Archives de catégorie : Offre de Thèses / Stages / Postes

Offre de postdoc : Evolution and Genomics of Attine Ant Fungi, Copenhagen

Deadline: 10 January 2020

The Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark is offering a Postdoctoral fellowship in fungal evolution and genomics, commencing 1 September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. The University of Copenhagen provides a top-notch research environment and the city of Copenhagen provides a vibrant cultural scene.

Scientific environment 
The fellowship will be part of a research project financed by an ERC Starting Grant based in the thriving research environment of the Section of Ecology and Evolution, and will involve some fieldwork in the Panamanian tropical rainforests at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (http://www.stri.si.edu/). The successful applicant will have experience and interest in evolution, genomics, bioinformatics, and fungus culturing methods.

Project Description 
The project will explore genomic signatures of crop domestication, focusing on a lineage of fungi that has been cultivated for food by attine ants for millions of years. These fungi have traits that reinforce their value as co-evolved food crops, and they depend on their ant farmers to provide them with nutritional substrates (e.g. fresh vegetation) foraged from the environment. The postdoc will take part in collection trips to Panamanian rainforests, perform integrative in vitro studies of fungus cultivar performance, and use genomics and bioinformatics tools to explore the metabolic pathways governing fungus crop performance.

Job description 
The position is available for a 2-year period and your key tasks as a Postdoctoral Fellow at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry out your research project
  • To oversee student research related to your project
  • Write scientific articles
  • To travel to and perform field research in tropical rainforests
  • Disseminate your research

Formal Qualifications

  • PhD in Biology with good results (including publications and conference presentations)
  • An interest in fungal evolution, genomics and bioinformatics
  • Experience with sequencing and molecular analyses
  • Experience isolating and in vitro culturing of fungus
  • Creativity and ability to be both team-oriented and independent
  • A proven record of excellent English speaking, reading and writing skills.
  • Embrace of an international research environment and interdisciplinary research

Terms of employment  
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 426.625 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 72.952). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure 
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

How to apply 
Applications must include:

  • Cover letter
  • Statement of research interests and reasons for applying to this position (max 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae (including a list of publications)
  • Copies of relevant diplomas and transcripts (PhD, Master and Bachelor)
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers
  • Full contact details (name, address, e-mail, telephone numbers and addresses of 2-3 professional referees).

In addition to the fulfilment of the above-mentioned qualifications, the main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant, the match with the project and good interpersonal skills. Additionally, my research group and the University of Copenhagen strive to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 10 January 2020, 23:59 GMT +1.   

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards, an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the previously mentioned skills. You can read more about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

Questions 
For specific information about the Postdoctoral Fellowship please refer to the website of Assistant Professor Jonathan Shik (www.jonathanshik.com), or contact him at jonathan.shik@bio.ku.dk, Direct Phone: +45 31152140.

For further details, and to apply, see: https://employment.ku.dk/all-vacancies/?show=150980

Offre de thèse : PhD student: Social Immunity in Ants, IST Austria

Deadline: 8 January 2020

We are loooking for a highly motivated student to join our team working on the social immunity in ant colonies. The PhD thesis will be integrated in an ERC project to elucidate how ant colonies as a whole reach disease defence by the cooperative actions of its members. In particularly, we study the behavioural interaction of the individuals, their chemical communication and hygiene measures, as well as their individual immune responses.

For more details on our research activities, please see: https://socialimmunity.com

If you are interested, please send an email with your CV and motivation letter to Sylvia Cremer, IST Austria: sylvia.cremer@ist.ac.at

Please note that PhD students are accepted to the general IST Austria Graduate school and are affiliated to a research group after a training period (rotations in research groups and coursework). All applications hence need to be formally submitted to the IST Austria Graduate School with a deadline of January 8th, 2020.

For more information, please see: https://phd.pages.ist.ac.at

Offre de thèse :Bumblebees and climate change, Imperial College at Silwood Park

 

Deadline: 6 January 2020

PhD: Studying bumblebee population dynamics and adaptations to understand plant-pollinator evolution under climate change Supervisors: Richard Gill, Jacob Johansson & Keith Larson

To date our understanding of how insect pollinator declines are influenced by climate change remains limited. For instance, why have some species shown evidence of latitudinal range shifts in apparent response to climate change when others have not? To address this type of question requires us to understand the eco-evolutionary processes by which insect pollinator populations and their host plants are dynamically responding and how this translates to plant-pollinator network evolution under climate change. Taking a population biology approach (using complementary genetic approaches), this project will look to understand how bumblebee populations and host plant visitations have changed over the past 50 years for an Arctic bumblebee community in Lapland, Sweden. This will involve understanding how preceding climatic condition has affected population demography of each of 13 species of bumblebee. The study will reveal changes on population trait frequencies over space and time and how resource competition is determined through adaptations to temperature extremes to predict plant-pollinator network structure and the potential for species invasions.

The project takes advantage of a unique phenology transect established over a century ago allowing us to compare past data on bumblebee/plant community composition and phenology with contemporary data spanning the major warming over the last five decades. The transect runs along an altitudinal gradient on Mount Nuolja, Abisko, providing a thermal cline with the study taking a space-for-time substitution approach. The student will become experienced in using a number of interdisciplinary techniques, including a variety of fieldwork skills, bee and plant taxonomic identification, molecular methods in DNA barcoding and population genetics, studying bee thermal profiling, managing and analysing big data, skills in ecological network construction, statistics and developing mathematical models to understand extinction vulnerability. The project will involve a significant amount of fieldwork in the Arctic and will require the candidate to be relatively physically fit. This interdisciplinary project will also benefit from co-supervision & collaboration from a number of world-leading scientists, including: Jacob Johansson (Imperial College and Lund University, Sweden); Keith Larson (Umea University, Sweden); Jason Tylianakis (Canterbury University, NZ), Andrew MacDougal (University of Guelph, Canada); Emily Baird (Stockholm University (Sweden).

The PhD is competitively funded. The student will based at the Silwood Park campus of Imperial College and hosted by the Gill lab that is well equipped to study bee evolution and ecology. The student will be surrounded by world leading researchers in the disciplines of ecology, evolution and conservation. Facilities include 100 hectares of field site, new controlled environment rooms, microbiology facility, labs tailored for bee research and spacious workspace.

Please send your CV, a one page cover letter explaining why you are suitable for the project, and the names and e-mail addresses of two referees to Dr Richard Gill r.gill@imperial.ac.uk by 6th January
2020. Informal enquiries for either are welcomed.

Student eligibility: Applicants should have, or be about to obtain, a Masters qualification and have a 2.1 or higher undergraduate degree in Biology, Ecology, Evolution or similar. To be eligible for a full award they must have either British Citizenship, or Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay, or been « ordinarily resident » in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship – (For non-EU citizens, this must not have been in full time education.). This does not apply to UK nationals.

Dr Richard Gill
Department of Life Sciences
Imperial College London
Silwood Park campus
Buckhurst Road, Ascot
Berkshire, SL5 7PY
UK
Phone: 44 (0)20 759 42215
Webpage: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/r.gill

Senior Lecturer, Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment Initiative
Course Director for Masters of Research (MRes) in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation

Offre de Post-doc & Thèse – Several postdoc and PhD positions on bees and ants: US, UK, Germany, Denmark

POSTDOC: GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY OF ANTS, YALE
   
    https://bgc.yale.edu/opportunities
   
    A new, 2-3 year postdoc position is available in association with the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change (BGC Center), the GEO BON Species Populations Working Group, Map of Life, and the Jetz Lab. The position is part of a larger, collaborative initiative to advance a conservation-relevant knowledgebase for focal taxa at a global scale, supported through the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and associated sponsors, NASA and others. The postdoc will benefit from working closely with a growing group of Center-based biodiversity scientists, modelers, coordinators, and informaticians and from engaging with a global collaborative network of species group and methods experts worldwide. Support for project-related travel and workshops is available. Target start date for the position is spring through fall 2020.
   
    We are seeking an innovative thinker with a strong quantitative background who is interested in addressing ecological, conservation, biogeographic, or macroevolutionary questions for Ants as a global study system. Qualifications for the position include a PhD in ecology, conservation, macroevolution, bio-/geography, or biological informatics, combined with experience in spatial biodiversity analysis and inference. The preferred candidate will have a deep understanding of this species group, a passion for advancing its spatial knowledge base, a strong interest in the model-based integration of large, disparate biodiversity data, a dedication toward conscientious work in a team, attention to detail, and strong communication skills. Particularly welcome is an ability to traverse ecological, evolutionary, and conservation perspectives and to address processes at different spatial and temporal scales. We expect strong analysis and scientific writing skills. Experience in several scripting languages, database management, taxonomic name management, remote sensing, and/or biodiversity informatics are highly welcome.
   
    The position offers broad thematic flexibility, and focal research questions may be macroecological, conservation-focused, biogeographical, macroevolutionary, or comparative. We ask candidates to briefly describe their preferred thematic interest in the cover letter.
    We strongly encourage applications from women and minorities. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values in our group, and we believe that a diverse team will enable a broader perspective and enhance creativity.
   
    The Yale BGC Center connects biodiversity scientists from across campus and hosts a range of speaker and workshop events. It supports research and training around the use of new technologies and data flows for model-based inference and prediction of biodiversity distributions and changes at large spatial and taxonomic scales. Flagship Center projects include Map of Life and activities supporting the Half- Earth Map and the development of the GEO BON Species Population Essential Biodiversity Variables. Other initiatives associated with the Center include the integration of macroevolutionary and biogeographic inference (e.g., VertLife, ButterflyNet), NASA-supported remote sensing-informed layers and tools for biodiversity modelling (EarthEnv), the Max Planck-Yale Center on Biodiversity Movement and Global Change, and the Wildlife Insights initiative for camera trapping data.
   
    Yale University offers researchers and staff competitive salaries and a generous package of benefits. Yale has a thriving and growing community of young scholars in ecology, evolution and global change science in the EEB Department, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, the Peabody Museum, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. New Haven is renowned for its classic Ivy League setting, 75 miles northeast of New York City. To apply please send, in one pdf, a short motivation (i.e. cover) letter, CV and names and contact information for three referees to anna.schuerkmann@yale.edu, subject « BGC Postdoc – Ants ». Review of applications will begin on 9 December 2019 and continue until the position is filled.
   
    ———

POSTDOC: GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY OF BEES, YALE
   
    https://bgc.yale.edu/opportunities
   
    A new, 2-3 year postdoc position is available in association with the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change (BGC Center), the GEO BON Species Populations Working Group, Map of Life, and the Jetz Lab. The position is part of a larger, collaborative initiative to advance a conservation-relevant knowledgebase for focal taxa at a global scale, supported through the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and associated sponsors, NASA and others. The postdoc will benefit from working closely with a growing group of Center-based biodiversity scientists, modelers, coordinators, and informaticians and from engaging with a global collaborative network of species group and methods experts worldwide. Support for project-related travel and workshops is available. Target start date for the position is spring through fall 2020.
   
    We are seeking an innovative thinker with a strong quantitative background who is interested in addressing ecological, conservation, biogeographic, or macroevolutionary questions for Bees as a global study system. Qualifications for the position include a PhD in ecology, conservation, macroevolution, bio-/geography, or biological informatics, combined with experience in spatial biodiversity analysis and inference. The preferred candidate will have a deep understanding of this species group, a passion for advancing its spatial knowledge base, a strong interest in the model-based integration of large, disparate biodiversity data, a dedication toward conscientious work in a team, attention to detail, and strong communication skills. Particularly welcome is an ability to traverse ecological, evolutionary, and conservation perspectives and to address processes at different spatial and temporal scales. We expect strong analysis and scientific writing skills. Experience in several s cripting languages, database management, taxonomic name management, remote sensing, and/or biodiversity informatics are highly welcome.
   
    The position offers broad thematic flexibility, and focal research questions may be macroecological, conservation-focused, biogeographical, macroevolutionary, or comparative. We ask candidates to briefly describe their preferred thematic interest in the cover letter.
   
    We strongly encourage applications from women and minorities. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values in our group, and we believe that a diverse team will enable a broader perspective and enhance creativity.
   
    The Yale BGC Center connects biodiversity scientists from across campus and hosts a range of speaker and workshop events. It supports research and training around the use of new technologies and data flows for model-based inference and prediction of biodiversity distributions and changes at large spatial and taxonomic scales. Flagship Center projects include Map of Life and activities supporting the Half-Earth Map and the development of the GEO BON Species Population Essential Biodiversity Variables. Other initiatives associated with the Center include the integration of macroevolutionary and biogeographic inference (e.g., VertLife, ButterflyNet), NASA-supported remote sensing-informed layers and tools for biodiversity modelling (EarthEnv), the Max Planck-Yale Center on Biodiversity Movement and Global Change, and the Wildlife Insights initiative for camera trapping data.
   
