HICT: Doctoral Candidate in Eco-Evolutionary Control Theory

Updated: 4 months ago

The Helsinki Doctoral Education Network in Information and Communications Technology (HICT) is a collaborative doctoral education network hosted jointly by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, the two leading universities within this area in Finland. The network serves as a collaboration platform for doctoral education combining all the relevant subfields of computer science and information technology at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. It involves at present 80 professors and almost 300 doctoral students, and the participating units graduate altogether more than 40 new doctors each year.

We offer the possibility to join world-class research groups in both universities with multiple interesting research projects to choose from. The list of all open Doctoral Candidate positions in this joint call can be found here: https://hict.fi/admissions/

HICT Doctoral Candidate inEco-Evolutionary Control Theory

Supervisor(s): Ville Mustonen (University of Helsinki)

Evolution connects all living organisms and is the common thread across biology. Organisms evolve to better survive in their environments and to adapt to new challenges. This leads to complex dynamical scenarios, which are presently understood only in a limited way. Understanding evolution is one of the most intriguing scientific topics due to its ability to unify often seemingly disjoint fields of biology. Furthermore, quantitative understanding of evolution is a prerequisite to successfully combat pathogens, pests and loss of biodiversity. Predictability and control of evolving populations is an emerging topic of high scientific interest1,2 and vast translational potential in applications such as vaccine and therapy design. This project will develop eco-evolutionary control theory. For example, we will find out what are the key determinants of controllability of a multi-species bacterial community, and apply the results to therapy optimisation. These projects are at the interface of microbial evolution, statistical physics, and information theory. A highly quantitative background and a burning interest in evolution are required.

Supervision: Professor Ville Mustonen (University of Helsinki); This is a collaborative project with the Lässig Group at the University of Cologne and the Särkkä Group at Aalto University.

Keywords: stochastic optimal control, eco-evolutionary dynamics, evolutionary theory, drug resistance.

Lässig M, Mustonen V, Walczak AM (2017) Predicting evolution. Nat Ecol Evol 1(3):1–9. Lässig M, Mustonen V, (2020) Eco-evolutionary control of pathogens. PNAS, 117 (33), 19694-19704

The ideal candidate will have experience in reinforcement learning, stochastic optimal control theory and evolutionary theory. However, as our research is cross-disciplinary it is possible to contribute coming from several different fields. Thus, we welcome applications from exceptional candidates, with a highly quantitative background, from other fields.

For more information, please contact Prof. Ville Mustonen (v.mustonen@helsinki.fi) .

Ready to apply?

If you want to join our community and start your journey towards Doctoral dissertation submit your application via our electronic recruitment system. The application form will close 6th February 2022 at 23:59 Finnish time (UTC +2).

If you are currently working at Aalto University, please submit your application via HR System Workday (Career – Find jobs – Apply).

Please be prepared to add the following attachments:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Transcript of your Master’s studies

You will be asked to provide also the contact details of 2-3 academic referees.

What we offer?

HICT is a network of world-class professors and researchers with huge passion for their field of study. In HICT you will become part of enthusiastic and professional team of bold and innovative thinkers.

During your Doctoral studies you will be a full-time employee in either Aalto University or the University of Helsinki depending on the supervisor and the research area. You will be covered by occupational health care based on the employment contract.

More information:

General information about the joint HICT call and HICT: https://hict.fi/

General questions about HICT: Christina Sirviö, HICT team

General questions about recruitment process: Sanni Kirmanen, Aalto University HR


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