Postdoc Position – Bioinformatics/Evolutionary Biology and Genetics

Project Title: Experimental adaptation to cadmium in photosynthetic cells.

A one year Post-Doc position is available in the metal homeostasis group of Dr. Marc Hanikenne (University of Liège, Belgium) in the frame of an Incentive Grant for Scientific Research funded by the FNRS. The position is opened and the candidate is expected to start by July 1st 2017 at the latest.


Cadmium is highly toxic, even at low concentration, and accumulates in the environment due to anthropogenic activities. The project uses experimental evolution as a tool to examine the evolutionary processes underlying adaptation to chronic cadmium exposure in photosynthetic algal cells.

Evolutionary derived populations obtained upon chronic exposure to cadmium as a selective pressure are regularly phenotyped and harvested to create ‘fossil records’. Extensive phenotyping data (including growth, tolerance, metal accumulation and RNA-Seq) have already been acquired in the frame of this ongoing project. Re-sequencing of the evolutionary derived populations will reveal the type of mutations underlying adaptation and allow the identification of adaptive loci.

The project will shed light on how new traits evolve and how it affects fitness. It will allow examining topical questions in evolutionary biology, such as the mechanisms of adaptive evolution, the evolutionary trade-off to adaptation, the repeatability of evolution, the balance between convergence and contingency… Using natural selection in a laboratory set-up, the project will reveal how cadmium toxicity may be overcome by photosynthetic organisms.

Job description

The Postdoc will be involved in the analysis of phenotyping data and will be responsible for the molecular characterization of the populations, including the bioinformatics analysis of the sequencing data. The position is supported by a full-time technician.


We are seeking a candidate with strong background in Bioinformatics analysis of NGS data and in Evolutionary Biology and Genetics. Wet lab experience is also required. The candidate should be fluent in English, have good ability to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment and have an excellent scientific record.


Interested candidates should send a motivation letter, CV, contact details (with name, email, address, phone number) of at least 2 references and copies of relevant certificates (e.g. MSc, PhD, language) as a single pdf document to:, byMay 2d, 2017, or contact the same address with any questions.

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