Research Associate in Early Vertebrate Palaeontology
We seek a vertebrate palaeontologist or evolutionary biologist to collaborate on a NERC-funded project investigating the origin of vertebrate fins and girdles for up to 35 months. The origin of paired appendages is one of the ‘holy grails’ of vertebrate evolution but is a persistent evolutionary mystery. This project will use high-resolution tomography and 3D imaging to test theories about the anatomical origins of the pectoral girdle. The...
Job listing information
- Reference NAT01411
- Date posted 17 March 2023
- Closing date 20 April 2023
We seek a vertebrate palaeontologist or evolutionary biologist to collaborate on a NERC-funded project investigating the origin of vertebrate fins and girdles for up to 35 months. The origin of paired appendages is one of the ‘holy grails’ of vertebrate evolution but is a persistent evolutionary mystery. This project will use high-resolution tomography and 3D imaging to test theories about the anatomical origins of the pectoral girdle. The project will use comparative analyses of exceptionally preserved jawless and jawed fishes that demonstrate the earliest stages in the evolution of paired appendages.
The project is a NERC-funded collaboration between Dr Martin Brazeau (Imperial College), Dr Zerina Johanson (The Natural History Museum, UK), and Prof Matt Friedman (University of Michigan). A large body of tomographic data has already been generated to support this project and the candidate will form the basis for a series of detailed anatomical investigations, comparative specimen-based analyses, and phylogenetic studies.
This project represents an exciting opportunity to unify disparate strands of evidence from palaeontology, comparative anatomy, and comparative development, and will appeal to candidates with experience in any of these areas. The position will offer opportunities for research travel, support for conference attendance, and international collaboration, as well as career development.
Duties and responsibilities
You will be responsible for undertaking novel comparative anatomical and palaeontological study of exceptionally preserved early vertebrate fossils. You will be processing, visualising, and archiving these data and preparing imagery, figures, and interpretations which will result in collaborative development of new scientific publications and conference presentations. You will collaborate with the PI in the operation of the lab and will have opportunity to supervise students who are directly supporting your research objectives.
- Hold a PhD (or equivalent) in vertebrate palaeontology or related field or a closely related discipline.
- Prior work with computed tomography and segmentation software (e.g., Mimics, Avizo, VG Studio)
- Have undertaken comparative morphological investigation
- Have conducted prior work with collections-based material
- Understanding of phylogenetic methods and their practical implementation
- Expertise in early (Palaeozoic) vertebrates
- Ability to use graphical software (e.g., Adobe CC)
- Specimen illustration and/or digital modelling
The post is funded by NERC.
The position is full-time and fixed term for up to 35 months. You will be based at Silwood Park Campus.
Applicants should submit a brief cover letter, CV, and application statement. The cover letter should include their current career stage, expected completion date for their degree (if not already completed) and may optionally detail any information that the applicant wishes to communicate about their career stage (e.g. career breaks or interruptions). The application statement (maximum 2 pages) should provide details of research experience and how this addresses the main requirements for the position.
Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £38,194 - £41,388 per annum.
Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Martin Brazeau - email@example.com.
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About Imperial College London
Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.
You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.
We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.
It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.
Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.
Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating discrimination. All employees are expected to follow the Imperial Values & Behaviours framework. Our values are:
In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.
We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.
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