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Researcher in Legume Evolution & Systematics

  • Application Deadline
    17 January 2022
  • Job Salary
    £34,957 (Band D) depending on experience, plus civil service pension and other benefits
  • Contact Name
    Dr Gregory Kenicer

Fixed Term (30 months), based in Edinburgh
Salary up to £34,957 (Band D) depending on experience, plus civil service pension and other benefits

The Legumes (Leguminosae/Fabaceae) are one of the most fascinating and economically important plant families. This exciting postdoctoral fellowship will explore evolutionary relationships in Leguminosae with a particular focus on the Papilionoideae subfamily. This is the most species-rich legume subfamily with around 14,000 species found globally and in almost every terrestrial habitat, ranging from tiny ephemerals to emergent forest giants. They are keystone species in many habitats and include some of the world’s most important crops such as the peas, beans, soybean, chickpeas, and lentil. Such protein-rich, nitrifying crops are playing an increasingly crucial role in humanity’s adaptation to global environmental change. By generating new, and analysing existing genomic DNA sequence data, this fellowship will help to improve knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships across papilionoid legumes and study the evolution of key traits and/or the classification of the subfamily. Legumes account for more than 50% of global biological nitrogen fixation and additionally there will be the opportunity to explore existing genomic data of rhizobium symbionts associated with tribes Fabeae and Genisteae in the papilionoid legumes. Collectively, the work will prove valuable for a wide range of researchers looking at aspects of legume biology and ecology, and the fellowship’s outward-looking, collaborative nature will reflect this.

The post is based at RBGE’s Edinburgh garden, giving full access to the research collections and expertise of colleagues, and Edinburgh’s wider research community. The project is undertaken in collaboration with researchers at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. In addition, it offers superb opportunities for support from and collaboration with the Legume Phylogeny Working Group (LPWG) – one of the key global research networks in describing and classifying the family’s diversity and understanding its evolution.

We are looking for candidates with a background in bioinformatics with a particular focus on high throughput DNA sequence data. Experience of gathering, processing and analysing genomic DNA datasets is essential, as is understanding of molecular evolution and phylogenomic theory. The position will require some laboratory work expertise, although new data collection will largely be outsourced. As the position will involve working extensively with the wider research community, excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral) are fundamentally important. A PhD or equivalent experience in bioinformatics, phylogenetics or similar is required.

Full details of the post, including a job description and person specification can be downloaded from our website at http://www.rbge.org.uk/about-us/vacancies. Further details on the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh can be found at http://www.rbge.org.uk/.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Gregory Kenicer ().

To apply, please send a covering letter explaining your suitability for the post and a CV as well as a completed equal opportunities questionnaire by e-mail to . Applications should be received by 17th January 2022. Interviews will be held Late January/early February 2022.

If you have not heard from us by 31st January 2022, please assume your application has not been shortlisted. No recruitment agencies please.

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Recipient: Dr Gregory Kenicer
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