This part of a broader project under the Moore Aquatic Symbioses funded initiative “Creating transcriptomic resources from wild and cultured populations of host: symbiont associations”, which aims to explore the facultative nature of the sponge-symbiont partnership.
The University of Alberta is one of Canada’s top universities and among the world’s leading public research-intensive universities, with a reputation for excellence across
Ley Labs Scholarships enable students to study the cell, physiology and developmental biology of sponges and their microbial symbionts, with the goal of developing tools to understand the evolution of fundamental aspects of animals such as tissues, polarity, nervous systems and coordination and mechanisms of development.
The project involves developing tools for the emerging model system Ephydatia muelleri, a freshwater sponge. E. muelleri demonstrates host gene regulation in response to symbiosis. The symbionts can often be cultured outside of the host and the sponge can be grown with and without the symbionts. Wild populations harbor different communities and so laboratory culture allows study of host:symbiont integration and specialization at a cellular and genetic level, to identify selective forces that shape integration between hosts and symbionts.
To be considered for the Ley Labs Scholarship,
- Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field by June 2022.
- Applicants should Submit their CV, a recent copy of your university transcripts, and a one-page statement of interest describing your motivation and curiosity in aquatic symbioses and your career objectives.
- In your statement, please highlight relevant skills in molecular biology, laboratory data collection, statistical analysis, programming/bioinformatics, working in a team environment and oral or written science communication.
Scholarship Duration and Reward
- This project is funded for up to 2.3 years, co-supervised by Dr. Sally Leys, University of Alberta and Dr. April Hill (Bates College, Maine, USA). Starting date: September 2022.
To apply, candidates must be ready to submit the following documents;
- Copy of most recent transcripts
- PDFs of any publications
- A one paragraph statement of interest
- Contact details for 3 referees