    Yale University offers researchers and staff competitive salaries and a generous package of benefits. Yale has a thriving and growing community of young scholars in ecology, evolution and global change science in the EEB Department, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, the Peabody Museum, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. New Haven is renowned for its classic Ivy League setting, 75 miles northeast of New York City. To apply please send, in one pdf, a short motivation (i.e. cover) letter, CV and names and contact information for three referees to anna.schuerkmann@yale.edu, subject « BGC Postdoc – Bees ». Review of applications will begin on 9 December 2019 and continue until the position is filled.
   
    ———-
 POSTDOC IN BEE POPULATION GENETICS/GENOMICS, UNI HALLE, GERMANY
   
    A research scientist/assistant professor is sought for a ‘TV-L 13’ position (reference No. 5-14238/19-H) to join the Paxton lab at the University of Halle, Germany. Broad research themes of the group are host-parasite interactions, pollination ecology and social evolution: http://www.zoologie.uni-halle.de/allgemeine_zoologie/research/
   
    The group’s taxonomic focus is on insects, particularly bees. It draws heavily on molecular genetics, and research infrastructure is excellent. We seek a highly motivated individual with strong quantitative skills who can work independently to develop a research program in population genetics/genomics and contribute to teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels within general zoology. Note that German language skills are required for teaching, though the lab language is English.
   
    Halle is a delightful, historic city of a quarter million people with a large, research-intensive university situated 260 km southwest of Berlin and 40 km from Leipzig. You will be a member of a supportive and dynamic group that interacts closely within and outside the university, including with the DFG-funded biodiversity center iDIV: http://www.idiv-biodiversity.de/idiv-global/?lang=en which is a collaboration of the universities of Halle, Leipzig and Jena.
   
    Applicants must hold a university doctoral degree in biology/population genetics/genomics or a related discipline. Familiarity with insect ecological techniques and data analysis is preferable. Applicants should have a proven track record in publishing high quality scientific papers. Experience in writing grant applications and past success in attracting research funding is of advantage. Knowledge of German is essential for teaching, though the working language of the group is English,. The position is fixed term, initially for 3 years, commencing 1 February 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter, with the possibility of extension for a further 3 years. The salary is at the German standard postdoctoral rate (TV-L 13, 100%). The University of Halle is an equal opportunity employer.
   
    Further details of the position can be obtained from Robert Paxton (email below), to whom applications should be emailed as a single pdf file, to include (i) a letter of motivation, (ii) cv, (iii) list of publications, (iv) list of externally acquired funds, (v) a single page on research achievements and future plans, and (vi) contact details of three referees, by 20 December 2019. Interviews are scheduled for mid-January 2020.
   
    Prof. Robert Paxton
    General Zoology/Institute of Biology
    Uni. Halle, Hoher Weg 8
    D-06120 Halle/Saale
    Germany
    Tel.: +49-345-5526500
    Email: robert.paxton@zoologie.uni-halle.de
   
    ———-
 POSTDOC: COMPARATIVE GENOMICS OF 100 ANT SPECIES, COPENHAGEN
   
    A three-year postdoc position is available at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen.
   
    We are looking for a highly motivated researcher for a three-year postdoc position in comparative genomics. The position will be hosted in Villum Centre for Biodiversity Genomics (http://zhanggjlab.org) and will start from 1st May 2020. The deadline of the application is at 31st December 2019.
   
    Project description
    The Global Ant Genomics Consortium (http://antgenomics.dk/) aims to sequence high quality reference genomes for ca. 200 ant species covering the major diversity of Formicidae family. We expect to finish the first 100 genomes by 1st May 2020 and will start organizing the first pilot comparative genomics analyses. All the genomes have been assembled with PacBio long reads and HiC sequencing, thus will be in near chromosome level. This project will perform the comparative genomics analyses with the first 100 ant genomes to reconstruct ant phylogeny and to reveal the genomic changes associated with the evolution of ant social structure, behavior, and lineage-specialized adaptation.


   
    General job description
    * Independently carry out the comparative genomics analyses
    * Coordinate analyses together with other collaborators
    * Limited participation in teaching and dissemination activities of the Centre
   
    Required qualifications
    * A PhD degree within computational biology, ecology and evolution, genomics
    * or related fields
    * Highly experienced on comparative genomics and transcriptomics
    * A convincing publication track record
    * An active interest in insects or ant evolution
    * Fluent spoken and written English
    * Excellent communication skill and ability to work in teams
    * Have experience in working independently and coordinating with other teams
   
    For further employment details, and to apply, please visit: https://candidate.hr-manager.net/ApplicationInit.aspx/?cid=1307&departmentId=18965&ProjectId=150713


   
    Deadline for applications is 31 December 2019
   
    Inquiries about the position can be made to Professor Guojie Zhang; email guojie.zhang@bio.ku.dk.
   
    ———-
 2 PhD POSITIONS: SOCIAL INSECTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE, ABERDEEN
   
    Two PhD positions to work on social insects are available in the Lab of Functional Genomics & Sociobiology at the University of Aberdeen, under the supervision of Dr Fabio Manfredini.
   
    The first position deals with the « Origin and maintenance of plasticity in response to thermal stress in invasive and declining ants ». This is a 4 year PhD project, part of a competition funded by EASTBIO BBSRC DTP and in collaboration with Dr Lesley Lancaster (University of Aberdeen), Dr Jenni Stockan (The James Hutton Institute) and Dr Nathan Bailey (Univeristy of St Andrews). The deadline for application is Sunday, January 05, 2020.
   
    The second project instead will investigate « The cost of being a fussy eater – Oligolectic pollinators and environmental change ». This is a 3.5 years project, part of a competition funded by QUADRAT NERC DTP and in collaboration with Dr Lorraine Scott (Queen’s Univeristy Belfast). The deadline for application is Friday, January 24, 2020.
   
    You can find full details about the two projects and how to apply here: https://fmanfredini79.wixsite.com/manfredini/functional-genomics-sociobiology
    Or you can contact Dr Fabio Manfredini directly if you have any question: Email fmanfredini79@gmail.com, Twitter @fmanfredini79
   
    ———-
 GRADUATE POSITION:BEE GENOMICS, HULL
   
    Ecosystem stability and global food security depend upon healthy populations of bees, our foremost pollinators. Bees provide pollination services worth hundreds of billions of pounds annually. Honeybees and bumblebees are our most important managed pollinators, but the UK is home to ~245 species of wild solitary bees which collectively perform most pollination.
   
    Unfortunately, bee populations are declining, with multiple causes. Key to bee survival and fitness is nutrition; all bees feed offspring with pollen gathered from the landscape. But human influences such as agricultural intensification are altering nutritional landscapes for bees [3,4], and fundamentally affecting gene expression, growth and reproduction. Most of what we know about bee nutrition comes from studies in social bees like honeybees or bumblebees [5,6], where nutrition influences caste determination, development, pathogen resistance and others. However, the nutritional ecology of other bees, particularly solitary bees, is largely unstudied. Unless these bees can detect and respond to changes in nutritional landscapes, their fitness will be reduced « V a scenario we term a « nutritional trap ».
   
    Human activity is also changing climates and raising average temperatures. Temperature affects animals’ metabolic rate, physiology, digestion, and nutrient assimilation, as well as gene expression. Dr Gilbert’s recent work [7] has identified the need to store enough carbohydrate and fat to survive the winter as potentially critical for solitary bees’ nutritional ecology. But we know little about how this is regulated, how climate change will affect bees, and how bees will deal with changing nutritional landscapes in a future filled with uncertainty.
   
    We are now, for the first time, in a position to understand not just whether but also how different nutritional landscapes and climates affect bees. This exciting cross-institutional project combines field ecology with cutting edge molecular approaches to address a crucial knowledge gap about how bees are being affected by human-altered nutritional landscapes. This project addresses issues relevant for pure ecological science, conservation biology, agriculture and crop science. At Hull, Dr Gilbert »¦s lab has pioneered rearing protocols for the economically and ecologically important solitary bee, Osmia bicornis. This work is providing an unprecedented window onto bee nutritional ecology. At Leeds, Dr Duncan »¦s lab uses a variety of cutting-edge molecular tools to understand how bees are influenced by their environment. Dr Duncan has conducted groundbreaking work on how nutrition affects gene expression in developing bees, as well as recent work on the environmental and molecular control of reproduction in O. bicornis. The student will capitalise on this timely opportunity to synthesize the research interests of these two research groups and create collaborative links between institutions. The candidate will be integrated into both lab groups and will benefit from the infrastructure and connections at both universities.
   
    Differences in larval nutrition in the honeybee results in gene expression changes and ultimately adult bees with different reproductive potential and lifespan. Using careful manipulations within controlled laboratory environments, the student will first establish how dietary macronutrients affect the fitness of solitary bee larvae in response to changes in rearing temperature. Then, they will use high-throughput sequencing technology to examine genome-wide expression profiles of larvae receiving different diet and temperature treatments, to understand the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying bees »¦ responses to landscape and climate change. Nutritional cues are known to alter gene expression [8], but to date studies have focussed largely on a few genes, and only in honeybees. The student will compare larvae receiving different treatments in (1) choices larvae make about which nutrients to consume, (2) correlates of fitness such as body size and overwinter survival, and (3) expression of growth- versus diapause-related genes. Outcomes: The findings will, firstly, shed light on the optimal nutrition for bees « V both currently, and in a warmer future. They will help inform active measures such as wildflower strips to conserve and promote these vital pollinators as the climate changes. Secondly, results will also show the physiological effects of different nutritional landscapes upon bees, now and in the future, allowing us a detailed understanding of the resilience of solitary bees to landscape change in a changing climate. Finally, the results will provide comparisons and contrasts with existing knowledge of social bee gene expression, physiology and nutrigenomics, providing unparalleled insights into bee nutritional ecology.
   
    References:
    1. Coley P, et al. Oecologia. 2002;133: 62″V69.
    2. Rothman JM, et al. Ecology. 2015;96: 873″V878.
    3. Naug D. Biol Conserv. 2009;142: 2369″V2372.
    4. Donkersley P, et al. Ecol Evol. 2014;4: 4195″V4206.
    5. Paoli PP, et al. Amino Acids. 2014;46: 1449″V1458.
    6. Helm BR, et al. Biol Open. 2017;6: 872″V880.
    7. Austin AJ, Gilbert JDJ. bioRxiv. 2018; https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/397802v1.abstract
    8. Di Pasquale G, et al. PLoS One. 2013;8: e72016.
   
    For details please contact Dr James Gilbert (james.gilbert@hull.ac.uk).
    To apply, and for more details:
    https://panorama-dtp.ac.uk/research/nutrigenomics-and-the-resilience-of-bees-in-a-changing-climate/
    Deadline: 6 Jan 2020
    Eligibility: UK and EU students only
    Funding: UK (NERC, Competition-funded)
   
    ———-
 2 PhD STUDENTSHIPS: THE ECOLOGY OF BEES ON A CHANGING PLANET, IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON
   
    1. CONTEXT DEPENDENCE OF DISEASE SPREAD AND VIRULENCE IN A POLLINATOR SYSTEM
    Supervisors: Peter Graystock, Sophie Evison & Richard Gill (secured funding)
    Deadline 13 January 2020
   
    In host-parasite coevolution, the Red Queen hypothesis states that the contest between host and parasite drives continuous adaptation to counter the ever-evolving opposition. Understanding this dynamic is made more complex when external forces intervene to change the environment, particularly anthropogenic activities and the rates at which they occur. The Melissococcus plutonius bacteria is known to be common in honey bees, often without influencing host health. However, unknown triggers can cause this bacteria to express a harmful and often deadly disease known as European foul brood (EFB). This globally distributed disease causes significant damage to the beekeeping industry, and in the UK, EFB is one of only two microbial bee diseases considered so harmful that positive detection requires immediate notification to the authorities. Yet despite the impact of this disease, we currently have little understanding as to what stressors influence the severity and spread of this disease, and if human practices such as land-use change or pesticide application could be influencing the delicate host-parasite interaction.
   
