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The UEA is a world-leading place to study...

https://www.uea.ac.uk/biological-sciences


...and Norwich is a great place to live!

https://www.uea.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/student-life/living-in-norwich

Please get in contact if you are interested in discussing opportunities to come and work with us.

email: tracey.chapman@uea.ac.uk

WE CURRENTLY HAVE  2 EXCITING PHD PROJECTS OPEN FOR OCTOBER 202 ENTRY - SEE BELOW!!!!

 

PhD available for Oct 2020 entry:

Gifts that keep on giving: maternal effects and insect pest control.

The student will train at the interface of genetic engineering and fundamental biology to understand the role of maternal RNAs in early development. Variation in the diversity and levels of maternal RNAs are key to understanding evolutionary adaptation and plasticity, as well as aiding in the development of next generation gene drive systems for insect control.

Successful early embryonic development occurs as a result of a precise balance between the effects of both embryonic and maternal genomes. Very little of this process is known in key insect pests and it is of particular importance for effectively tackling serious agricultural pests such as the medfly (Ceratitis capitita). This is an extreme generalist whose larvae can thrive in over 350 different host fruits, many of which are of global economic importance.

Understanding the mechanisms and balance of maternal vs embryonic effects on development in this species is crucially important to reveal fundamental characteristics of generalist insect pests and to deliver new tools for population suppression. The project is a collaboration with the Pirbright Institute, a world-leading research centre for the development of genetic technologies. The project aims to identify and manipulate RNAs deposited in eggs by mothers in the medfly. This will reveal the fundamental role of these RNAs in the unusually wide dietary success of this species and offer significant potential to increase the efficiency of next generation genes drives through improvements to gene editing.

The student will gain cutting-edge research skills in molecular genetics, CRISPR/Cas9 technology, genomics and reproductive biology. They will train at UEA, Pirbright and Earlham Institute, and will gain key insights into the development and application of novel gene drive systems in the applied sector. They will receive excellent training and career development from the thriving Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership.

For details on how to apply, see:

https://biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/projects/gifts-that-keep-on-giving-maternal-effects-and-insect-pest-control/

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tracey.chapman@uea.ac.uk

PhD available for Oct 2020 entry:

Reproductive interference for insect control.

The student will train at the interface of fundamental reproductive biology, bioinformatics and genetic engineering, to develop proof-of-principle for the use of reproductive interference as complementary new method for insect control.

Insect pests are a persistent and growing threat to human livelihoods and health because they damage economically important crops and spread disease. The pressing global challenge of combating such pests is being exacerbated by the evolution of resistance, the diminishing availability of pesticides and by climate change. The student will focus on reproductive interference – whereby courtship and copulation of one species / population is interrupted or disturbed by another. In the context of insect control this is often referred to as ‘satyrization’ and it works because the consequences (particularly costs) of hybrid mating can lead to the competitive exclusion of a harmful species (or population) by a more benign one.

The project is a collaboration with the Earlham and Pirbright Institutes, world-leading research centres for bioinformatics and the development of genetic technologies, respectively. The student will develop key elements of a test case for insect control via satyrization in the fruitfly model. In this they will identify the loci and regulatory mechanisms contributing to satyrization as well as the underpinning signals and receivers deployed by males and females in this context.

The student will gain cutting-edge research skills in bioinformatics, molecular genetics and reproductive biology. They will train at the UEA, Pirbright and Earlham Institutes, and will gain key insights into the development and application of fundamental knowledge in the applied sector. They will receive excellent training and career development from the thriving Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership

For details on how to apply, see:

https://biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/projects/reproductive-interference-for-insect-control/

Please contact me if you are interested in discussing further!

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tracey.chapman@uea.ac.uk