):e9517.
A. Goswami, V. Weisbecker, and
M. R. Sánchez-Villagra. 2009. Developmental
modularity and the marsupial-placental dichotomy
Journal of Experimental Zoology B, 312B: 186–195.
A. Goswami. 2006. Cranial modularity shifts during mammalian evolution
American Naturalist, 168:170-180.
To Apply for this PhD studentship:
a) Apply online via the UCL Admissions site:
   students/graduate/research/application(the apply button is at the
   bottom of the page).
Enter Keyword: Genetics; Department: Division of Biosciences; Programme
Group: Postgraduate Research
Select Division of Biosciences and Research Degree in Genetics, Evolution
& Environment and detail Dr. Goswami as the prospective supervisor in the
appropriate places in the application form. Please also include/upload
a copy of your CV and a covering letter.
b) In addition, please send a copy of your CV together with the covering
   letter directly to Dr. Anjali Goswami at 
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 . The
   application deadline is January 30 and interviews will be conducted
   in mid February. For any issues with the UCL application system,
   please contact Manu Davies, 
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Funding Notes:
Funding will cover full fees and stipend (stipend, with London allowance,
approximately ÂŁ15,900) for EU students only. Non-EU students may apply
only if additional sources of funding to cover international student
fees have been obtained by the application deadline.
"Goswami, Anjali" <
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