    The student will explore the mechanism behind transmission of the causal bacteria of the disease (Melissococcus plutonius), before determining if key stressors (Land and pesticide use) influence the severity of the disease. This directly-funded studentship will employ a suite of cutting-edge scientific techniques to address questions on what modulates the transmission and virulence of this disease. The project will add substantially to our understanding of the vulnerability of bees to this significantly destructive disease and the results will facilitate the formation of evidence-led disease management strategies. The student will gain a set of interdisciplinary skills including field work, next generation DNA sequencing and bioinformatics, pesticide residue analysis, microbiology and honeybee keeping. The student will gain training and collaboration from leading scientists including supervisor Dr Peter Graystock (Imperial College London), Dr Richard Gill (Imperial College London), and Dr Sophie Evison (University of Nottingham), plus assistance from the National Bee Unit/Defra.
    https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/the-context-dependence-of-disease-spread-and-virulence-in-a-pollinator-system/?p114278


   
    2. ARCTICBUZZ: STUDYING POPULATION DYNAMICS TO UNDERSTAND THE EVOLUTION OF PLANT-POLLINATOR NETWORKS UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE
    Supervisors: Richard Gill, Jacob Johansson & Keith Larson (competitively funded)
    Deadline 6 January 2020
   
    To date our understanding of how insect pollinator declines are influenced by climate change remains limited. For instance, why have some species shown evidence of latitudinal range shifts in apparent response to climate change when others have not? To address this type of question requires us to understand the eco-evolutionary processes by which insect pollinator populations and their host plants are dynamically responding and how this translates to long term changes in the structure of plant-pollinator networks under climate change. Taking a population biology approach, this project will look to understand how bumblebee populations and host plant visitations have changed over the past 50 years for an Arctic bumblebee community in Lapland, Sweden. This will involve understanding how preceding climatic condition has affected population demography of each of 13 species of bumblebee. The study will reveal changes on population trait frequencies over space and time and how resource competition is determined through adaptations to temperature extremes to predict plant-pollinator network structure and the potential for species invasions. Looking at intra- and interannual population and community turnover of the bumblebees and their host plants we will look to inform predictive models under warming scenarios and identify early warning signs of climate change impacts. Furthermore, this project will reveal the spatio-temporal variation (non-static) in the bumblebee-plant visitation network to reveal how resistant and resilient the mutualistic interaction network is to climate change.
   
    The project takes advantage of a unique phenology transect established over a century ago allowing us to compare past data on bumblebee/plant community composition and phenology with contemporary data spanning the major warming over the last five decades. The transect runs along an altitudinal gradient on Mount Nuolja, Abisko, providing a thermal cline with the study taking a space-for-time substitution approach. The student will become experienced in using a number of interdisciplinary techniques, including a variety of fieldwork skills, bee and plant taxonomic identification, molecular methods in DNA barcoding and population genetics, studying bee thermal profiling, managing and analysing big data, skills in ecological network construction, statistics and developing mathematical models to understand extinction vulnerability. The project will involve a significant amount of fieldwork in the Arctic and will require the candidate to be relatively physically fit. This interdisciplinary project will also benefit from co-supervision & collaboration from a number of world-leading scientists, including: Jacob Johansson (Imperial College and Lund University, Sweden); Keith Larson (Umea University, Sweden); Jason Tylianakis (Canterbury University, NZ), Andrew MacDougal (University of Guelph, Canada); Emily Baird (Stockholm University (Sweden).
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Js8pH_9LCJz6pUCkrz97fpSquk73JmKs/view


   
    Where will the PhDs be based?
    The students will based at the Silwood Park campus of Imperial College and hosted by the Gill lab that is well equipped to study bee evolution and ecology. The student will be surrounded by world leading researchers in the disciplines of ecology, evolution and conservation. Facilities include >100 hectares of field site, new controlled environment rooms, microbiology facility, labs tailored for bee research and spacious workspace.
   
    How to apply
    Please send your CV, a one page cover letter explaining why you are suitable for the project, and the names and e-mail addresses of two referees to Dr Peter Graystock p.graystock@imperial.ac.uk by 13th January 2020 for honeybee EFB studentship or Dr Richard Gill r.gill@imperial.ac.uk by 6th January 2020 for ArcticBuzz studentship. Informal enquiries for either are welcomed.
   
    Student eligibility
    Honeybee EFB studentship has secured funding by the CB Dennis British Beekeepers Research Trust and Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd. Applicants should have, or be about to obtain, a Masters qualification and have a 2.1 or higher undergraduate degree in Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Microbiology or similar. Exceptional students at Bachelors level without a Masters will also be considered. Open to UK and EU citizens or applicants with Settled status in the UK. The project will start in September 2020.
   
    ArcticBuzz studentship is competitively funded by NERC. Applicants should have, or be about to obtain, a Masters qualification and have a 2.1 or higher undergraduate degree in Biology, Ecology, Evolution or similar. To be eligible for a full award they must have either British Citizenship, or Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay, or been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship – (For non-EU citizens, this must not have been in full time education.). This does not apply to UK nationals.
   
    ———-
 PhD: HARD-WIRED FOR SUCCESS? UNRAVELLING GENOMIC SIGNATURES IN POLLINATORS, PLYMOUTH AND THE EARLHAM INSTITUTE, UK
   
    Key information:
    This project has been shortlisted for funding by the ARIES NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, and will involve attendance at mandatory training events throughout the course of the PhD. Successful candidates who meet UKRI’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship – UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a full award. This studentship will start on 1st October 2020, and the closing date for applications is 12:00 on 7th January 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on 18/19 February 2020.
   
    For further information, please contact Mairi Knight: mairi.knight@plymouth.ac.uk
   
    Background:
    Many pollinator species, recognised as essential for ecosystem function, are undergoing rapid declines. One recent exception is the ‘Tree Bumblebee’ Bombus hypnorum: expanding its range into and across the UK in <20 years, it is now one of our most common species.
   
    Building on previous work from the supervisory team, and in collaboration with the Earlham Institute, this project will investigate key genomic differences between this and other bumblebee (Bombus) species to substantially improve our understanding of the factors contributing to its success, along with the declines of others. The project’s focus is a genomic comparison of Bombus species from within the UK and continental Europe. Initial work has identified genomic regions of interest in B. hypnorum that may be indicative of its ability to adapt to anthropogenically altered landscapes. However, current data are preliminary and lack essential phylogenetic comparison.
   
    Methodology:
    This is a timely and exciting opportunity to generate a highly novel, and substantial, genomic dataset to test hypotheses as to whether the observed genomic differences are unique to B. hypnorum, or shared among Bombus species (some evidence suggests elevated resilience in the wider Pyrobombus sub-genus). In addition to fulfilling the specific aims, the data generated will offer the student significant scope to guide the project’s further direction through characterisation of genomic signatures and differences across this important pollinator group.
   
    Training
    The project will equip the successful student with state-of-the-art genomic techniques as well as bioinformatic and modelling skills that are highly transferable and increasingly essential across a wide range of academic and applied biological disciplines. The student will also gain important soft skills (e.g. communication, team working, problem solving). He/she will be based in Plymouth, spending short periods at the other Institutions as relevant.
   
    Person Specification
    The successful candidate will have a biology-based degree, an academic interest in evolutionary ecology, and be enthusiastic about pursuing a laboratory- and computer-based project. Ideally, he/she will have some basic molecular ecology experience (e.g. DNA extraction, PCR) and interest in genetic and evolutionary analysis. Experience of genome sequencing and bioinformatics is not essential as full training will be provided.
   
    Dr Mairi Knight
    mairi.knight@plymouth.ac.uk
    School of Biological and Marine Sciences
    University of Plymouth
    Plymouth
    PL4 8AA
    UK
   
    ———-
 PhD: ANTS AS ECOSYSTEM ENGINEERS, YORK
   
    PhD: Ants as ecosystem engineers: the interaction between niche construction and land management, University of York, UK
   
    We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious student to develop a novel project that will use applied field experiments to quantify the relationship between meadow ants and management regimes, and how these together
    affect biodiversity and soil function. The ideal candidate will enjoy interacting with academics and stakeholders from a range of backgrounds and want to apply their scientific training to an important applied question.
   
    Ants act as effective geoengineers, increasing habitat heterogeneity and constructing niches. Yellow meadow ants, Lasius flavus, were historically common on pastures. These ants promote biodiversity, for example they
    increase floral species richness because the ant mound soil differs from surrounding areas. Many modern farming practices reduce or eliminate their populations.
   
    Belton House, a National Trust property including 650 hectares of historic (Grade 1 Registered) wood pasture parkland, which is a UK priority habitat, has areas hosting an unusually high density of meadow ants, but also other areas where they are entirely absent. Previous management of the site has resulted in some areas suffering from over-grazing and soil compaction. The study site is undergoing a period of management change, to a more biodiversity-friendly approach of mixed and lighter grazing. Despite the known importance of ants within the soil ecosystems, very little is known about how the ecosystem impacts of meadow ants are mediated, and how these impacts interact with past and present pasture management practices. The collaboration with CASE partner The National Trust provides the opportunity to carry out controlled experiments, altering management to assess impact on ant populations, and altering ant populations to assess impact on ecosystem composition and function.
   
    This project will be supervised by Elva Robinson (ant behavioural ecologist, University of York), Kelly Redeker (soil biogeochemist, University of York) and Carl Hawke (Nature Conservation Advisor, The National Trust). This is a NERC ACCE DTP studentship. Eligibility: UK/EU applicants only.
   
    Closing date for applications: 8 January 2020
   
    More information:
    https://www.york.ac.uk/biology/postgraduate/research/funding/funded-studentships/


    https://www.york.ac.uk/biology/postgraduate/nercdtp 
    Contact: elva.robinson@york.ac.uk
   
    ———-
 GRADUATE OPPORTUNITIES IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, HOUSTON
   
    The Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston (UH) welcomes applications for its graduate program in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology for Fall 2020.  The following faculty in the areas of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology have opportunities available for their labs:
   
    Alex Stewart (astewar6@central.uh.edu): Mathematical biology
    Blaine Cole (bcole@uh.edu): Evolution and social behavior
    Dan Graur (dgraur@uh.edu): Molecular evolutionary bioinformatics
    Diane Wiernasz (dwiernasz@uh.edu): Sexual selection
    Erin Kelleher (eskelleher@uh.edu): Evolutionary genetics and genomics
    Kerri Crawford (kmcrawford3@uh.edu): Community ecology
    Rebecca Zufall (rzufall@uh.edu): Evolutionary genetics
    Ricardo Azevedo (razevedo@uh.edu): Evolutionary genetics
    Rich Meisel (rpmeisel@uh.edu): Evolutionary genetics and genomics
    Steve Pennings (spennings@uh.edu): Community ecology
    Tony Frankino (frankino@uh.edu): Evolution of complex traits
   
    If you are interested, you should look at the relevant faculty members’ web sites and then contact them directly for more information:
    http://www.uh.edu/nsm/biology-biochemistry/people/faculty/faculty-alpha/


   
    For more information regarding the Evolutionary Biology and Ecology graduate program at UH see:
    http://www.bchs.uh.edu/graduate/prospective-students/


    http://www.uh.edu/graduate-school/prospective-students/how-to-apply/


   
    If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact: Ms. Rosezelia Jackson (biograd@central.uh.edu)
   
    The early deadline for application of prospective students is February 1st, 2020.  Evaluation will continue after that date, but students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Offre de thèse : University of Konstanz, Germany

A fully funded position is available to study the social regulation of stinging behaviour of honeybees. Honeybees defend their nest against large predators thanks to a collective effort to harass and sting the intruder. The stinger apparatus has evolved to detach upon stinging elastic skin (such as ours) to maximize venom delivery, but the drawback is that the mutilated bee then dies within a few hours. Thus, the colony under threat must achieve a delicate balance: enough bees need to respond that the intruder is successfully deterred, but without unnecessarily depleting the colony of its workforce. The aim of this project is to understand how this balance is reached. In particular, it focuses on how each individual bee takes the decision to attack or not, depending on the social information that it receives. We aim for an integrative approach, ranging from behavioural experiments and modelling to neuroanatomy and pharmacology.

