open positions

Open positions for postdocs, PhD students and research assistants

Starting date: flexible

Evolutionary genetics of development
Braendle lab, Institute of Biology Valrose, CNRS & Université Côte d’Azur, Nice (France)
We currently have several positions available in the context of two research projects focusing on the evolution of development in nematodes.

Project 1. Evolutionary genetics and experimental evolution of development
This project, in collaboration with Henrique Teotonio (Institut de Biologie, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris:, aims to characterize the effects of different breeding systems on the evolution of C. elegans hermaphrodite germline development. The key objectives are (1) to perform experimental evolution under different sex ratios of males, females and hermaphrodites; (2) to characterize the genetic basis of hermaphrodite germline traits through genetic transformation methods and a genome-wide association study; and (3) to determine how natural selection at candidate loci depends on hermaphrodite germline developmental evolution.

For relevant background information see:
Carvalho et al. 2014.
Poullet et al. 2016.
Noble et al. 2017.
Teotonio et al. 2017.

Project 2. The role of developmental genetic architecture in shaping evolutionary trends
This project, in collaboration with Marie-Anne Félix (Institut de Biologie, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris:, will investigate how developmental architecture may limit or bias the phenotypic spectrum obtained after random mutation. Whether such biases in the production of phenotypic variation may influence evolutionary trends is poorly understood. Here we address this problem using random mutation lines to explore whether differential mutational sensitivity of developmental cell fates can explain divergent evolutionary patterns in the fates of different homologous vulval precursor cells in two clades of nematodes. This project will (1) quantify mutability of these cell fates in wild isolates of Caenorhabditis and Oscheius, (2) connect these experimental data with patterns of evolutionary variation in these traits in the two genera, and (3) characterize the developmental genetic basis for this differential mutability. The results will be among the first to causally connect mutability, developmental biology and evolutionary trends. This approach is unique as it integrates molecular and evolutionary genetic analysis at the single-cell level. 

For relevant background information see:
Braendle et al. 2010.
Grimbert & Braendle 2014.
Félix & Barkoulas 2015.
Besnard et al. 2017.

PhD candidates are expected to have a master’s degree in evolutionary biology and an understanding of the fundamental problems of quantitative genetics, population genetics and developmental genetics, including QTL and GWAS mapping. Candidates with experience in computer programming, experimental evolution, developmental phenotyping and statistical analysis of large data sets are preferred.

To apply, send a CV, a letter of motivation, and the contact information for two referees as a single PDF file to and Christian Braendle ( Informal inquiries are welcome.