University of Glasgow
Institute of Biomedical & Life Sciences,
Division of Molecular Genetics,
Glasgow G11 6NU
NB: Student nomination and project details must be finalised by mid-August
2001. Enquiries to: Dr Bernard Cohen, e-mail: b.l.cohen at bio.gla.ac.uk
Title: Molecular systematics, evolutionary history and phylogeography of
brachiopods (and other marine invertebrates).
An NERC Algorithm PhD Research Studentship is available from October 2001
for a well-qualified UK candidate. This award provides an opportunity for
a student to become a big fish in a small pond: the close-knit community
who work on the biology of living brachiopods. But whilst brachiopods are
the supervisor's main interest, the research plan will take account of the
student's particular interests and aptitudes (within obvious limits) and
may involve other taxa.
The student would have access to an unparalleled collection of brachiopods
and their DNAs from many parts of the world. Gastropod and decapod
material to permit the first study of marine dispersal between seamounts,
comparing organisms with high and low dispersal potential is also expected
to be available. Topics range from the dynamics and genetics of
individual populations, through speciation to inter-ocean phylogeography
and higher-level phylogeny. Work on the phylogeny of other metazoan phyla
(e.g. stalked crinoids) could also be pursued, as could fundamental
molecular and cellular studies of brachiopod genomes.
Brachiopod biology (living and fossil) is accessible in the Treatise on
Invertebrate Palaeontology (Kaesler, R., ed., University of Kansas, 1997
and in progress) and the fundamentals of brachiopod molecular systematics
and phylogeography have been established, mainly in the supervisor's
laboratory. The supervisor's laboratory is part of an RAE 5-graded
division with a large and vigorous postgraduate student body. Two other
NERC-supported PhD students are currently in place, both working on
vertebrate molecular systematics and phylogeography.
Recent publications include:
Cohen, B. L. 2000, Monophyly of brachiopods and phoronids: reconciliation
of molecular evidence with Linnaean classification (the subphylum
Phoroniformea nov.). Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B.,
Cohen, B. L., Gawthrop, A. B. & Cavalier-Smith, T. 1998, Molecular
phylogeny of brachiopods and phoronids based on nuclear-encoded small
subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Philosophical Transactions of the
Royal Society, B., 353: 2039-2061.
Cohen, B. L., Stark, S., Gawthrop, A. B., Burke, M. E. & Thayer, C. W.
1998, Comparison of articulate brachiopod nuclear and mitochondrial gene
trees leads to a clade-based redefinition of protostomes (Protostomozoa)
and deuterostomes (Deuterostomozoa). Proceedings of the Royal Society,
London, Series B., 265: 475-482.
Kaesler, R. L. (ed.) 1997 et seq., Part H, Brachiopoda, revised.Treatise
on Invertebrate Paleontology, Boulder, Colorado and Lawrence, Kansas:
Geological Society of America and University of Kansas. Including Cohen,
B. L. & Gawthrop, A. B., The brachiopod genome pp. 189-211.
Williams, A. W., Cohen, B. L., Cusack, M. & Long, S. L. 2000, Provenance
of Atlantic lingulid brachiopods. Palaeontology, 46: 999-1018.
Division of Molecular Genetics
University of Glasgow
e-mail: b.l.cohen at bio.gla.ac.uk