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Bolsa de doutorado pleno na UQ, Austrália na área de genética e melhoramento animal

Data: 15/05/2020

Fully funded QUEX PhD position

Female reproductive investment and ageing: an evolutionary perspective on age-related disease Some individuals age faster than others, experience age-related diseases earlier and ultimately live a shorter life. Understanding the biological basis of individual variation in ageing trajectories remains one of the big challenges for science. Genomic constraints and resource-based trade-off between reproductive investment and healthy ageing probably underlie individual susceptibility to age-related decline. However, these hypotheses remain experimentally untested. This project uses a unique avian life history model, explicitly created to study the links between reproduction and ageing, to address these knowledge gaps. Using an artificial selection approach, we have created replicated genetic lines of quails (Coturnix japonica) that differ in their ageing trajectories. Birds selected for high reproductive investment age quickly and live shorter, whereas birds selected for low reproductive investment age slowly and live longer. This experimental model is thus ideally suited to test the consequences of reproductive investment for the development of age-related disease. Genomes and transcriptomes of these quail will be scrutinized using systems biology methods to unravel the molecular basis of ageing processes, targeting the discovery of genes and pathways that affect reproduction, ageing and the development of age-related disease. This project combines the complementary skills and expertise of researchers in veterinary science, evolutionary biology, genomics, bioinformatics and systems biology from the University of Queensland, Australia, the University of Exeter, United Kingdom and the Institute of Avian Research, Germany. This is a unique PhD research and training opportunity for a student with a background in evolutionary biology interested to gain bioinformatics and systems biology skills, or a student with a bioinformatics, veterinary or systems biology background and an interest in evolutionary biology. In addition to available (phenotypic, WGS, transcriptomic) datasets, the student will have the opportunity to conduct experimental work to test the potential of nutritional interventions in buffering genetic susceptibility to age-related disease. This cross-disciplinary and synergistic project will provide novel and essential insights into molecular constraints involved in the processes of reproduction that impact on healthy ageing and have broad implications for evolutionary biology, animal breeding and welfare, and human health.

Supervision & Host Institutions

The student will be joint supervised by Dr Marina Fortes, University of Queensland, Australia and Dr Barbara Tschirren, University of Exeter, UK, will spend time at both partner institutions, and will graduate with a joint degree from the University of Queensland and the University of Exeter.

The QUEX Scheme

The University of Queensland and the University of Exeter are seeking exceptional students to join a world-leading, cross-continental research team tackling major challenges facing the world’s population in global sustainability and wellbeing as part of the QUEX Institute. The joint PhD scholarship program provides a fantastic opportunity for the most talented doctoral students to work closely with world class research groups and benefit from the combined expertise and facilities offered at the two institutions.

Scholarship value

These scholarships include a living stipend of AUD $28,092 (2020) tax free, indexed annually, tuition fees and Overseas Student Health Cover (where applicable). A travel grant of AUD $8,500 per annum, and a training grant of AUD $3,000 are also available over the program.

Online application

https://scholarships.uq.edu.au/scholarship/quex-phd-scholarship Deadline: June 14th 2020 Contact Dr Marina Fortes m.fortes@uq.edu.au or Dr Barbara Tschirren b.tschirren@exeter.ac.uk for more information. 



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