Avian Evolutionary Genetics

Abstract Understanding natural variation in behaviour in terms of both proximate genetic causes and ultimate evolutionary consequences is a central theme in evolutionary genetics. We are interested in how selection shapes traits such as mating behaviour, parental care, diurnal and seasonal timing and patterns of habitat selection. The study of genomic conflicts based on sexual antagonism, meiotic drive, selfish DNA, or inbreeding/outbreeding phenomena is a particular focus of our interests.

Our study systems cover populations of wild and captive bird species with different mating systems and life-history traits. We combine exploration of long-term data sets with key experiments to test specific hypotheses. We use modern individual monitoring techniques in combination with quantitative genetics, genomic sequence, transcriptomic or proteomics approaches.

We seek PhD candidates for projects in these areas using a combination of work in the field or aviary with genetic/genomic approaches. In particular we seek applicants who enjoy working in a team and would like to contribute to new techniques and approaches for a better understanding of variation in behaviour and fitness.

Keywords genomic conflicts, quantitative genetics, population genomics, QTL-mapping, bioinformatics, biostatistics, genomic selection signatures, sex-biased expression, transcriptomics

Advisors Wolfgang Forstmeier, Jakob Mueller, MPIO Seewiesen

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