For more information, please visit https://www.social-neuroethology.com/open-positions/ or contact Morgane Nouvian – morgane.nouvian@uni-konstanz.de

 

Offre de stage : Effet du gradient de fermeture du milieu sur les communautés d’abeilles sauvages dans les ENS de l’Hérault (34)

Contexte et problématique
La pollinisation connait une crise mondiale, qui concerne à la fois les abeilles domestiques et sauvages, ainsi que l’ensemble des insectes pollinisateurs. Les problèmes de la filière apicole a permis de sensibiliser plus largement le grand public au déclin de l’ensemble des insectes pollinisateurs. Ce déclin pose problème à la fois du fait de la contribution notable de ces insectes pour la pollinisation des cultures agricoles, mais aussi en raison de leur rôle crucial pour la pollinisation en général et la conservation des espèces végétales sauvages. Les insectes pollinisateurs sauvages sont plus efficaces et contribuent plus largement à la pollinisation que la seule abeille domestique et le service écosystémique qu’ils rendent n’est pas compensable par la seule apiculture. La prise de conscience mondiale des insuffisances de pollinisation n’a qu’une quinzaine d’années, mais l’ampleur du problème et sa forte médiatisation expliquent la diffusion rapide et large de cette nouvelle préoccupation. Cette situation explique le contexte général, caractérisé par sa perception par le grand public, son appropriation par les ONG environnementales et la recherche scientifique autour des questions de pollinisation.
Á l’échelle du territoire français, il n’existe pas d’études de ce déclin sur l’ensemble des pollinisateurs ; cependant, il existe plusieurs indices d’un déclin similaire des pollinisateurs (bourdons, papillons…), surtout dans les zones d’agriculture intensive. C’est en 2016 que le MEED (Ministère de l’Environnement, de l’Énergie et de la Mer) a mis en place un Plan National d’Action (PNA) pour les pollinisateurs intitulé « France, terre de pollinisateurs ». Ce PNA établit clairement que les enjeux de la conservation des insectes pollinisateurs sont majeurs et qu’ils concernent à la fois 1) la préservation de la biodiversité via les services indispensables aux équilibres écosystémiques, et 2) la préservation de la diversité des ressources alimentaires des populations humaines. Ce PNA a également établi la liste de l’ensemble des connaissances à acquérir et à consolider pour agir efficacement, et insiste sur l’action nécessaire de formation et de sensibilisation ainsi que sur l’intérêt de proposer des actions de gestion et de conservation des pollinisateurs. Il est donc urgent de mieux connaitre les pollinisateurs, les facteurs influençant leur présence comme les ressources florales et l’efficacité des mesures de gestion menées en leur faveur.

Objectifs du stage
C’est dans ce contexte que le département de l’Hérault a décidé de mettre en place des actions de gestion en faveur des insectes pollinisateurs et de soutenir des actions de recherche pour mieux comprendre les facteurs environnementaux favorisant leur présence. Ce département est situé en zone méditerranéenne et caractérisé par une diversité d’habitats allant des plages du littoral aux pelouses dolomitiques du Causse du Larzac en passant par les garrigues. Ce département est aussi marqué par une fermeture progressive du paysage par un embroussaillement menant au stade forestier du fait de l’exode rural d’après-guerre. Cependant, l’impact de cette fermeture du paysage sur les communautés d’abeilles sauvages reste mal connu, en particulier en zone méditerranéenne. Dans le cadre de sa politique de conservation des secteurs remarquables de son territoire, ce département a aussi la particularité d’avoir de nombreux Espaces Naturels Sensibles (ENS) et donc de pouvoir mener des actions de conservation en faveur de la biodiversité.
Ce cadre local explique pourquoi l’objectif de ce stage de master sera de caractériser les communautés d’abeilles sauvages le long de gradient de fermeture du paysage, en distinguant des stades herbacés, arbustifs et forestiers. Cette caractérisation sera réalisée dans trois ENS de l’Hérault par capture à la fois au filet et en pièges passifs à différents moments de l’année. Il est envisagé de tester trois types de gradients selon l’espèce forestière dominante, avec surement une forêt de chêne blanc, une de chêne vert et une de résineux (pin d’Alep ou pin noir). De plus, chaque abeille sera associée à l’identification de la plante où elle a été capturée de façon à pouvoir construire le réseau d’interaction plantes-pollinisateurs, et à déterminer les caractères floraux (nectar, morphologie, couleur, odeur…) et les facteurs environnementaux favorisant l’attraction des pollinisateurs. Grâce à une formation à l’identification des abeilles sauvages prévue en début du stage, les abeilles capturées devront être préparées et identifiées au genre pour faciliter l’identification à l’espèce par un expert. Les futurs résultats seront publiables car ils amélioreront la connaissance des abeilles sauvages de ce département et auront des implications sur les futures mesures de gestion en faveur des insectes pollinisateurs.

Profil recherché
• Master 2
• Intérêt pour la démarche scientifique et pour ses applications opérationnelles en conservation
• Intérêt pour les relations plantes-insectes
• Connaissance de la flore méditerranéenne et intérêt pour les abeilles sauvages
• Curiosité, adaptation et rigueur d’analyse pour recueillir et exploiter des données
• Autonomie sur le terrain, initiatives et capacité de travail en équipe
• Capacités relationnelles et rédactionnelles
Conditions
• Lieu : stage basé à Montpellier (laboratoire CEFE)
• Encadrement : Bertrand Schatz (CNRS, CEFE)
• Durée : 6 mois à partir de Février-Mars 2020
• Gratification de stage selon la règlementation
• Voiture personnelle (remboursement des frais) pour les déplacements dans l’Hérault.
• Permis voiture indispensable, véhicule personnel recommandé.

Si ce stage vous intéresse, merci d’envoyer rapidement votre candidature (lettre de motivation + CV) à Bertrand Schatz bertrand.schatz@cefe.cnrs.fr

Offre de stage : University of Hull – BeeGenomics

For details please contact Dr James Gilbert (james.gilbert@hull.ac.uk).

To apply, and for more details:

https://panorama-dtp.ac.uk/research/nutrigenomics-and-the-resilience-of-bees-in-a-changing-climate/

Deadline: 6 Jan 2020

Eligibility: UK and EU students only

Funding: UK (NERC, Competition-funded)

 

Ecosystem stability and global food security depend upon healthy populations of bees, our foremost pollinators. Bees provide pollination services worth hundreds of billions of pounds annually. Honeybees and bumblebees are our most important managed pollinators, but the UK is home to ~245 species of wild solitary bees which collectively perform most pollination.

 

Unfortunately, bee populations are declining, with multiple causes. Key to bee survival and fitness is nutrition; all bees feed offspring with pollen gathered from the landscape. But human influences such as agricultural intensification are altering nutritional landscapes for bees [3,4], and fundamentally affecting gene expression, growth and reproduction. Most of what we know about bee nutrition comes from studies in social bees like honeybees or bumblebees [5,6], where nutrition influences caste determination, development, pathogen resistance and others. However, the nutritional ecology of other bees, particularly solitary bees, is largely unstudied. Unless these bees can detect and respond to changes in nutritional landscapes, their fitness will be reduced ¡V a scenario we term a ¡§nutritional trap¡¨.

 

Human activity is also changing climates and raising average temperatures. Temperature affects animals¡¦ metabolic rate, physiology, digestion, and nutrient assimilation, as well as gene expression. Dr Gilbert¡¦s recent work [7] has identified the need to store enough carbohydrate and fat to survive the winter as potentially critical for solitary bees¡¦ nutritional ecology. But we know little about how this is regulated, how climate change will affect bees, and how bees will deal with changing nutritional landscapes in a future filled with uncertainty.

 

We are now, for the first time, in a position to understand not just whether but also how different nutritional landscapes and climates affect bees. This exciting cross-institutional project combines field ecology with cutting edge molecular approaches to address a crucial knowledge gap about how bees are being affected by human-altered nutritional landscapes. This project addresses issues relevant for pure ecological science, conservation biology, agriculture and crop science.  At Hull, Dr Gilbert¡¦s lab has pioneered rearing protocols for the economically and ecologically important solitary bee, Osmia bicornis. This work is providing an unprecedented window onto bee nutritional ecology. At Leeds, Dr Duncan¡¦s lab uses a variety of cutting-edge molecular tools to understand how bees are influenced by their environment. Dr Duncan has conducted groundbreaking work on how nutrition affects gene expression in developing bees, as well as recent work on the environmental and molecular control of reproduction in O. bicornis. The student will capitalise on this timely opportunity to synthesize the research interests of these two research groups and create collaborative links between institutions. The candidate will be integrated into both lab groups and will benefit from the infrastructure and connections at both universities.

 

Differences in larval nutrition in the honeybee results in gene expression changes and ultimately adult bees with different reproductive potential and lifespan. Using careful manipulations within controlled laboratory environments, the student will first establish how dietary macronutrients affect the fitness of solitary bee larvae in response to changes in rearing temperature. Then, they will use high-throughput sequencing technology to examine genome-wide expression profiles of larvae receiving different diet and temperature treatments, to understand the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying bees¡¦ responses to landscape and climate change. Nutritional cues are known to alter gene expression [8], but to date, studies have focussed largely on a few genes, and only in honeybees. The student will compare larvae receiving different treatments in (1) choices larvae make about which nutrients to consume,

(2) correlates of fitness such as body size and overwinter survival, and (3) expression of growth- versus diapause-related genes.  Outcomes:

The findings will, firstly, shed light on the optimal nutrition for bees ¡V both currently, and in a warmer future. They will help inform active measures such as wildflower strips to conserve and promote these vital pollinators as the climate changes. Secondly, results will also show the physiological effects of different nutritional landscapes upon bees, now and in the future, allowing us a detailed understanding of the resilience of solitary bees to landscape change in a changing climate. Finally, the results will provide comparisons and contrast with existing knowledge of social bee gene expression, physiology and nutrigenomics, providing unparalleled insights into bee nutritional ecology.

 

References:

  1. Coley P, et al. Oecologia. 2002;133: 62¡V69.
  2. Rothman JM, et al. Ecology. 2015;96: 873¡V878.
  3. Naug D. Biol Conserv. 2009;142: 2369¡V2372.
  4. Donkersley P, et al. Ecol Evol. 2014;4: 4195¡V4206.
  5. Paoli PP, et al. Amino Acids. 2014;46: 1449¡V1458.
  6. Helm BR, et al. Biol Open. 2017;6: 872¡V880.
  7. Austin AJ, Gilbert JDJ. bioRxiv. 2018;

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/397802v1.abstract

  1. Di Pasquale G, et al. PLoS One. 2013;8: e72016.

 

Dr James Gilbert | +44 1482 465486 | james.gilbert@hull.ac.uk | jdjgilbert.wordpress.com Lecturer & Programme Director for Zoology, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull, Cottingham Rd, Hull HU6 7RX | *I work from home on Thursdays* « I am dying by inches, for lack of anyone to talk to about insects.. » Darwin, diary entry

 

James D Gilbert <James.Gilbert@hull.ac.uk>

Offre de thèse : Origin and maintenance of plasticity in response to thermal stress in invasive and declining ants

PhD position to work on social insects is available in the Lab of Functional Genomics & Sociobiology at the University of Aberdeen, under the supervision of Dr Fabio Manfredini.

« Origin and maintenance of plasticity in response to thermal stress in invasive and declining ants ».

This is a 4 year PhD project, part of a competition funded byEASTBIO BBSRC DTPand in collaboration withDr Lesley Lancaster(University of Aberdeen),Dr JenniStockan(The James Hutton Institute) andDr Nathan Bailey(Univeristy of St Andrews). The deadline for application is Sunday, January 05, 2020.

You can find full details and how to apply here:

https://fmanfredini79.wixsite.com/manfredini/functional-genomics-sociobiology

Or you can contact Dr Fabio Manfredini directly if you have any question:

Email fmanfredini79@gmail.com, Twitter@fmanfredini79

 

 

Fabio Manfredini (BSc; MSc, PhD)

 

Postdoctoral Research Associate

School of Biological Sciences

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Royal Holloway, University of London

Egham, TW20 0EX

 

Cell.: +44 07852416104

e-Mail: fabio.manfredini@rhul.ac.uk

Skype: fabio.manfredini2

Webpage: www.fmanfredini79.wixsite.com/manfredini

 

Fabio Manfredini <fmanfredini79@gmail.com>

Offre de thèse : Ageing in social animals

PhD: AGEING IN SOCIAL ANIMALS, UEA

 

PHD STUDENTSHIP OPPORTUNITY: The ageing bee: how does sociality affect ageing in social animals?

PhD to study sociality and ageing in bumble bees at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Supervisors: Andrew Bourke (a.bourke@uea.ac.uk), Alex Maklakov, Tracey Chapman (all UEA)

 

Closing date for applications: TUESDAY 7 JANUARY 2020

 

A PhD studentship to start in October 2020 is now open for applications. Using the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, the student will employ experimental and genetic methods to test whether, in social organisms, longevity and ageing depend primarily on properties of the individual or group. Applicants will be competitively selected for funding of the studentship by the ARIES NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (https://www.aries-dtp.ac.uk/).

 

For further details of the project (BOURKEUBIO20ARIES) and instructions on how to apply, see: https://www.aries-dtp.ac.uk/studentships/bourke/

Posted 13/11/2019

 

Offre de stage : Ant gene evolution

GRADUATE POSITION: ANT GENE EVOLUTION, FLORIDA

 

Interested in Genetic and Epigenetic Basis of Social Evolution? Apply for Graduate School at the University of Florida (UF)

The Yan Lab in the UF Biology is seeking graduate researchers to study how evolutionary expansion of receptor genes and diversity of sensory neurons in ants regulate their social communication and interaction with ecological environment, as well as how behavioral plasticity and reproductive longevity were evolved in eusocial insects.

