Ancient Mariners or Recent Stowaways?

NERC-funded postdoc to investigate seabird-louse cospeciation in multiple clades of seabirds

Ref: 10728/DPL/A3

Rod Page PI (

A three year postdoc is available in Rod Page's lab to study seabird-louse cospeciation in multiple clades of seabirds. The provisional start date is October 1, 2004. The aims of the research are:

  1. To establish robust phylogenies for lice from three different seabird orders.
  2. To measure the relative frequency of cospeciation, host switching, and other events in the evolution of seabird lice.
  3. To determine whether multispecies louse assemblages have evolved in situ on the host, or whether they are the result of independent colonisations.
  4. To determine which (if any) host attributes are correlated with louse diversification and degree of cospeciation.
  5. To assess the effect of host phylogeny shape on the degree of cospeciation between seabirds and their lice.

Full details of the project can be found in the grant proposal (PDF format).


How to apply

Ideally you combine experience with molecular techniques (extraction, PCR, DNA sequencing), an interest in phylogenetic methodology, and evolution in general. Experience working with insects is desirable, but not essential (but be warned, lice can be difficult buggers to work with).

Full details on how to apply are available from the University Personnel Sevices Department.