A 3-year fully funded PhD position is available at the Forest Pathology & Dendrology Group, Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH Zuerich, Switzerland, to study the population genetics and mating behaviour of a fungal tree disease caused by the ascomycete Chalara fraxinea (Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus) to get insights in the evolutionary potential of the pathogen. This emerging lethal disease attacks ash trees in Europe and caused severe losses in several countries. Moreover, it is envisaged to compare this pathogen with a cryptic sister species, which is assumed to be non-pathogenic. The project seeks to understand the origin of an emerging tree disease of major ecological impact. The work includes fieldwork, molecular studies and virulence assessments.
The applicant is expected to hold a superior University degree in Natural Sciences (biology, environmental sciences, microbiology, mycology, phytopathology or a related discipline, ideally with a good background in genetics, molecular biology and statistics), which allows entering a PhD program, and very good organizational, analytical and writing skills. Applicants should submit a letter that summarizes specific motivation, interests and relevant experience, a cv including undergraduate and masters/diploma transcripts, and contact information for 2-3 references (all as a single pdf) to: email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Starting date: Ideally by the 1st of June 2010 or according to mutual agreement. Review of applications will continue until the position has been filled.