Information on Dr. Yans research and articles can be found: https://biology.ufl.edu/hua-yan/ www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28802043(Odorant Receptor) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25200663(Behavioral Epigenetics)

 

Interested students are strongly recommended to apply for the graduate school at the University of Florida for Fall 2020. The deadline for applications to UF Biology is December 1. If you are interested, please contact me via email: hua.yan@ufl.edu

 

More information can be found at the website: https://biology.ufl.edu/graduate/application/

 

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution. Individuals from under-represented groups in STEM are particularly encouraged to apply.

 

Hua Yan, Ph.D.

Department of Biology,University of Florida

882 Newell Dr., 511 Carr Hall

PO Box 118525

Gainesville, FL 32611

Phone:352-273-4983

Offres thèse et Stage M2 : Pollinator health & bee abundance, Virginia tech

POLLINATOR HEALTH & BEE ABUNDANCE, VIRGINIA TECH

 

The Couvillon Lab and the O’Rourke Lab, both at Virginia Tech, seek 2 (1 Ph.D., 1 M.S./Ph.D.) highly motivated students with a keen interest in pollinator health & native bee abundance and diversity to join our research groups. Students will begin in Fall 2020 or Winter 2021.

 

The Ph.D. student will be under the main supervision of Dr. Margaret Couvillon, Assistant Professor of Pollinator Biology and Ecology in the Department of Entomology, and co-advised by Dr. Megan O’Rourke, Associate Professor in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. The M.S./Ph.D. student will be under the main supervision of Dr. O’Rourke and co-advised by Dr. Couvillon.

 

Available positions: One Ph.D. (4 years) and one M.S./Ph.D. (2 or 4 years) positions studying the survival, fitness, and performance of native and wild bees and pollinator communities and their abundance and diversity across different landscapes. Students should have a keen interest in native bee abundance and diversity and pollinator health in general.

 

* Expertise and/or interest in bee taxonomy and identification would be extremely helpful.

 

Application deadline: 1 DECEMBER, 2019, with video interviews in January 2020 and a decision in early February 2020.

 

Start date: Preferably Fall 2020 for Ph.D. student and Winter 2021 for M.S. student, but this is open to some negotiation.

 

Background: Lack of forage is a factor contributing to bee declines. This stressor can act directly, where hungry bees are unable to meet their nutritional needs, or indirectly, where the resulting nutritional stress reduces the bees’ ability to cope with other stressors like diseases and pesticides. Media coverage has been wide, and as a consequence, everyone wants to feed hungry bees. Such help is offered with best intentions, but efficacy is undermined by two crucial knowledge gaps: firstly, we do not fully understand the foraging dynamics of bees across diverse landscapes because the current methods of surveying, cataloging, and comparing floral abundance at a landscape-scale is intensely time-consuming. Secondly, nutritional stress is often studied either in honey bees (Apis mellifera spp.) or non-honey bees, creating a dichotomy that limits the usefulness of resulting recommendations. Thus, there is a critical need to develop new methods to survey forage on a landscape scale and whether a good landscape for feeding one type of bee is also a good landscape for feeding other bees. Only with such data may we implement a best management strategy for improving food availability to benefit overall pollinator health in a meaningful, targeted way.

 

These new studentships are part of a larger, 5 year ongoing project funded by FFAR (Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research), with Lead PI Couvillon and co-PIs O’Rourke, Taylor, and Schurch, all at Virginia Tech.

 

Potential applied and basic science projects may include these questions:

– What landscape characteristics are most associated with overall pollinator health?

– How does pollinator community diversity and abundance vary with landscapes?

– How does stressor exposure, such as to pesticides, affect abundance, diversity, and health of non-Apis bees?

– What plant communities are associated with landscapes that support diverse and abundant pollinator communities?

– How do honey bee foraging dynamics, as determined by previous work, relate to the abundance, diversity, and health of non-Apis bees? In other words, are honey bees good bioindicators for native and wild bee pollinators?

 

M.S. requirements:

– BS in Biology, Entomology, Landscape Ecology or related STEM field

– Fulfillment of requirements set out by the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech and The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

– An excitement for working with live, whole organisms (that sting!)

– A willingness to learn new skills, such as experimental design, scientific reproducibility, statistics, GIS, and insect identification

– Proficiency in English and excellent verbal and written communication skills

– A collaborative, helpful, team-oriented spirit

 

Additional Ph.D. requirements:

– An MS in Biology, Entomology, Landscape Ecology, or related STEM field or significant research experience, preferably with peer reviewed publications.

– Fulfillment of requirements set out by the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech and The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

– If you are from an international location where English is not your first language, you will be required to take the TOEFL (see Graduate School requirements)

 

Please note that the selected candidates for the positions must then apply and be accepted into the Graduate School at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is an equal opportunity employer.

 

We offer:

– A funded position (Ph.D. or M.S./Ph.D) working with economically vital and scientifically fascinating insects. The Ph.D. student will be supported at Step 12, whereas the M.S. student will be supported at Step 10.

– Training as a well-rounded, critically-thinking scientist

– Exciting combination of field studies and experiments with freely flying and behaving bees; new methods in video and landscape analysis with ArcGIS; opportunities to learn experimental design, scientific reproducibility, and statistical modelling

– Regular collaborations with other research teams in the department, university, and within the larger field

– A Departmental instructional program offering a variety of basic and applied courses

 

Blacksburg is a lovely college town set between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains with many outdoor opportunities, high standard of living, and a warm and welcoming community feel.

 

Application:

Please email your application to both Dr. Couvillon and Dr. O’Rourke as a single pdf attachment. Application should include a cover letter (1-2 pages) introducing yourself and describing your background and research interests, a CV (please include your undergraduate and/or graduate GPA, as these are requirements for entrance into the graduate school), GRE scores (if available – note that Entomology does not require GRES), and the contact information for two potential academic references before 1 December, 2019. Please remember to indicate which position interests you. A short list of candidates will be invited to interview over Skype in January 2020, and selection should occur by February 2020.

 

For more details on the research and our lab, please see www.freelyflyingbees.com or contact Dr. Maggie Couvillon (mjc@vt.edu) or Dr. Megan O’Rourke (megorust@vt.edu) directly. You may also « Join » our Facebook page The BeeGroup @ VT.

 

References

Couvillon, Schürch & Ratnieks (2014). Dancing bees communicate a foraging preference for rural lands in High Level Agri-Environment Schemes. Current Biol 24(11), 1212-1215.

Couvillon, Schürch & Ratnieks (2014) Waggle dance distances as integrative indicators of seasonal foraging challenges. PLOS One, 9 (4), e93495.

Couvillon & Ratnieks (2015). Environmental consultancy: dancing bee bioindicators to evaluate landscape « health ». Frontiers in Ecol and Evol 3, 44.

 

Offre de stage : Effet du caractère envahissant des fourmis du complexe Tapinoma nigerrimum sur la myrmécofaune

Stage M1

Contexte :
Les activités humaines ont fait entrer le monde dans une période de changements globaux où l’on observe un déclin majeur des espèces. Les invasions biologiques sont un des facteurs responsables de ce déclin (Bertelsmeier et al., 2016). En raison de leur rôle majeur dans le fonctionnement des écosystèmes, les impacts des fourmis envahissantes sont majeurs.
Le complexe taxonomique Tapinoma nigerrimum est un ensemble d’espèces de fourmis vivant dans les sols. Si une des « espèces » du complexe ; T. nigerrimum occupe des habitats naturels ouverts dans la région méditerranéenne et construit des nids faiblement peuplés, les autres (T. darioi et T. magnum) prospèrent dans différentes villes d’Europe (Seifert et al., 2017) et particulièrement dans la Métropole de Montpellier où leur présence a été confirmée dans un grand nombre d’espaces verts. Des travaux préliminaires menés sur ses espaces verts indiquent un effet de la présence des formes envahissantes sur le reste de la myrmecofaune (autres espèces de fourmis). L’effet de la gestion des espaces verts mériteraient d’être approfondi ainsi que les mécanismes responsables de la propagation. Des travaux menés à Lyon ont identifié le transport de plantes comme principale source de propagation.

Objectifs :
Les objectifs du stage sont (1) de mieux comprendre les conséquences de l’invasion par T. darioi et T. magnum sur le reste de la myrmécofaune et notamment l’interaction avec la gestion des espaces verts ; (2) d’identifier les sources de propagation.

Hypothèse :
Les conséquences sur la myrmécofaune seraient amplifiées par certaines pratiques de gestion comme l’irrigation. Les jardineries et les pépinières seraient la principale source de propagation.

Méthodologie :
La majeure partie du travail consistera à échantillonner et à identifier la myrmecofaune dans des parcs envahis ou non envahis ainsi que dans des pépinières et des jardineries.

Références :
Bertelsmeier, C., Blight, O., and Courchamp, F. (2016). Invasions of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in light of global climate change. Myrmecol. News, 22, 25–42. Retrieved from http://max2.ese.u- psud.fr/epc/conservation/PDFs/FutureAnts.pdf
Seifert, B., D’Eustacchio, D., Kaufmann, B., Centorame, M., and Modica, M. (2017). Four species within the supercolonial ants of the Tapinoma nigerrimum complex revealed by integrative taxonomy (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 24:123-144.

Condition du stage de M1 : Début avril 2020

Candidatures : Merci d’envoyer un CV et une lettre de motivation à Julia Centanni,
julia-jane.centanni@univ-montp3.fr

 

 

 

https://www.sfecologie.org/offre/effet-du-caractere-envahissant-des-fourmis-du-complexe-tapinoma-nigerrimum-sur-la-myrmecofaune-et-identification-des-sources-de-propagation/

Offre de thèse : the ‘omics cascade of bumble bee cold tolerance

PhD positions to study the ‘omics cascade of bumble bee cold tolerance

 

Funding for PhD students is available at The University of Alabama as part of a recently awarded NSF Rules of Life project: “Bumble bee cold tolerance across elevations – From epigenotype to phenotype across space, time, and levels of biological organization”. PhD students will be involved in studying the links between genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic variation in relation to local thermal tolerance adaptation in montane bumble bees (lozierlab.ua.edu). The project will involve extensive high throughput sequencing of bees from wild populations and experimental colonies and the use of approaches like network theory to model and draw inferences from these complex data. Students will develop questions relating to ecological, evolutionary, or conservation genomics within the broader project objectives. The focus of the positions is flexible, and we expect there will be a great deal of collaboration and overlap among students, postdocs, and PIs on the project.

 

I am looking to recruit highly motivated students with interests in applying modern molecular and computational tools to address ecological and evolutionary questions in a non-model organism. Applicants should have a strong academic record (GPA > 3.0), an ability for clear verbal and written communication, and a desire to learn new skills! Students funded off the grant will participate in both laboratory molecular work (primarily generation of RNAseq and genome/epigenome sequencing libraries) and computational analyses, and applicants should thus have some degree of experience or interest in both aspects of the project.

 

The project will involve collaborations with Janna Fierst at UA, Michael Dillon and Franco Basile at the University of Wyoming, and James Strange at Ohio State. As part of these collaborations, there may be opportunities for fieldwork or experimental work with bumblebees, depending on student interests and expertise.

 

Contact Jeff Lozier (jlozier@ua.edu) for more information. Anticipated start date will be Fall 2020, but we’re flexible.

 

Useful Links:

Lozier Lab: lozierlab.ua.edu

U Alabama Biological Sciences: bsc.ua.edu

 

 

Jeff Lozier

Associate Professor

Biological Sciences

The University of Alabama

jlozier@ua.edu

lozierlab.ua.edu | mussels.ua.edu

 

 

« Lozier, Jeffrey » <jlozier@ua.edu>

Offre de thèse : NSF-supported graduate studies in evolutionary epigenetics and genomics of social insects at the University of Georgia.

PhD Position: NSF-supported graduate studies in evolutionary epigenetics and genomics of social insects at the University of Georgia.

 

The Hunt Lab at UGA is broadly interested in how evolution produces variation in insect form and function. We use social insects, such as ants, bees, and wasps as models for studying how evolutionary and gene regulatory mechanisms shape variation in social behavior. We have taken a particular interest in investigating genetic and epigenetic factors that underlie differences in complex traits.

In collaboration with Ken Ross at UGA, we study how a supergene and phenotypic plasticity influence variation in colony queen number and social behaviors in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. In collaboration with Sarah Kocher at Princeton University, we study how gene regulatory evolution shapes social behaviors. We are always interested in identifying new systems and approaches for study.

The Hunt Lab is a young and dynamic research group dedicated to fostering the success of its lab members. We are a part of the Entomology Department, one of many departments in the life sciences at the University of Georgia. Diverse areas of expertise and coursework availability at UGA, along with a first-rate genomics core facility, help students reach their full potential. Students will take coursework and receive training in entomology, genetics, and bioinformatics.

