SNSF PhD student position in computational evolutionary biology

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University of Lausanne (UNIL)



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Job description

The incredible diversity of insects makes them fascinating to study, with important applications in the characterisation of animal biology, the control of disease vectors and pests, and the conservation of threatened insects.
Falling sequencing costs are improving genomic species sampling and enriching sources of functional data, challenging researchers to find innovative approaches to best exploit these data to bring new levels of depth and detail to our understanding of biology.
Overcoming these challenges requires substantial methodological advances in data integration and interrogation, supported by robust computational infrastructures.
With an initial focus on disease-vector mosquitoes, this SNSF-funded research project aims to exploit genomic evolutionary signatures to enhance the understanding of putative functions of thousands of currently uncharacterised genes from hundreds of organisms.

The successful candidate will be based at the Department of Ecology and Evolution of the University of Lausanne, under the supervision of Prof. Robert Waterhouse.
S/he will work very closely with a postdoctoral student to implement the core research project goals in line with the aims of the doctoral thesis. In particular, designing and developing cross-species comparisons to quantify patterns of evolutionary change and exploring strengths and interdependencies of correlations amongst evolutionary metrics and global functional properties to confirm and refine our understanding evolutionary-functional correspondences. Confidence with statistics will help with the detailed resolution of the complex relations amongst evolutionarily defined modules and the different hierarchies of biological functions, and is thus desirable.
100% of the rate of employment is devoted to the realization of the doctoral thesis.
The University of Lausanne offers a world-class international research environment with state-of-the-art facilities.

Profile requirements


  • Master’s degree in computer science (with life sciences experience) or bioinformatics / computational biology
  • Demonstrable programming skills and experience (e.g. Python, Perl, C/C++, R)
  • Scientific research motivation in genomics
  • Strong teamwork and interdisciplinary skills
  • Good spoken and written English proficiency


  • Experience with web technologies (e.g. Javascript, HTML, CSS)
  • Confidence in large-scale statistical analyses
  • Scientific research experience in genomics Interest in evolutionary genomics of arthropods
  • Knowledge of arthropod biology

Position contact information

Name: Robert Waterhouse

Le Biophore UNIL-Sorge
Lausanne, Vaud 1015

Phone: +41786098048