Offre de Post-doc : Evolution of a kin recognition system in social insects at the University of Bristol

The role

We are seeking an experienced and energetic postdoc to work on our Leverhulme Trust Research Project ‘Evolution of a kin recognition system in social insects’. How do altruistic individuals recognise social parasites? In some bees, wasps and ants most individuals forgo reproduction to support the offspring of others. This evolutionary conundrum is explained by kin selection, where helping related individuals indirectly promotes the helper’s overall fitness. However, this strategy is vulnerable to exploitation. An ability to distinguish kin from non-kin is therefore critical for social living to evolve. By combining broad taxonomic sampling with detailed neuroanatomical, genomic and functional characterisation of the sensory structures underpinning kin recognition, we are investigating the neural and chemosensory adaptations that support this behaviour, and the remarkable diversity of Hymenopteran social systems.

What will you be doing?

This role will lead the genomics side of this project, working together with other team members in the UK and France. The work will include collating published genomic data across Hymenoptera, and combining it with newly sequenced genomes to perform phylogenetic analyses of chemoreceptor genes. These analyses will be informed, and combined, with data on neuroanatomical traits.


You should apply if

The role will suit someone with experience in handling large genomic datasets, genome assembly, annotation and phylogenetic analyses, and excellent data handling and organizational skills. You will be working with a multidisciplinary team, so must have strong communication skills and an enthusiasm for understanding different branches of biology.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Stephen Montgomery (

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.
Closing date :  05 Apr 2022
Salary :  £34,304 – £38,587 per annum

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