 

Requirements: An interest in broad evolutionary questions and a desire to develop bioinformatic expertise.  Applicants must meet requirements of admission to the Graduate School at the University of Georgia (see http://www.caes.uga.edu/departments/entomology/graduate.html).

The start date is flexible.

More information about the Hunt Lab can be found online at http://huntlab.uga.edu.  Prospective applicants should email Brendan Hunt at huntbg@uga.edu with a statement of interest.

BRENDAN HUNT <huntbg@uga.edu>

Offre de thèse : « Theory of social evolution: adaptation of genes, individuals and groups », St. Andrews

PhD: « Theory of social evolution: adaptation of genes, individuals and groups », St. Andrews

PhD Opportunity: « Theory of social evolution: adaptation of genes, individuals and groups. », School of Biology, University of St Andrews, Scotland.

Fully-funded (research costs + tuition fees + stipend) 3.5 year PhD studentship, for uptake in Sep 2020 (though the start date is flexible).

Natural selection explains the appearance of design in the living world. But at what level is this design expected to manifest ¡V gene, individual or group ¡V and what is its function? Social evolution provides a window on this problem, because it is in the context of social interaction that the interests of genes, individuals and groups come into conflict with each other.

I invite applications for a PhD studentship in my research group at the School of Biology, University of St Andrews, Scotland, to develop new theory on the topic of social evolution. The project will suit a Biology graduate with a strong interest in social evolution, but applications from graduates with other backgrounds are also encouraged, and although prior experience in mathematical modelling would be helpful this is certainly not required as the requisite training will be provided.

Current research in my lab involves development of general theory ¡V using kin selection, multilevel selection, game theory and theoretical population genetics approaches ¡V as well as more specific mathematical and computer simulation models that are tailored to the biology of particular organisms, from microbes to insects to humans. Much of our ongoing work is focused on intragenomic conflicts and associated clinical pathologies, plus the role of sex and gender in social evolution. See the lab website (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/gardner/) for more details.

If evolutionary biology really fascinates you, and you are a careful thinker, then you will flourish in the kind of project that I enjoy supervising.

This studentship is funded by the European Research Council and the School of Biology at the University of St Andrews. There are no nationality restrictions on who can apply, and the studentship will cover both Home and Overseas tuition fees.

See https://twitter.com/drandygardner/status/1181483940919545856 for further details. Please direct informal enquiries to me at andy.gardner@st-andrews.ac.uk. Deadline for applications is 1 December 2019.

Best wishes,

Andy Gardner

Offre de Poste : Assistant Professor / Junior Group Leader: Evolution, Behavioral Ecology and/or Genomics of (Social) Insects, Mainz

Assistant Professor / Junior Group Leader: Evolution, Behavioral Ecology and/or Genomics of (Social) Insects, Mainz

The Faculty 10 Biology, Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution, Department Behavioral Ecology and Social Evolution at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz is looking for an Assistant Professor / Junior Group Leader (Akademischer Rat at a University / Bes.Gr. A 13 BBesG)

Evolution, Behavioral Ecology and/or Genomics of (Social) Insects

Reference-No.: 18619-10-A13-ml
starting February 1st 2020 or later.

Employment will be as a civil servant, for initially for 3 years with the possibility of extensions (12-year rule applies). In case the prerequisites of civil service are not fulfilled, an engagement as a Scientific Assistant (EG 13 TV-L) is possible. More information on potential contract length and conditions can be given upon request. The earliest start of the position will be February 1st 2020, preferably no later than 15.4.2020.

The research focus of the department under the direction of Prof. Dr. Susanne Foitzik lays within evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology of social insects. Our international research team consists of four groups working on the evolution, behavior, transcriptomics, chemical ecology of social insects (https://www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/fb10-evolutionary-biology/research-groups/) and collaboration with the other groups at the department are desirable. Scientific interactions or integration within the Research Training Group „Gene regulation in Evolution” (https://www.imb.de/about-imb/joint-research-initiatives/genevo/) would be advantageous.

We are seeking a highly motivated young researcher with a strong background in evolution, behavior and / or genomics to establish a junior research group within the Department of Behavioral Ecology and Social Evolution. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. and postdoctoral experience is necessary. The successful candidate should address evolutionary, behavioral ecological or genomic questions on insects, preferentially social insects. Scientific experience with the newest genetic methods (e.g. Next-Gen Seq, transcriptomics, Genomics, Proteomics. Microbiome, Metabolomics) including bioinformatic analyses is advantageous.

Excellent research conditions are available at new Biocenter I of the JGU with “State of the Art” genetic and chemical laboratories in Mainz. Furthermore, several new climate chambers are available for animal maintenance and controlled experiments. A small start-up package may be possible. A NextGen sequencing facility is available on campus. For further information, please contact foitzik@uni-mainz.de.

The successful candidate should have an excellent publication record. Experience with grant acquisition and teaching is advantageous. The candidate should set-up an independent, competitive research group and is encouraged to apply for grants in Germany or the EU (e.g., DFG, ERC). The position comes with a teaching requirement of 4 h per week during the semester in the Master and Bachelor programs. The candidate has the option to acquire a “Habilitation”. The working language of the lab is English.

Requirements of appointment:

  • University degree and a PhD in biology (or related field)
  • Full-time employment of at least two years and six months after university education

The Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz is interested in increasing the number of women in science. Applications from female scientists are strongly encouraged. Similarly, qualified candidates with disabilities will be preferred.

The University of Mainz (http://www.unimainz.de/eng/) hosts many excellent scientific institutions, including the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB, www.imb-mainz.deand Mainz is a historic city located on the Rhine River with many students and a rich social and cultural life (http://www.mainz.de/WGAPublisher/online/html/default/hpkr-5nkek8.en.html).

Interested candidates should send an application (as a single e-mail pdf attachment) containing a CV, a list of publications (including reprints of the three most important publications), research and teaching statements, and contact information of two potential referees to: foitzik@uni-mainz.de

Prof. Dr. Susanne Foitzik
Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Biozentrum
Hanns Dieter Hüsch Weg 15
D-55128 Mainz
Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 6131 39 27 840

Closing date for the application is November 20th, 2019.

Earliest possible starting date is February 1st 2020. Later starting dates are negotiable, but participation in teaching during the summer semester 2020 (end April to July) is expected.

Offres de thèses : Ecology and evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

PhDs IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, UNIVERSITY OF LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND

 

The Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, offers studentships for study towards a PhD in one of its labs. Labs include several with strengths in evolutionary biology, including, and especially, in the Department of Ecology and Evolution (https://www.unil.ch/dee/home/menuinst/research–education/research.html).

Lausanne is one of the major centres of social insect research in Europe, with the labs of Laurent Keller and Michael Chapuisat.

The following website provides details of the scheme and the application process: www.unil.ch/fbm-phd.

Offre de thèse : Epigenome-to-phenome of bumble bee thermal tolerance, Alabama, USA

PhD POSITIONS: EPIGENOME-TO-PHENOME OF BUMBLE BEE THERMAL TOLERANCE, ALABAMA

Multiple PhD positions are available in the laboratories of Jeff Lozier and Janna Fierst at The University of Alabama as part of a recently awarded NSF Rules of Life project: « Bumble bee cold tolerance across elevations – From epigenotype to phenotype across space, time, and levels of biological organization ». PhD students will be involved in studying the links between genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic variation in relation to local thermal tolerance adaptation in montane bumble bees. The project will involve extensive high throughput sequencing of bees from wild populations and experimental colonies and the use of approaches like network theory to model and draw inferences from these complex data. Students will develop questions relating to ecological and evolutionary genomics within the broader project objectives. The focus of the positions is flexible, and we expect there will be a great deal of collaboration among project personnel.

We are looking to recruit highly motivated students with interests in applying modern molecular and computational tools to address ecological and evolutionary questions in a non-model organism. Applicants should have a strong academic record (GPA > 3.0), an ability for clear verbal and written communication, and a desire to learn new skills! Students funded off the grant will participate in both laboratory molecular work (primarily generation of RNAseq and genome sequencing libraries) and computational analyses, and applicants should thus have some degree of experience or interest in both aspects of the project.

The project will involve collaborations with Drs. Michael Dillon and Franco Basile at the University of Wyoming, and James Strange at Ohio State. As part of these collaborations there will be opportunities for field work or experimental work with bumble bees, depending on student interests and expertise.

Contact Jeff Lozier (jlozier@ua.edu) or Janna Fierst (janna.l.fierst@ua.edu) for more information. Anticipated start date will be Fall 2020, but we can be flexible.

Useful Links:

Lozier Lab: lozierlab.ua.edu

Fierst Lab: jfierst.people.ua.edu

U Alabama Biological Sciences: bsc.ua.edu

Offre de Post-doc : Bee biology, Jiangxi agricultural university, China

POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHER: BEE BIOLOGY, JIANGXI AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY

Position Overview: We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher with interest and analytical skill in either social behavior, population genetics, comparative genomics, evolution, microbiology or molecular ecology. The applicant has complete freedom to develop his/her own research project. The funding package is available for 2 years and the extension for additional 1 years is possible. The annual salary before tax is 200,000 Yuan.

The successful candidate will be based at Honeybee Research Institute (http://bee.jxau.edu.cn/), Jiangxi Agricultural University (http://english.jxau.edu.cn/), and join a group of enthusiastic young scientists focused on bee social behavior, learning and memory, physiology, evolution and pathology. The institute respects all forms of diversity and personality and encourage early career researchers to apply. The University also has excellent associated kindergarten and elementary school. The position is available immediately and the starting date is negotiable.

The applicant needs to send a research proposal and CV to Prof. Zheng (bees@1965.com).

For more information please contact Zhijiang Zeng (bees1965@sina.com).

Offre de thèse : Bee-plant interactions, Munich, Germany

PhD: BEE-PLANT INTERACTIONS, MUNICH

 

A PhD position is available at the Plant-Insect Interactions group as part of the Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Starting date is March 1st 2020. The position is fixed-term (36 months). Salary scale: TV-L 13, 65%.

 

Project description

As part of a close collaboration between Würzburg (A. Keller) and München (S. Leonhardt), we want to elucidate how land-use affects the mutualistic interactions between bees and plants. The projects aims for a better understanding of a) the effect of land-use driven changes in plant community composition and diversity on visitation patterns, foraging choices, diet, health and fitness of wild and managed bees and b) the effect of altered bee foraging decisions and thus visitation patterns on pollen transfer and seed set in plants. The successful applicant will conduct field work within the framework of the Biodiversity Exploratories (https://www.biodiversity-exploratories.de/1/home/), NGS-based pollen analysis, dietary bioassays with bees, chemical analyses of pollen and statistical analyses.

 

Applications and further information

We invite applications from highly motivated candidates with passion for and experience in research related to plant-insect interactions and biodiversity research. Please send your application via eMail to Dr. Sara Leonhardt (leonhardt@wzw.tum.de) as a single PDF document until 1st December 2019. Applications should include a cover letter, a short summary of research interests and experience, CV, certificates, and contacts of two potential referees. Note that the position is pending a final funding decision.

 

We require

* Strong interest and motivation in conducting biodiversity research at different levels.

* MSc/Diplom (DE) in a field related to ecology (e.g. pollination ecology, species interactions, chemical ecology, molecular ecology and / or bioinformatics).

* Strong experience with statistical data analyses.

* Willingness to work in an international team and to become acquainted with the above topics during the project.

* Excellent command of English language (written & oral) and experience with scientific writing.

* Driver’s license valid in Germany.

* (Ideally) Access to car for field work.

 

We offer

* Friendly and inspiring working atmosphere in international ambitious young research work groups, as part of a vivid ecological department.

* Direct admission to Biodiversity Exploratories, a renowned and highly successful large scale experiment maintained by a large group of internationally renowned scientists and associated PhD students and Postdocs.

* Free access to transferable skill and statistical courses as part of the TUM Graduate School and the Biodiversity Exploratories.

 

Salary & Conditions

 

TUM strives to raise the proportion of women in its workforce and explicitly encourages applications from qualified women. Applications from disabled persons with essentially the same qualifications will be given preference.

 

As part of your application, you provide personal data to the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Please view our privacy policy on collecting and processing personal data in the course of the application process pursuant to Art. 13 of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (GDPR) at https://portal.mytum.de/kompass/datenschutz/Bewerbung/. By submitting your application you confirm to have read and understood the data protection information provided by TUM. Find out more about us at www.tum.de.

 

Offre de thèse : Self-assembly in weaver ants, Macquarie and Monash Universities, Australia

SELF-ASSEMBLY IN WEAVER ANTS, MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA

 

Are you interested in pursuing an exciting PhD project on a unique ant species, at a supportive, world-class institution in a beautiful part of the world?

