Home > Jobs > 2009 > Graduate Position: University of St Andrews, Cyanobacterial Genomics

Jobs

Graduate Position: University of St Andrews, Cyanobacterial Genomics open

EVOLUTION AND FUNCTION OF CYANOBACTERIAL GENES AND GENOMES

Supervisors:
Dr Daniel Barker, University of St Andrews, and Professor Geoffrey Codd, University of Dundee.

This project will improve knowledge of the evolution, metabolism, ecotoxicological status and biotechnological potential of cyanobacteria by the development and application of bioinformatics algorithms. Cyanobacteria are a metabolically diverse group of photosynthetic prokaryotes of global distribution. They play a crucial role in biogeochemical cycles (oxygen, carbon, nitrogen), produce toxins which present major health hazards to humans and animals, yet also contain metabolites with therapeutic and biotechnological applications, including biofuels. At least 48 cyanobacterial genomes have been sequenced. However, the function of many of the genes in their genomes remains unknown. This represents a major gap in biological knowledge which would be difficult to fill by traditional approaches. We have developed a comparative, bioinformatics procedure to delimit groups of genes which are functionally linked, on the basis of correlated gain and loss of those genes from genomes. This must be vastly improved, to also model gene-phenotype and gene-environment interactions, and applied to cyanobacteria. The project would involve research in computational comparative genomics. Results will be of interest to researchers in bioinformatics, environmental and health sciences and in biotechnology.

Informal enquiries to Daniel Barker, db60 [at] st-andrews.ac.uk

For further details, including how to apply, please see:

http://biology.st-and.ac.uk/projectProfile.aspx?psr=433&pid=168

IMPORTANT NOTE ON FUNDING

A successful candidate would receive funding (covering fees and stipend). Funding is ONLY possible for candiates who meet the Natural Environment Research Council's criteria:

http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/application/studentships/studentbook2008.pdf

In particular, please note the section "Residence" (pp. 3-6). If you do not meet these criteria, please only apply for this position if you have already obtained funding yourself.

posted 2009.11.24