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evo-devo postdoctoral position available

Elizabeth Jockusch jockusch at sp.uconn.edu
Tue Mar 27 13:05:49 EST 2001

Dear Colleagues,
I would appreciate it if you would spread the word about this postdoc
opportunity to those who might be interested.
Elizabeth Jockusch

Postdoctoral position to begin summer 2001

Evolution and Development of Insect Wings and Imaginal Discs

PI: Elizabeth Jockusch, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
University of Connecticut

2 1/2 years of funding are available to support a postdoctoral researcher
interested in studying comparative development and evolution of insect
wings and imaginal discs using both embryological and molecular
developmental techniques.  Insect wings and imaginal discs are two key
innovations that have contributed to the spectacular success of the clades
that they characterize. However, the developmental basis for the origins of
these traits remains poorly understood. This will be investigated using
comparative analysis of wing development in two species of insects that
retain morphologically more ancestral modes of wing development, the beetle
Tribolium castaneum and the grasshopper Schistocerca americana, and a
parallel analysis in one primitively wingless hexapod, the thysanuran
Thermobia domestica. These comparisons will be used to address two
significant questions in insect evolution: Did the origin of imaginal discs
require major changes in both primordium allocation and disc patterning or
did it result from more limited developmental changes? Are wings homologous
to dorsal branches of ancestral arthropod legs or did they arise de novo
from the dorsal thorax? Presently, most of what is known about wing
development comes from a single species, the fruit fly Drosophila
melanogaster.  At a morphological level, wing development in Drosophila is
derived. The use of comparative molecular data to determine in what
respects Drosophila wings develop by retained ancestral mechanisms and to
what extent by novel mechanisms will give insight into both phenotypic
evolution and the evolution of developmental mechanisms.

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of
Connecticut, Storrs, is a highly interactive group
with four labs focused on studying phenotypic evolution, and with a large
group interested in insect evolution and systematics.

Qualifications: Ph.D. in biology and experience in some (or all) of the

insect embryology, lineage tracing, microinjection, cloning and in situ
hybridization, analysis of character evolution and phylogenetics.

Application Procedure: Application deadline extended to April 23. To apply,
send a C.V., description of research interests, and names of three
references to:

              Elizabeth Jockusch
              Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
              75 N. Eagleville Rd., U-3043
              University of ConnecticutStorrs, CT 06269

              jockusch at sp.uconn.edu


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