Postdoc position


Postdoc position "Unraveling the genomic origin of species in the large white-headed gull radiation"

80-100% / start June 2023 or negotiable

A Postdoc position for 2 to 2.5 years (80-100%) is available at the Natural History Museum Basel and Department of Environmental Science, University of Basel, Switzerland.

Your position

Our project investigates the genomic basis of speciation in one of the fastest diversifying bird lineages, the Holarctic radiation of large white-headed gulls (Larus spp.) that produced 16 species and 35 subspecies in less than a million years. The Postdoctoral researcher will generate state-of-the-art genomic resources in collaboration with the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, including annotated, chromosome-level reference genomes for multiple large white-headed gull species and outgroups as well as a recombination map. With this dataset, the Postdoctoral researcher will test comparative genomic hypothesis of rapid radiation, such as on the role of genome structure evolution, transposable element dynamics or expansion of gene families in rapid speciation. The Postdoctoral researcher will furthermore explore how the interplay of drift, selection and genomic features affects genetic diversity within and divergence between species in this clade. This work will be in close collaboration with a PhD student in our team investigating the genomic architecture of reproductive isolation across the speciation continuum from natural variation in the speciation process and reconstructing how the radiation of large white-headed gulls unfolded with whole genome re-sequencing data, population genomic and phylogenomic approaches.
This project is a collaboration between David Marques (principal investigator, Natural History Museum Basel, Switzerland), Walter Salzburger (University of Basel, Switzerland), Joana Meier (Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK), Pierre-André Crochet (CNRS Montpellier, France), Manuel Schweizer (Natural History Museum Bern, Switzerland) and Magdalena Zagalska-Neubauer (University of Wrocław, Poland). David Marques will be the Postdoctoral advisor, the Postdoctoral researcher will be associated with the group of Walter Salzburger at the University of Basel and will receive training at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge.

Your profile

I am looking for a highly motivated person eager to address big questions in evolutionary biology with comparative whole genome data. I seek a candidate with experience in comparative analyses, genome assembly or gene annotation, and a strong interest in genome evolution and speciation. Candidates for this position are required to hold a PhD in Bioinformatics or Biology from a higher education institution recognized by the University of Basel. In my mission to build a diverse, inclusive and highly collaborative lab, I am looking for a kind person that is both eager to work independently and to actively contribute to an interactive and supportive team and therein to a positive lab environment.

We offer you

Both Natural History Museum and University harbor a friendly and welcoming community of MSc, PhD and Postdoc researchers and are located within 10 minutes walking distance from each other in the heart of Basel city. Basel is the third largest city of Switzerland, bordering France and Germany, is rich in historical buildings and with lively traditions, has a cosmopolitan ambience and a world-renowned art and museum scene. Strong public transport in the city and Switzerland allowing for easy train access to the Jura mountains and the Swiss alps add to the experience, letting Basel rank among the global top 10 cities for quality of living.
The salary will be according to regulations of the University of Basel, depending on previous work experience and employment level (approx. CHF 81, 000-87, 000 annually before taxes at 100% employment). Employment level will be suited to the needs of the Postdoctoral researcher (e.g. care giving duties etc.), with 2 or 2.5 years of funding available for 100% or 80% employment, respectively.


Application / Contact

Please send an application letter (outlining your motivation and what your skills will add to this project), CV and contact information of two references. We accept only online applications. Applications are welcome until the position is filled.

For any inquiries regarding the position, please contact David Marques (

University of Basel

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No deadline
Location: Switzerland, Basel
Categories: analytical skills, Bioinformatics, Biology, Environmental Sciences, Evolutionary Biology, PhD, Postdoc,


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