PhD Student @ the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

29 Mar 2021


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Yves Van de Peer Lab



Job description

The VIB - UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics and the Department Biology from Ghent University is offering a Ph.D. scholarship (R1-level) in 2021 for an evolutionary biologist with a strong interest in the modelling of eco-evolutionary dynamics – the dynamic interaction between ecological and evolutionary processes at contemporary timescales. Polyploidy, i.e. the possession of multiple sets of chromosomes that results from whole-genome duplication (WGD), is a widespread phenomenon mainly associated with plants but has also been found in numerous insects and vertebrates.

WGD is historically viewed as a source of novel genetic variation across the entire genome that allows fast adaptation to changing habitats. Multiple disadvantages do however constrain these adaptive capacities and evidence is accumulating that species with WGD may predominantly invade and persist under stress. In many species, whole-genome duplication is associated with an increase in cell and/or body size, and mass-specific metabolism. The success of polyploidization is therefore anticipated to be governed by physiological responses that directly mediate ecological and evolutionary processes.

The Ph.D. student will study these dynamics interactions by means of ODE (Ordinary Differential Equation) and individual-based models.

The Ph.D. student will be part of a vibrant interdisciplinary research group lead by Prof. Van de Peer and Prof. Dries Bonte.

The successful candidate will be expected to tightly collaborate with colleagues in related scientific disciplines using experimental evolution and genomics.

More information about the research of Prof. Dries Bonte can be found at:

More information about the research of Prof. Yves Van de Peer can be found at:

Job profile

  • Candidates should have a strong background in ecological/evolutionary modelling and/or computational biology.
  • Applicants should have a keen interest in the tight coupling between demographic and evolutionary processes.
  • The position is available for a 4-years period, pending a positive intermediate evaluation.
  • Applicants demonstrate excellent study results and good English skills.
  • We expect the Ph.D. student to provide some assistance in the group’s regular teaching activities.
  • As criteria for the assessment of your qualification, emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant experience.
  • We aim to hire students that reflect the diversity of society and thus welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.
  • We equally welcome applications from students graduating before July 2021.

How to apply?

Application procedure:

Send your CV, an overview of study results, full details of 3 references, and your application letter, in English, to the two supervisors of the project.

Further information: For specific information about the Ph.D. scholarship, please contact the principal supervisors prof. Yves Van de Peer ( and Dries Bonte (