Open Positions

PhD Project on the role of sexual selection in the evolution of sex-biased gene expression

The Flanagan Lab at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, is seeking outstanding applicants for a fully-funded PhD position to study sexual selection and transcriptomics. The position is part of a project titled “Does sexual selection drive the evolution of sex-biased gene expression”. The project is funded to study sexual selection in sex-role reversed pipefish and link quantitative estimates of sexual selection to the evolution of gene expression in males and females. As such, the project contains opportunities for comparative behavioural studies and comparative transcriptomic studies. The research project includes collaborators from the Monash University and the University of British Columbia. The successful candidate will be fully funded, including research costs, with a stipend of NZD$27,500 for three years plus payment of tuition fees and associated service charges.

Start date: Mid-2020, but this is flexible.

The Flanagan lab: My group studies how and why complex traits and behaviours evolve, with a focus on sexually selected traits. We use a number of different methods to address these broad questions: studies of relevant traits and selection on those traits; genomic studies of signatures of selection; and theoretical simulation studies. For more information, please see the lab website:

My lab is inclusive, welcoming, and committed to advancing diversity; I welcome everyone regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, colour, socioeconomic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and age. I especially encourage members of historically underrepresented groups including (but not limited to) people of colour, women, veterans, and people from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities to inquire about opportunities and apply to join my group.

Eligibility: I seek a PhD candidate with a demonstrated high level of academic achievement at the undergraduate and/or postgraduate level. The candidate is required to have a BSc with Honours (or equivalent) or a Masters degree to enrol as a PhD candidate at the University of Canterbury. See the University eligibility requirements for more detail:

The ideal candidate will have research experience in behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, and/or genomics/transcriptomics. Previous experience with programming (e.g., R, C/C++, python), analysis of genomic or transcriptomic data, and/or molecular techniques is preferred.

The University: The University of Canterbury is located in Christchurch, the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island. The University has approximately 13,000 students and 2,000 postgraduate students enrolled. The University’s modern and well-equipped facilities are spread across a spacious suburban campus, with easy access to the city and the cultural and recreational facilities it provides. There is also good access to the scenic and recreational resources of the Southern Alps and Banks Peninsula.

Application: To apply, please email a cover letter that addresses your research interests and experience, CV, academic transcripts, and the email addresses of three scientific referees to: Dr. Sarah Flanagan, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, The review of applications will begin 1 February 2020.