 

I am looking for a highly motivated PhD student to participate in our project « Ant-inspired rules for self-assembly in swarm robotics and complex systems » at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. This is a fixed term-position for three years (at standard PhD stipend rate – $27,000 per year), funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC). Highly competitive international students have the chance to apply for an additional tuition fee waiver from Macquarie University.

 

Project description:

This Project aims to investigate self-assembly in weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) – where individual workers join their bodies together using simple rules at the individual-level to build complex structures at the group-level. Using a state-of-the-art computer-vision tracking system, you will uncover the rules used by individual ants that lead to a range of functional self-assembled structures, by inducing colonies to form bridges, hanging chains and pulling chains in the laboratory and performing detailed behavioural analyses on the individual workers. The candidate will work with an international network of collaborators, including world experts in computer science, who will assist in building a modelling framework of analytical and simulation-based computer models derived from the ant behavioural rules. The models will be directly translated into novel swarm robotics control algorithms, which will be used to achieve two outcomes: i) testing whether the derived behavioural rules lead to successful self-assembly of the desired structure in a physical robot swarm, and; ii) upgrading robot swarms with ant-like capabilities of self-assembling into a variety of functional structures as needed, using a minimum of local information and no prior planning. The candidate will have the opportunity to test their findings on a brand new robot swarm purchased under this grant, and collaborate with world leaders in robotics.

 

Requirements:

Successful candidates will have a Masters degree or equivalent in biology or a related field (high-performing Honours graduates are also encouraged to apply), good knowledge/experience in invertebrate behaviour, and an interest in biological complex systems. Candidates with strong interest in robotics, agent-based modelling and/or programming are highly desirable, though this is not essential. The ideal candidate will have very good oral and written communication skills in English.

 

The position is currently open, so please contact Dr. Chris Reid as soon as possible, email: chris.reid@mq.edu.au. Applications should be a single PDF including a cover letter describing the motivation, previous research activities and current research interests, a CV with copies of BSc and MSc certificates, details of at least 2 referees and a list of publications if applicable.

 

Dr Chris R. Reid

ARC DECRA Research Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

e-mail: chrisreidresearch@gmail.com or chris.reid@mq.edu.au

website: https://chrisrreid.wordpress.com

phone: +61 2 9850 6270

 

Offre de Stage : Interested in Genetic and Epigenetic Basis of Social Evolution?

Offre de thèse : Conservation physiology in wild bees

« Conservation physiology in wild bees » dans le cadre d’un projet européen Biodiversa.

Most of studies on wild bee decline have focused on species richness and distribution patterns through large (national to continental) scales. However, those patterns (species range contractions and diversity erosion) depict the outcome of extinction processes. Conservation biologists urgently need to identify alternative ecological parameters and measurements that are liable to reveal population trends before they actually end up in local or regional extinctions. The “physiological conservation” approach [1] offers such a promising framework to help uncover decline processes already at work within species distribution ranges, and to gather information on bee health for assessing the potential sustainability of bee populations in habitats designed or not for their protection or conservation [2]. As an integrative scientific discipline, physiological conservation aims at combining physiological and ecological concepts to solve conservation problems.
The thesis will aim at investigating the insights provided by physiological conservation in the context of wild bee decline. Specific objectives include (i) the establishment of standard macrophysiological variations in bee species and communities, (ii) the identification of potential deviations from those standards along gradients of landscapes differing in composition and structure and (iii) application of the approach to design bee supportive habitats. Ultimately, this integrated approach will contribute to provide tools for uncovering the true habitat quality and guiding management and restoration efforts of bee habitats.

The PhD candidate will join the “Bees and Environment” research unit (INRA Avignon), which develop a wide range of research programs that are targeted to the study of honeybee and wild bee populations, in the context of sustainable farming and food security.

He/she will be part of the BiodivERsA project Nutrib2 (Nutrition as critical link between Biodiversity and Bee health) and will join a European consortium composed of scientists from different countries (GER, BEL, FR, POL, UK) with complementary expertise in bee taxonomy, nutritional & chemical ecology, community ecology, physiology, behaviour, epidemiology, biostatistics and modelling.

1. Cooke SJ, Sack L, Franklin CE, Farrell AP, Beardall J, Wikelski M, Chown SL: What is conservation physiology? Perspectives on an increasingly integrated and essential science. Conservation Physiology 2013, 1:1-23.

2. Alaux C, Allier F, Decourtye A, Odoux JF, Tamic T, Chabirand M, Delestra E, Decugis F, Le Conte Y, Henry M: A ‘Landscape physiology’ approach for assessing bee health highlights the benefits of floral landscape enrichment and semi-natural habitats. Sci Rep 2017, 7:40568.

Funding
The PhD student will be funded for 3 years.
We aim for a start date in February/March 2020.

Candidate profile
The ecophysiological approach requires the combined analysis of environmental data, physiological measurements and population surveys. The successful candidate should be familiarised with data analysis in spatial ecology at either landscape or biogeographical level. Experience in insect physiology (e.g. biochemistry) is also recommended. The candidate should have interests in both field and laboratory approaches.

 Master’s degree in Biology/Ecology/Physiology and ideally expertise in insect physiology and/or ecology
 Experience in biochemical analysis
 Experience in field sampling
 Strong background in statistical analysis
 Good communication and writing skills (English)
 The successful candidate will have excellent team-working

Supervisors:

Cedric Alaux, Jean-Luc Brunet, Mickael Henry
cedric.alaux@inra.fr

jean-luc.brunet@inra.fr

mickael.henry@inra.fr
Tel : +33 (0)4 32 72 26 19

INRA
UR 406 Abeilles et Environnement
Site Agroparc, CS 40509
84914 Avignon Cedex 9
France

How to apply
The application should include a detailed CV, a one-page cover letter (research interest) and contact details of 2 scientific references in a single pdf file. The document should be sent by email to Cedric Alaux before November 17, 2019. Selected candidates will then be interviewed.

 

PhD Bee conservation INRA Avignon

Cédric ALAUX

Chargé de recherche

UR 406 Abeilles et Environnement
UMT Protection des Abeilles dans l’Environnement

228, chemin de l’Aérodrome – CS 40 509
Domaine Saint Paul – Site Agroparc
84914 AVIGNON Cedex 09 – France
tél. : 04 32 72 26 19
fax : 04 32 72 26 02

cedric.alaux@inra.fr

wwww6.paca.inra.fr/abeilles-et-environnement

https://www6.paca.inra.fr/abeilles-et-environnement/Personnes/Titulaires/Alaux-Cedric

 

Offre de stage en cognition et comportement – Master 1 – Modulation de l’apprentissage visuel par le neuropeptide sNPF chez Apis mellifera.

Offre de stage : M1. Evaluation de l’effet anthropique sur la génétique du paysage d’une fourmi à faible dispersion

Structure d’accueil : LETG Dinard (localisation principale) ; MNHN Paris (localisation secondaire). L’étudiant sera localisé à Dinard.

Coordonnées de la structure : EPHE, PSL Université Paris, LETG-Dinard
Adresse : 15 boulevard de la mer, 35800 Dinard
Téléphone : 02.99.46.10.72

Tuteur scientifique :
Collin, Antoine, Maître de conférences EPHE
Adresse : 15 boulevard de la mer, 35800 Dinard
Téléphone : 02.99.46.10.72 Courriel : antoine.collin@ephe.psl.eu

Doums, Claudie, Directrice d’études EPHE
Adresse : ISYEB, MNHN, 12 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris
Téléphone : 01 40 79 80 37 Courriel : claudie.doums@ephe.psl.eu

mots clefs  :
géomatique, génétique du paysage (landscape genetics), dispersion, anthropisation, insectes sociaux

Description du projet :
Le rôle du paysage sur les patrons de structuration génétique des espèces a pu être mis en évidence chez différents organismes et permet de mieux apréhender comment le paysage affecte la connectivité des populations (van Strien, 2017). Le niveau de différenciation génétique entre individus ou dèmes (groupe d’individus sur une même localisation) peut être expliqué non seulement par la distance géographique les séparant mais également par des informations sur le paysage qui vont permettre de définir une distance de résistance. En donnant des poids différents à différentes caractéristiques du paysage connues pour affecter le mouvement des individus (couverture végétale, infrastructure humaine, etc.), il est possible de calculer cette distance de résistance. La difficulté réside dans le choix du grain de l’analyse spatiale. La modélisation à diverses résolutions peut parfois être la solution permettant une meilleure détection de l’échelle à laquelle les caractéristiques du paysage affectent le flux de gène (Fortin et al., 2010).

L’effet de l’anthropisation, en particulier urbanisation et routes, est généralement considéré comme un paramètre du paysage augmentant la fragmentation et limitant les flux de gènes. Cependant les routes peuvent également jouer le rôle de corridors (Holderegger & Di Giulio, 2010), favorisant le mouvement des individus en leur permettant de franchir des habitats défavorables (rivières, etc.). L’objectif de ce stage est d’évaluer le rôle de l’anthropisation (routes, urbanisation) sur les flux de gènes d’une fourmi thermophile méditerranéenne par une analyse spatiale des paysages mettant l’accent sur les effets de l’anthropisation. L’espèce étudiée, Cataglyphis piliscapa, est connue pour avoir une dispersion femelle très limitée (sur quelques mètres) liées au mode de fondation des colonies par fission (une nouvelle colonie est fondée par la reine mère qui part accompagnée par un groupe d’ouvrière) (Cronin et al., 2013). En revanche, les mâles ailés peuvent potentiellement disperser sur de plus grandes distances (Clémencet et al., 2005). Le genre Cataglyphis regroupe des fourmis désertiques, très thermophiles. Même si l’espèce C. piliscapa se trouve dans la partie la plus au nord de l’aire de distribution du groupe (sur le pourtour méditerrannéen de Barcelone au Rhône), elle reste très thermophile et ne se retrouve que dans des milieux très ouverts (bords de mer, chemins de vigne, terrains vagues, bords des routes, etc.). L’ouverture de ces milieux est fortement liée à l’action de l’homme. L’objectif de ce travail sera d’effectuer une analyse spatiale sur l’ensemble de l’aire de distribution de l’espèce permettant de définir une carte de résistance à différents niveaux de granulométrie. Par ailleurs, sur deux zones spécifiquement choisies (limite de distribution sud en bord de mer et limite de distribution nord à l’itnérieur des terres), une analyse à plus fine échelle spatiale sera également menée afin d’évaluer si le niveau de connectivité varie en fonction du type d’habitat.
Notre hypothèse est qu’à l’intérieur des terres, le niveau de connectivité serait plus faible par la présence d’une plus grande surface d’habitats défavorables et une plus faible anthropisation qu’en bord de mer. Par une comparaison avec la structuration génétique des populations effectuées en parallèle, nous pourrons également tester si le niveau de connectivité du paysage affecte les flux de gènes différemment selon le type d’habitat.

Méthodologie : Le (la) stagiaire devra effectuer une caractérisation spatiale du paysage sur l’aire de distribution de l’espèce ainsi que sur deux régions ciblées pour une analyse à plus fine échelle pour tester le rôle de l’anthropisation sur la structuration génétique. Une combinaison d’informations spatiales issues d’images satellites et aériennes et de bases de données géoréférencées servira à classifier les éléments paysagers naturels et anthropiques. Cette identification éco-paysagère permettra de modéliser la connectivité écologique des dèmes et individus sous forme de réseau (chemins de moindre coût et circuits). Une série de métriques de connectivité sera calculée à l’échelle des dèmes et individus. La modélisation requerra la pondération des taches éco-paysagères en lien avec la perméabilité de ces dernières aux fourmis, ce qui nécessitera une forte interaction avec l’experte en traits de vie de cette espèce. Le (la) stagiaire utilisera parallèlement les résulats des analyses génétiques effectuées sur une quarantaine de populations (environ 500 individus) pour les analyses statistiques finales permettant d’évaluer l’effet de l’anthropisation éco-paysagère sur les flux de gènes.

Les candidats devront posséder une Licence liée aux sciences environnementales (écologie, géomatique).
Merci d’envoyer au contact principal les notes de Licence et une lettre de motivation.

Bibliographie :
Clémencet, J., Viginier, B., & Doums, C. (2005). Hierarchical analysis of population genetic structure in the monogynous ant Cataglyphis cursor using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA markers. Molecular Ecology, 14, 3735–3744.
Cronin, A. L., Molet, M., Doums, C., Monnin, T., & Peeters, C. (2013). Recurrent Evolution of Dependent Colony Foundation Across Eusocial Insects. Annual Review of Entomology, 58, 37-55.
Fortin, E., Anderson, C. D., & Epperson, B. K. (2010). Considering spatial and temporal scale in landscape-genetic studies of gene flow, 3565–3575.
Holderegger, R., & Giulio, M. Di. (2010). The genetic effects of roads : A review of empirical evidence, 11, 522–531.
van Strien, M. J. (2017). Consequences of population topology for studying gene flow using link-based landscape genetic methods. Ecology and Evolution, 5070–5081.

