Another Ph.D. grant proposal (not in our lab)

This time I host an announcement from my brilliant colleagues in Ferrara, Italy

Opening of a PhD position to study the population genomics and conservation of three Alpine grouse species

A fully-funded 3-year PhD position is available for an enthusiastic student with a background in conservation, population or evolutionary genetics, to analyse patterns of genomic variation in three Alpine grouse species for conservation and management purposes.

The student will spend approximately half their time in the two collaborating research groups, those of Giorgio Bertorelle (University of Ferrara, Italy – UNIFE), and Heidi C. Hauffe (Fondazione Edmund Mach, Trento, Italy – FEM). Barbara Crestanello in the Hauffe group, and expert in tetraonid conservation genetics and genomics, will act as an additional supervisor.

The student will register at UNIFE, and academic training include seminars and courses, as well as participation in national and international conferences.

Brief project description:
This project will focus on three charismatic alpine bird species of conservation and management concern for which data on mtDNA and STR markers for more than 200 individuals per species are already available from Trentino and surrounding regions. The main goals of the project are to a) type SNP markers for a subset of the above samples using GBS; b) compare the power of mtDNA/STRs and SNPs to reconstruct demographic history; c) identify if and how different ecological niches, reproductive systems, and hunting pressures affect the genomic variation; d) translate the results into efficient management and conservation strategies; e) use available technologies to develop SNP sets that can be used for future cost-effective conservation genomic investigations.

Informal enquiries for further details of the aims of the project should be sent to,, or

The position is for candidates with a degree equivalent to an Italian “Magistrale” degree (Master), and in an appropriate subject (e.g. Biology, Biotechnology, Mathematics). A keen interest in data analysis as applied to conservation, and preferably, at least 6 months’ experience in a basic molecular biology laboratory, are requested. Good English skills are necessary, but knowledge of Italian is not essential (although it obviously helps for living in Italy!).

The formal online application form will be available around mid June at the site However, interested candidates are welcome to send already to an application letter, stating the applicant’s motivation for the position, experience and skills related to the requirements listed above, a full CV, and contact information (including email addresses) for 2 potential referees. Please send your application file as a single pdf.

Ferrara is an ancient Medieval and Renaissance town located in North-Eastern Italy, 50 km North of Bologna and 100 km south of Venice.  Far from being shrouded in the past, Ferrara is a cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly sustainable town where young people can experience a high quality of life, take advantage of well-maintained infrastructures, and pleasantly blend in. More information can be found at

The campus of the Fondazione Mach is located in San Michele all’Adige in the eastern Italian Dolomites, a World Heritage Site. The Province of Trento is rated as one of the best places in Italy for outdoor recreation and overall quality of life. See also:, and

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