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PhD Fellowship

Logging forensics: mining ebony wood collections as references

Naturalis Biodiversity Center in collaboration with Leiden University announces an opening for a fully funded PhD fellowship under the Plant.ID Horizon2020 European Training Network, starting April 2018.

Plant.ID is recruiting 15 PhD fellows
The EU H2020-ITN-ETN project Plant.ID on molecular identification of plants is a European training network aimed at providing 15 PhD fellows across nine European host institutions with excellent training through a network of leading academic experts, museums, governmental and industry partners in the field, using an intensive program with network-wide training events, intra-network supervision and secondments.

Project description
Acoustic string instruments are made of several hardwood species including ebony (Diospyros). Many species of ebony are nowadays over-exploited in the wild. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) placed all species of ebony from Madagascar on Appendix II in 2014 but other species are not legally protected. Computational microscopic phenotyping based on wood anatomical sections, chemical profiling and DNA barcoding are increasingly used to recognize wood traded under Forest Stewardschip Council (FSC) labels. Therefore, anatomy data, DNA barcodes and DART-TOF MS will be collected from reference specimens. Metabarcodes will be generated from ebony wood used in (parts of) instruments supplied by violon and bow builders and compared with microscopy, DART-TOF MS and bomb peak calibrated C14-dates to distinguish antique wood from wood harvested after 2013. Objective:Species-level identification of ebony wood for control of trade in legally protected species.
Primary supervisors: Barbara Gravendeel and Frederic Lens from Naturalis Biodiversity Center, and promotor Fons Verbeek, Leiden University, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). Planned secondments to Leiden University and Copenhagen University and short visits to the Dutch association of violin and bow makers and World Justice Commission.

Who are we looking for?
Marie Curie Training Networks offer a unique opportunity to get cutting-edge training in a multidisciplinary environment with a focus on academic and personal development of the PhD fellows. The supervisors in the network each provide specific competences and as part of the network you develop your skills and carry out research both independently and as part of a network of 15 PhD fellows. The consortium ensures cross-pollination and exchange of ideas through network-wide training events, summer schools and intersectoral secondments. As a PhD fellow in the Plant.ID network, you need to have good social skills and be willing to conduct the planned secondments and importantly be innovative and goal-oriented. Specific requirements for areas of previous degrees, planned secondments, and other expectations related to individual positions are listed in the detailed posting of each position. All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English.

Job conditions
The PhD student will be appointed under an employment contract with a competitive salary and mobility allowance at the host institution. The fellow is expected to start in April 2017. Additional funding for research and participation in courses, workshops, conferences, etc. is ensured. PhD 15 will be enrolled in a 4-year doctoral program at Leiden University.

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow in Plant.ID are:

EU eligibility criteria for candidates
The applicant may be of any nationality but in order to be eligible for the positions the following criteria applies to all applicants:

Plant.ID is recruiting 15 PhD students simultaneously and interested candidates are encouraged to apply for multiple projects within the network. Read more about the 15 individual PhD projects on www.plantid.uio.no. The following projects are included:

PhD 1 - Polyploid phylogenetics under the multi-species coalescent - University of Gothenburg

PhD 2 - Taxon identification and multispecies coalescent biodiversity assessments - University of Oslo

PhD 3 - Euphrasia: species delimitation in mega-diverse hemi-parasites - University of Copenhagen

PhD 4 - Shotgun sequencing for comparative diet analysis in capercaillie fowl - University of Copenhagen

PhD 5 - DNA barcoding and metabarcoding of herbal products for authentication - University of Oslo

PhD 6 - Metabarcoding of aquatic flora for fresh water quality monitoring - BaseClear, Degree Awarding Leiden University

PhD 7 - Hayfever and software-automated pollen metabarcoding - Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Degree Awarding University of Oslo

PhD 8 - Paleogenomic annotation of historical Cinchona bark samples across time and space - University of Copenhagen

PhD 9 - Genomic barcoding of the succulent plant genus Aloe in trade - Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Degree Awarding University of Copenhagen

PhD 10 - Orchid targets: Genomic barcoding to identify and trace traded orchids - University of Oslo

PhD 11 - Is mutational meltdown a threat in the mega diverse genus Begonia? - Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Degree Awarding University of Edinburgh

PhD 12 - Genomic barcoding to trace and identify illegally logged African trees - Botanic Garden Meise, Degree Awarding KU Leuven

PhD 13 - Bar-HRM traceability of toxic species in food and medicine - Centre for Research & Technology - Hellas, Degree Awarding Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

PhD 14 - Species, a taxonomic category distinct from the lineage concept - University of Gothenburg

PhD 15 - Logging forensics: mining ebony wood collections as references - Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Degree Awarding Leiden University

Application procedure
All positions are announced on the Plant.ID website (www.plantid.uio.no), EURAXESS. Individual projects are announced at the hosting institution, and applications received through the host institutions via the official application procedures will be considered.

Application attachments

By applying for PhD7 or PhD15, you agree that your application can be transferred to other positions in the network for consideration. 

Unfortunately it is no longer possible to apply for the PhD project7.

To apply for PhD project 15 use this application form. Apply by February 25 2018.

All announced positions will close on January 15th, and the evaluation process will start immediately with interviews of shortlisted candidates planned in February. All candidates will receive a response. Questions regarding the recruitment can be sent to: Barbara Gravendeel, or the project leader of Plant.ID, Hugo de Boer.