Offre de thèses : Epigenome-to-Phenome of Bumble Bee Thermal Tolerance:

PhD Positions to Study Epigenome-to-Phenome of Bumble Bee Thermal
Tolerance:

Multiple PhD positions are available in the laboratories of Jeff Lozier
and Janna Fierst at The University of Alabama as part of a recently
awarded NSF Rules of Life project: “Bumble bee cold tolerance across
elevations – From epigenotype to phenotype across space, time, and levels
of biological organization”. PhD students will be involved in studying
the links between genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic variation
in relation to local thermal tolerance adaptation in montane bumble
bees. The project will involve extensive high throughput sequencing
of bees from wild populations and experimental colonies and the use of
approaches like network theory to model and draw inferences from these
complex data. Students will develop questions relating to ecological and
evolutionary genomics within the broader project objectives. The focus
of the positions is flexible, and we expect there will be a great deal
of collaboration among project personnel.

We are looking to recruit highly motivated students with interests in
applying modern molecular and computational tools to address ecological
and evolutionary questions in a non-model organism. Applicants should
have a strong academic record (GPA > 3.0), an ability for clear verbal
and written communication, and a desire to learn new skills! Students
funded off the grant will participate in both laboratory molecular work
(primarily generation of RNAseq and genome sequencing libraries) and
computational analyses, and applicants should thus have some degree of
experience or interest in both aspects of the project.

The project will involve collaborations with Drs. Michael Dillon and
Franco Basile at the University of Wyoming, and James Strange at Ohio
State. As part of these collaborations there will be opportunities for
field work or experimental work with bumble bees, depending on student
interests and expertise.

Contact Jeff Lozier (jlozier@ua.edu) or Janna Fierst
(janna.l.fierst@ua.edu) for more information. Anticipated start date
will be Fall 2020, but we can be flexible.

Useful Links:
Lozier Lab: lozierlab.ua.edu
Fierst Lab: jfierst.people.ua.edu
U Alabama Biological Sciences: bsc.ua.edu

jlozier@ua.edu

Offre de thèse : Deciphering the mechanisms of honey bee resistance to the parasite Varroa destructor

 

Context and project description

In eusocial insects such as the honey bee, Apis mellifera, the tight cooperation of individuals that live in close contact as well as food and chemical communication signals that are exchanged widely between colony members can make the colony superorganism vulnerable to disease outbreaks. In the face of this threat, an array of collective immune defenses – known as social immunity – have evolved that help limit pathogen transmission. Such traits can explain how honey bees manage to fight infestations by the parasite Varroa destructor, a mite that usually kill infested colonies within a few months. In this context, naturally surviving colonies and population specifically bred for abilities to fight varroa represent a potentially sustainable solution for the beekeeping industry. However, the exact mechanisms allowing honey bee colonies to survive mite infestation through resistance strategies remain partially unknown.

The present PhD project aims to better understand the mechanisms of social immunity in honey bees that are the base for varroa resistance, in particular by looking at the semiochemicals that underlie these host-parasite interactions.

Our dynamic and interdisciplinary team has led biology and chemical ecology studies on interactions between honey bees and varroa for more than 20 years. Complementary approaches will be conducted in this project: behavioural tests (at the individual and colony levels); analytical chemistry (extraction, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry); field work assays in a beekeeping environment on different honey bee populations.

Profile required

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a strong background (MSc or equivalent) in Biology, Ecology, Agronomy or similar. Expertise in bee biology, apidology and/or chemical ecology is required. The candidate should show a great interest in conducting field experiments, in insect behaviour, analytical chemistry, behavioural assays and statistical analysis of complex data.
Good organizational skills, communicative personality with a capacity for teamwork, good communication and writing skills in English, proficiency in French are also required. The project will include field work in France and possibly other countries from the Mediterranean basin. The candidate should not be allergic to bee stings.

Contact and information

For further information, please contact Dr Fanny Mondet (fanny.mondet@inra.fr, +33 4 32 72 26 99) or Prof Yves Le Conte (yves.le-conte@inra.fr). Online applications including cover letter, CV, and the addresses of 2/3 referees in a single PDF file should be send to fanny.mondet@inra.fr and yves.le-conte@inra.fr.

Deadline for submission is July 20th 2019.
The position, based at INRA PACA (Avignon, France) will start in September 2019; funding (salary and project expenses) is secured for 3 years.

Offre de thèse : evolutionary biology at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany

PhD position in evolutionary biology at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany

 

—          Parasite interference with host gene regulation     —

 

Supervisors: Susanne Foitzik, Peter Baumann, Falk Butter

 

The Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution IOME is seeking a candidate for a PhD position (starting October 1st 2019) to study the molecular regulation of parasite interference within a social host located in the DFG Research Training Group 2526 GenEvo (https://www.imb.de/about-imb/joint-research-initiatives/genevo/). This initiative is centered around the core question of how complex and multi-layered gene regulatory systems have evolved. This structured PhD programme brings together scientists with expertise in evolutionary and molecular biology to train a new, interdisciplinary generation of PhD students and to solve innovative research questions.

 

Project description: Parasite interference with gene regulation of a social host

Parasites with complex life cycles often manipulate the behaviour of their intermediate hosts to increase transmission to the definite host and we hypothesise that they do so by interfering with host gene regulation. Infection of Temnothorax nylanderi ant larvae with the parasitic cestode Anomotaenia brevis strongly alters the adult phenotype. Parasitized workers exhibit altered behaviour, morphology, chemical profile and a lifespan extension (Scharf et al. 2012 American Naturalist, Beros et al. 2015 Proc Roy Soc). Indeed, the long-term survival rates of infected workers matches that of queens, which can reach lifespans of 20 years in these ants. These changes are linked to transcriptomic alterations (Feldmeyer et al. 2016 Molecular Ecology), which might be caused by the parasite. The cestode, residing in its cysticercoid stage in the ants’ gaster is transcriptionally active and releases many proteins into the host. The aim of this project is to demonstrate how parasite-induced changes in host phenotype are promoted by the parasite. We therefore will study how the cestode parasite interferes with the hosts’ gene regulation, which gene-regulatory mechanisms are utilized and whether these alterations are permanent or have to be actively maintained. This project will reveal genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of behaviour and longevity in social insects and will uncover the mechanisms of across-species interference in gene regulation.

 

We are looking for a highly motivated student with a Master degree (or equivalent) in biology, good English skills, and a keen interest in evolutionary biology. Previous experience with social insects, statistics and bioinformatics is advantageous, but not required. Successful applicants will join an international, interactive, dynamic and English-speaking scientific environment in a brand new building with access to state-of-the-art, newly equipped laboratories and climate-controlled rooms. The JGU of Mainz hosts many excellent scientific institutions, and Mainz is a historic city located on the Rhine River with a large student population and a rich social and cultural life.

 

Interested candidates should apply to foitzik@uni.mainz.de until August 4th 2019. The best candidates will be invited to the selection days of the IPP Mainz, 26-28 August 2019 https://www.imb.de/students-postdocs/international-phd-programme/. The starting date of the PhD position will be October 1st 2019. The Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz is interested in increasing the number of women in science. Applications from women are therefore strongly encouraged. Similarly, qualified candidates with disabilities will be preferred.

 

Prof. Dr. Susanne Foitzik
Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Biozentrum
Hanns Dieter Hüsch Weg 15
D-55128 Mainz
Germany

Tel: +49 (0) 6131 39 27 840
Fax: +49 (0)6131 39 27 850
Email: foitzik@uni-mainz.de

PhD position: honey bee research available at INRA

PhD position on honey bee research available at INRA
Deciphering the mechanisms of honey bee resistance to the parasite Varroa destructor

Context and project description
In eusocial insects such as the honey bee, Apis mellifera, the tight cooperation of individuals that live in close contact as well as food and chemical communication signals that are exchanged widely between colony members can make the colony superorganism vulnerable to disease outbreaks. In the face of this threat, an array of collective immune defenses – known as social immunity – have evolved that help limit pathogen transmission. Such traits can explain how honey bees manage to fight infestations by the parasite Varroa destructor, a mite that usually kill infested colonies within a few months. In this context, naturally surviving colonies and population specifically bred for abilities to fight varroa represent a potentially sustainable solution for the beekeeping industry. However, the exact mechanisms allowing honey bee colonies to survive mite infestation through resistance strategies remain partially unknown.

The present PhD project aims to better understand the mechanisms of social immunity in honey bees that are the base for varroa resistance, in particular by looking at the semiochemicals that underlie these host-parasite interactions.

Our dynamic and interdisciplinary team has led biology and chemical ecology studies on interactions between honey bees and varroa for more than 20 years. Complementary approaches will be conducted in this project: behavioural tests (at the individual and colony
levels); analytical chemistry (extraction, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry); field work assays in a beekeeping environment on different honey bee populations.

Profile required
We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a strong background (MSc or equivalent) in Biology, Ecology, Agronomy or similar. Expertise in bee biology, apidology and/or chemical ecology is required. The candidate should show a great interest in conducting field experiments, in insect behaviour, analytical chemistry, behavioural
assays and statistical analysis of complex data.

Good organizational skills, communicative personality with a capacity for teamwork, good communication and writing skills in English, proficiency in French are also required. The project will include field work in France and possibly other countries from the Mediterranean basin. The candidate should not be allergic to bee stings.

Contact and information
For further information, please contact Dr Fanny Mondet (fanny.mondet@inra.fr, +33 4 32 72 26 99) or Prof Yves Le Conte (yves.le-conte@inra.fr). Online applications including cover letter, CV, and the addresses of 2/3 referees in a single PDF file should be send to fanny.mondet@inra.fr and yves.le-conte@inra.fr. Deadline for submission is July 20th 2019.

The position, based at INRA PACA (Avignon, France) will start in September 2019; funding (salary and project expenses) is secured for 3 years.

Offre de thèse : Nest building in social insects (ants and/or termites) – UK

Nest building in social insects (ants and/or termites).

This is a fully funded PhD opportunity for UK or EU nationals who have or will achieve a Master’s degree by the 1st October 2019. The successful applicant will join the Centre for Research in Ecology Evolution and Behaviour of the University of Roehampton (London, UK) and will receive a stipend of £16,777 per year, for three years. The tuition fees of £4,260 per year will be covered by the University. Research funds (£14,400) will also be provided to support the direct research costs of the PhD (research travel costs, computer, consumables etc.)
The start date for this position is the 1st October 2019.

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 10th July 2019

PhD Supervisors: Dr Andrea Perna, Dr Lewis Halsey

APPLICATION PROCESS: Expressions of interest, including a CV, should be made to Dr Andrea Perna (andrea.perna@roehampton.ac.uk). Informal enquiries are also welcome.

ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS AND DUTIES:
We seek candidates with a background in the quantitative sciences (biology, applied mathematics, computer sciences and related scientific areas) and with an interest for the study of social insects. We accept applications from both experimentally oriented and theoretically oriented candidates.

DETAILS OF POTENTIAL RESEARCH:
Nest building by social insects is one of the most classical examples of self-organisation phenomena in living systems, and has contributed to the evolutionary success of ants and termites. Surprisingly, still very little is known about the mechanisms underlying the construction of these structures and about their morphological and functional properties. Our laboratory aims at addressing these questions by using a variety of techniques, from 3D imaging (micro-computed tomography), image analysis, computational modelling (e.g. agent-based modelling).
The PhD candidate will focus on the characterisation of nests of a species of their choice (among a few options of ant and termite species that we have the expertise to analyse. The candidate will characterise nest structure (from direct measurements and analysis of nest scans), and study nest building behaviour from experiments and video-recordings. Depending on the experience and on the interests of the applicant, it will be possible to develop more either the data analysis and modelling component (e.g. agent based models of nest building, differential equation models), or the experimental component (with possibility to carry field-work in Australia and/or in Brazil).

References:
Perna and Theraulaz (2017) When social behaviour is moulded in clay: on growth and form of social insect nests. Journal of Experimental Biology. 220, 83-91.
Khuong et al. (2016) Stigmergic construction and topochemical information shape ant nest architecture. PNAS 113, 1303-1308.
Perna et al. (2008) Topological efficiency in three-dimensional gallery network of termite nests. Physica A 387, 6235-6244.

 

Figure 1. Left Characterisation of nest building in Lasius niger ants with a laser based scanner. Right Topological mapping of Cubitermes termite nests.