Two PhD positions are currently available in my group

 

 

1) Genomics of New Zealand trevally

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to be part of a group to develop a genomics-informed selective breeding programme for New Zealand trevally (Pseudocaranx georgianus). 

Supervisors

Dr. Maren Wellenreuther, Plant and Food Research (PFR), Nelson, New Zealand (http://www.marenwellenreuther.com)
Dr. Peter Ritchie, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), New Zealand (http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sbs/about/staff/peter-ritchie)

 

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food-production sector and New Zealand has the potential to develop a range of locally grown finfish species to meet the increasing demand. New genomics-based selective breeding programs are needed to help develop recently domesticated fish species into premium products. Plant and Food Research (http://www.plantandfood.co.nz) is known worldwide for its innovative breeding and genomics research, and it is leading the development of New Zealand seafood genomics.

This PhD project will involve work with a group of researchers to assemble the trevally genome, screen for genome-wide markers using a pedigree from a domesticated population, and conduct QTL mapping and gene expression analyses. The research will involve using high-throughput sequenced approaches, coupled with automated and error-reduced phenotyping. The overall goal is to enable rapid and efficient selective breeding of complex polygenic traits.

PhD Project Aims

1. Develop genomic and phenomic tools for selectively breeding trevally,
2. Use genomic information to improve conventional breeding approaches and apply multitrait MAS/GS selection to improve trait gains,
3. Assess fitness of hatchery individuals.

This PhD project will provide an excellent opportunity to learn the latest interdisciplinary technologies and apply them to fish genomics. The PhD student will gain experience working in academic, government and private sector institutions. They will be a member of a highly active and collaborative group of researchers, and help develop new technological approaches and applied-genomic tools.

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated researcher, with a strong background and interest in genomics and molecular evolution. Experience with a coding and/or scripting languages is a bonus. This position will be based primarily in Nelson (http://www.nelsonnz.com) and comes with a three-year scholarship that provides a stipend and university (domestic-level) fees. This project is supported by the MBIE grant 'Enhancing production of New Zealand's seafood sector using accelerated breeding techniques'.

Applicants should send a CV, a statement of their research interests and a cover letter to Maren Wellenreuther (Maren.Wellenreuther@plantandfood.co.nz) and Peter Ritchie (Peter.Ritchie@vuw.ac.nz). Candidate selection will begin mid-December but applications will be considered until the position is filled. The ideal starting date is 1 April 2017. International students with strong credentials are welcome and encouraged to apply. For more information about studying at VUW and the entry requirements for the PhD program please see http://www.victoria.ac.nz/study/programmes-courses/postgraduates/phds-doctorates

2) Disease genomics of two New Zealand finfish species

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to be part of a group to investigate the disease genomics of the New Zealand snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) and trevally (Pseudocaranx georgianus).

Supervisors

Dr. Maren Wellenreuther, Plant and Food Research (PFR), Nelson, New Zealand
Dr. Steve Bird, Waikato University, New Zealand

 

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food-production sector and New Zealand has the potential to develop a range of locally grown finfish species to meet this increasing demand. New genomics-based selective breeding programs are needed to help develop recently domesticated fish species into premium products. Plant and Food Research (http://www.plantandfood.co.nz) is known worldwide for its innovative breeding and genomics research, and it is leading the development of New Zealand seafood genomics.

This PhD project will involve working alongside a group of experienced researchers to study the genomes of the New Zealand snapper and trevally to identify and characterize immune genes, screen for genome-wide disease markers using a pedigree from domesticated populations, evaluate the bacterial disease metacommunities and conduct gene expression analyses using transcriptomics and qPCR. This will involve using high-throughput sequencing approaches, coupled with automated and error-reduced phenotyping. The overall goal is to characterize the immune systems of both fish species to better understand disease resistance in domesticated populations, facilitating a rapid and efficient selective breeding programme.

PhD Project Aims

1. Use whole genome assemblies and transcriptomes to identify immune genes and pathways,
2. Use genomic information to improve detection of novel disease QTLs,
3. Assess stress and disease resistance of hatchery individuals, and understand their bacterial disease communities.

This PhD project will provide an excellent opportunity to learn the latest interdisciplinary technologies and apply them to fish genomics. The PhD student will gain experience working in academic, government and private sector institutions. They will be a member of a highly active and collaborative group of researchers, and help develop new technological approaches and applied-genomic tools.

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated researcher, with a strong background and interest in genomics and molecular biology. Experience with a coding and/or scripting languages is a bonus. This position will be based primarily in Nelson (http://www.nelsonnz.com) and comes with a three-year scholarship that provides a stipend and university (domestic-level) fees. This project is supported by the MBIE grant 'Enhancing production of New Zealand's seafood sector using accelerated breeding techniques'.

Applicants should send a CV, a statement of their research interests and a cover letter to Maren Wellenreuther (Maren.Wellenreuther@plantandfood.co.nz) and Steve Bird (sbird@waikato.ac.nz). Candidate selection will begin mid-December but applications will be considered until the position is filled. The ideal starting date is 1 April 2017. International students with strong credentials are welcome and encouraged to apply. For more information about studying at Waikato University and the entry requirements for the PhD program please see http://www.waikato.ac.nz/study/postgraduate-studies/higher-degrees/.

“Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” Dobzhansky (1973)