Post-Doc : Genomics-based population demographic histories for megafauna (Aarhus)

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Large-bodied mammal species (megafauna) are ecologically important, but have decline worldwide across the last 50,000 years or more under pressure from hunting, habitat loss etc., with these declines still ongoing in many regions. In consequence, megafauna species have special attention in nature conservation and ecosystem restoration. At the same time, there are many unanswered questions about past megafauna population dynamics, their drivers (notably climate vs. human impact), and, linked to this, uncertainties about restoration targets. This postdoc project will address this key knowledge gap through reconstructing population demographic histories for a large number of mammal species worldwide, contrasting megafauna and smaller species. Whole genome sequence data is publicly available as raw data for numerous megafauna species, often from multiple individuals. Such data contain a rich source of information on past demographic changes that can be extracted using population genetics approaches. This bioinformatics project will be based on existing data, and key elements in the work will be to locate and curate the data available such that it can be aggregated in a homogenized database for subsequent population demographic reconstructions to be coupled with relevant ecological modelling. The postdoc is expected to contribute ideas and concepts to the project and lead the development of at least two high-quality papers based on the project, contribute to the project’s public outreach and teaching, as well as collaborate with other team members, including students, sharing skills, and helping solve problems in her/his area of expertise.

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