Postdoctoral fellow in genomics of uncultured microbial parasites

Sweden (SE)
Fixed pay
September 04 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

Uppsala University is an international research university focused on the development of science and education. Our most important assets are all the individuals who with their curiosity and their dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting work places. Uppsala University has 40,000 students, 7,000 employees and a turnover of SEK 6,5 billion.


Application deadline: 2017-09-17

The Department of Organismal Biology teach about, and explores the evolution, development and function in whole organisms. For more information see

This project is founded by a grant from SciLifeLab (, a Swedish national center for molecular biosciences with focus on health and environmental research. The center combines frontline technical expertise with advanced knowledge of translational medicine and molecular bioscience. SciLifeLab is hosted by four Swedish universities (Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University) and collaborates with several other universities.

The position is placed in the group of Dr. Fabien Burki in Systematic Biology ( and co-supervised by Dr. Jan Andersson at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (

Project description: Study the evolution and specific adaptations to parasitism in Ascetosporea, an emerging threat in marine environments that has remained beyond reach of modern molecular tools. Ascetosporea is a collection of poorly characterized microbial eukaryote parasites of marine invertebrates. It is best-known for including deadly pathogens of oysters and mussels, costing millions of dollars to the growing aquaculture industry. To date, however, Ascetosporea is absent from models describing the evolution of parasites because comparative genomic data is lacking. This is due to multiple factors, including minute cell size, obligate intracellular lifestyle, lack of suitable host cell lines, and techniques for in vitro culture. Here, we propose to overcome these challenges by using micromanipulation and single-cell genomic/transcriptomic methods. We will sequence de novo the genome and transcriptome of several uncultured parasites encompassing the diversity of Ascetosporea, as well as their closest free-living outgroups. With these data, we will broadly look at the evolution of parasitism in Ascetosporea, i.e. identify pre-parasitic conditions, ancestral parasitic innovations, and lineage-specific adaptations using comparative genomics.

Requirements: Doctoral degree, or an equivalent foreign degree, in Biology. To be qualified for an appointment as a postdoctoral fellow you must hold a doctorate or a foreign degree equivalent to a doctorate, and have completed the degree within three years before the application deadline. In special circumstances, the PhD can have been completed earlier, including leave of absence due to sickness, parental leave, etc.

A general eligibility requirement is that the applicant must possess the personal capabilities necessary to carry out fully the duties of the appointment. Greater emphasis will be placed on the quality of individual scientific publications than on the number of publications.

Additional qualifications: Highly motivated individual with strong academic proficiency within the field of (microbial) eukaryote evolution. We are looking for a combination of wet lab and bioinformatic skills: documented skills in single-cell genomics/transcriptomics and/or micromanipulation techniques; proven experience in bioinformatics to assemble and annotate genomes. Experience in phylogenetics/phylogenomics would be an asset. Candidates must be fluent in English.

Uppsala University strives to be an inclusive workplace that promotes equal opportunities and attracts qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.

Pay: Individual salary.

Starting:2017-12-01 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position ending 2019-11-30.

Working hours: 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact
Dr. Fabien Burki, e-mail

You are welcome to submit your application no later than 2017-09-17, UFV-PA 2017/2796.