Post-doc position

Post-doc position

Open position for a Post-doctoral researcher in Population Genomics: Experimental evolution and the dynamics of adaptation and genome evolution in fungal populations

Job information

The position is open for 18 months at INRAE BIOGER, located on Campus Agro Paris-Saclay, about 30 km south of Paris. The position is available from January 2024 and will remain open until filled following review of applications and interviews.
INRAE is a French public research institution that focuses on issues related to agriculture, food and food security, environment and land management, with a particular emphasis on sustainable development. The BIOGER research unit works on major fungal crop pathogens using pluri-disciplinary strategies from functional genomics, evolution and population genetics to microbiology, epidemiology and modelling. You will be welcomed in the multidisciplinary team “Antifungals, Mode of Action, Resistance” at INRAE BIOGER and will collaborate with the bioinformatics platform at INRAE BIOGER.
Funding is provided by the Plant Health Division of INRAE. Depending on work experience, a gross monthly salary of between 2650€ and 3090€ will be offered, including full social and health benefits.

Offer description

Understanding how adaptive traits arise, spread and persist within populations over time is a key question in evolutionary biology. In pathogens, adaptation to antifungals constitutes a textbook example of evolutionary rescue that can easily be (re)produced in the lab and that compromises crop health as well as it can worsen the environmental impact of the chemicals used. However, field evidence suggests that adaptive trajectories are complex and difficult to predict.

We are looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral scientist to understand the dynamics of adaptation to antifungals in the populations of the model ascomycete Zymoseptoria tritici, responsible for septoria leaf blotch disease on wheat. As a proof of concept, we propose to disentangle the respective impact of selection components first in a simplified environment and over a compressed timescale. Therefore, you will acquire whole genome resequencing data to quantify genomic changes having occurred during experimental evolution, from samples already available in the lab. Samples include populations and pure isolates having undergone constant or fluctuating selection from distinct antifungals. You will use the variation in the frequency of polymorphisms over generations to visualize the dynamics of adaptation, understand the main drivers of adaptation and calculate the rate of adaptation, depending on the environment. The results will provide a conceptual framework for understanding in further work how fungi may evolve in response to solo or joint selective pressures occurring in field agroecosystems.

Related references

Ballu, A., et al. (2023). "Antifungal alternation can be beneficial for durability but at the cost of generalist resistance." Communications Biology 6(1): 180.
Feurtey, A., et al. (2023). "A thousand-genome panel retraces the global spread and adaptation of a major fungal crop pathogen." Nature Communications 14(1): 1059.

Background and skills:

-    PhD degree in population genomics, evolutionary biology or similar subject relevant for the project, obtained not earlier than 3 years before the start of this project;
-    An excellent knowledge on statistics applied to life sciences and statistical tools, such as R;
-    Knowledge in evolutionary biology, including theoretical aspects of adaptation. Interest in plant pathology and crop protection will be appreciated;
-    A demonstrated capacity for team work and supervision of students and/or technical staff;
-    A proven ability to communicate research results through scientific publications or oral presentations;
-    Proficiency in English is compulsory, knowledge of French would be appreciated.


Campus INRA-AgroParisTech,
22 place de l’agronomie
91120 Palaiseau, France

How to apply?

Please send your CV including references and a cover letter to:
Anne-Sophie Walker: anne-sophie.walker@inrae.fr, tel.: 0033-18910-1318
Sabine Fillinger: sabine.fillinger@inrae.fr, tel.: 0033-18910-1288
Any contact for additional information is more than welcome.


Date de modification : 12 juillet 2024 | Date de création : 04 janvier 2024 | Rédaction : BIOGER