Offre de thèse : Bee virus evolution and effects on host health/fitness (University of Ulm, Germany )

3-year PhD on impacts of vector-borne transmission on bee virus epidemiology and evolution in the Wilfert group/Ulm University. The position will focus on links between virus evolution and host fitness, molecular evolution and modelling approaches. Preferred start in summer 2023

University of Ulm, Germany 

Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics

Wilfert group

This 3-year PhD is part of the ERC consolidator grant BeePath to Prof. Lena Wilfert, studying how the acquisition of vector-borne transmission has impacted the epidemiology and evolution of an important bee pathogen, Deformed Wing Virus. The project integrates evolution in natural populations of honeybees and bumblebees with experimental viral evolution in the lab, fitness assays in the virus and its hosts and modelling to understand the ultimate drivers of pathogen and host fitness. The project team includes two post-docs and labwork is supported by an experienced technician dedicated to this project. This position will focus on understanding the links between virus evolution and host fitness. It will include experimental infections and evolution using bee viruses, molecular evolution and modelling of host and pathogen fitness/health. The ERC-funded post is for 3 years (salary scale TV-L 13, 65%), with a preferred starting date in summer 2023


Applicants will possess a relevant master’s degree in a related field of study. Ideally, the successful applicant should have expertise in host-pathogen interactions, molecular ecology or evolution. Experience in working with bees or insects as well as with bioinformatics and modelling approaches would be desirable. The successful applicant will be able to work autonomously but also collaboratively, and will have excellent oral and written English language skills. Expertise or an interest in working with our collaborator Prof. Mike Boots (UC Berkeley) on mathematical models would be welcome.


The position will be based at the University of Ulm, at the Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics. Ulm is a delightful historic city on the Danube in Southwestern Germany; it is one hour from the Alps, Lake Constance, Munich and Stuttgart. Additionally, the position offers the potential for an extended stay at UC Berkeley. 


For further information, please contact Prof. Lena Wilfert The closing date is the 2nd of April 2023.

The job advert with detailed information on profile and responsibilities, as well as the link to the online application system, can be found at

Please note that applications have to be processed online!

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