Two PhD studentships available in Arctic Chronobiology and Physiology

See the formal announcement and apply through jobbnorge: Link

Two PhD studentships available in the Arctic Chronobiology and Physiology research group at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø), under the supervision of Dr Shona Wood.

Calendar time is of vital importance for organisms living in seasonal environments. Unlike circadian time, the fundamental mechanisms through which organisms maintain an internal sense of calendar time remain unknown. Both PhDs aim to unravel the mechanisms governing seasonal time keeping.

PhD: Role of tanycytes in seasonal time-keeping

This is an international PhD project to focus on the hypothesis that epigenetic timing mechanisms in hypothalamic tanycytes generate internal calendar time in mammals. The project will bring together complementary skills in developmental chronobiology (Simonneaux, INCI – see Saenz de Miera et al, 2017 PNAS), and in epigenetic regulation (Wood, UiT, Norway – see Wood et al, 2015 Current Biology, and Genome Biology). We will focus on our recently established rodent models for seasonal time-keeping and two seasonal adaptive programmes; maternal photoperiodic programming (MPP) and hibernation. We will define how MPP affects the development of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis and how this subsequently programs through epigenetic modifications somatic and reproductive development of the offspring. We are particularly interested in the hypothesis that tanycytes are epigenetic calendar cells timing torpor and arousal in hibernation. Therefore, by contrasting these two seasonal adaptive programmes we aim to define the role of tanycytes in these programmes and test the hypothesis of an epigenetic calendar in hypothalamic tanycytes. The candidate will be expected to travel and work in Strasbourg, France for extended periods.

PhD: Chronobiology & plasticity in Arctic charr

This is a project about the mechanisms through which life-history trajectories are set in early development by the environment and are modulated in adult life by photoperiod. Arctic charr show incredible phenotypic plasticity and is one of the most variable vertebrate species. Charr show very precise seasonal rhythms in physiology and behaviour. Therefore, charr present an excellent paradigm for studying developmental programming mechanisms controlling metabolic and reproductive physiology. Your role will be to define how the environment (photoperiod, temperature and nutrition) affects the development of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis and how this subsequently programs through epigenetic modifications phenotypic, somatic and reproductive development of the offspring.

The successful applicants will join a young and expanding research team focussed on arctic chronobiology, based on UiTs main Brevika campus in Tromsø, and funded by Tromsø Forskningsstiftelse. UiT offers a unique and world-class research environment and is internationally recognised for its work in the field of biological timekeeping. Both projects will benefit from the mentorship of Arctic chronobiology and physiology research group members, David Hazlerigg (MPP & hibernation) and Even Jørgensen (Arctic charr). The setting of UiT offers an outstanding quality of life for those that enjoy wildlife and outdoor activities, in close vicinity to an urban and international city.

The ideal candidates will have a good Masters degree, ideally in chronobiology. A willingness to learn molecular techniques and bioinformatics is essential.

For informal enquires contact Dr Shona Wood: , the post will be officially advertised shortly.

For more information see the research group website:
and the supervisor’s researchgate profile: