Evolution of chemosensory genes in aquatic beetles
In the context of a project founded by the French national agency for research (ANR), we are offering a 20 months post-doctoral position (ideally starting 1st May 2023), to study the evolution of the chemosensory system in the context of adaptation to aquatic life in a major clade of predatory coleopterans (beetles). Transcriptomes of chemosensory organs (antennae; palps; control non-sensory tissue) have been generated in our lab (partly assembled and some preliminary analyses already performed) from adult specimens of about 15 species representing the main families of the beetle suborder Adephaga: Carabidae and Cicindelidae (terrestrial), Dytiscidae (the most species-rich aquatic family) and their successive aquatic/sub-aquatic sister-groups. For one dytiscid species, chemosensory organ transcriptomes have been produced from the strictly aquatic larval stage and from the adult stage (amphibious) for comparison. The research to be carried out by the post-doc will focus on chemosensory genes known in aerial insects to be involved in the detection of either water-soluble molecules (e.g., ionotropic and gustatory receptors: IRs and GRs) or of hydrophobic molecules (odorant receptors: ORs; odorant binding proteins: OBPs). The aim is to reconstruct within a phylogenetic framework, the evolution of these gene families (gene expansions and losses; selection signatures) and of their expression sites (notably antennae vs. palps; see Montagné et al. 2021. Front. Ecol. Evol. 9: 773915). The project will provide an unprecedented picture of the evolutionary changes in chemodetection that accompanied land-to-freshwater transition(s) in a lineage of insects, and is expected to yield papers in high impact scientific journals.
Applicants must hold a PhD and confirmed skills in bioinformatics, particularly transcriptomics and genomics including phylogenetic analyses and RNAseq analyses, and a keen interest in evolutionary biology and/or ecology. The recruited post-doc is expected to perform mainly in silico analyses (transcriptome assemblies, annotations, gene phylogenies, species tree / gene tree reconciliation, dN/dS analyses, differential gene expression analyses, evolutionary interpretations). The salary will be determined according to qualification and prior experience.
The research activity will be conducted within the EvoFonct group of the Institute of Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity (https://isyeb.mnhn.fr/fr), an internationally renowned lab in the study of organism diversity and evolution, and in close collaboration with the Sensory Ecology department of iEES Paris (https://iees-paris.fr/). The post-doc will be supervised by Michaël Manuel (https://cv.hal.science/michael-manuel) and Muriel Jager. Our lab is located on the Pierre & Marie Curie campus of Sorbonne University in the heart of Paris near the “Quartier Latin”. Sorbonne University comprises three faculties: science and engineering, humanities and medicine. Covering all fields of knowledge in science and engineering, the Faculty of Science and Engineering is dedicated to supporting research at the heart of the disciplines as well as promoting multidisciplinary approaches to meet the major challenges of the 21st century.
Candidates should send a letter of motivation and curriculum vitae to Pr. Michaël Manuel -> firstname.lastname@example.org