The western Antarctic Peninsula can be classified into two distinct climactic regimes that are characterized by differences in sea ice conditions, oceanography, primary productivity and terrestrial climate. Gentoo penguins, one of the three pygoscelid penguin species, have excelled across both these climactic regimes, while Adelie and Chinstrap penguins have declined in numbers. Using a novel combination of genomic tools, electronic instrumentation, biogeochemistry, morphological and physiological assessment, we are interested in understanding the phenotypic signals of individual quality, how these translate into fitness, that is, success both reproductively and from a foraging perspective, and finally whether these phenotypic signals are genetically heritable traits.
We seek a postdoctoral candidate who is inquisitive about the process of natural selection and how it manifests in behavioural ecology. The candidate will be responsible for collecting the individual samples in the field to determine phenotype and genomic information and data related to fitness such as feeding and breeding ecology from four Gentoo penguin breeding colonies along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Consequently, the ideal candidate will possess strong quantitative analytical capabilities, experience and interest with analyzing genomic molecular data for selection, experience operating in the field (preferably within polar environments). The ideal candidate is likely to be well published, relative to career stage, and be competitive for a CONICYT Postdoctoral Scholarship. The selected candidate will work closely with scientists specialized in ecology, molecular ecology, marine biology, bioinformatics, and a group of world-renowned international collaborators.