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International Union for the Study of Social Insects

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Here you will find details of social insect related job vacancies, studentships and grants currently available. If you have any social insect related vacancies that you would like to have advertised here, please e-mail to INSECTS@bio.ku.dk. All advertisements must include either a closing date for applications, or a date on which they may be removed from the web site. This page was last modified on Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Overview of vacancies on this page:

Two Research Technicians: Ant Biodiversity, Okinawa

Postdoctoral researcher: Ant Venomics, Ohio State

Research Technician: Social Evolution in Bees & Wasps, Exeter

Two PhDs: Honeybee Evolutionary Genetics, Purdue University

Postdoc: Ant Adaptation to Hot and Arid Areas – Transcriptomics Data Analysis, Brussels

Two PhDs: Evolutionary Epigenetics and Genomics of Social Insects, Georgia

Two Research Technicians: Ant Biodiversity, Okinawa

The Economo Lab (http://arilab.unit.oist.jp/) at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (http://www.oist.jp/) is seeking qualified applicants for two technician positions. The lab works at the interface of ecology, evolution, and natural history, with an empirical focus on ant biodiversity. We use a variety of approaches to understanding biodiversity including field expeditions, collections-based research, x-ray micro-CT, 3D modeling and morphometrics, phylogenomics, biodiversity informatics, and quantitative theory. Although two positions are described below, we are flexible with regards to division of duties among the two hired individuals.

Research technician:

Description: The hired individual will get involved with a number of research activities in the lab including: curating an entomological research collection, managing lab databases, procuring lab supplies and materials, and performing miscellaneous tasks to support lab research. In addition, there are exciting opportunities to become an expert in X-ray micro-CT scanning and downstream applications such as segmentation, 3D modeling (e.g. https://sketchfab.com/arilab), morphometrics, 3D printing, and interacting with biodiversity data in virtual and augmented reality.

Qualifications: An undergraduate degree or higher in a scientific or technical field and experience with scientific research are required. Although there is no requirement for proficiency in a specific computational program/language, it is important that the person has strong computational skills and a high ability to learn different software and methods independently. Although not required by any means, experience with any of the following would be highly desirable: biodiversity collections management, 3D modeling, 3D animation, data management, computational phylogenetics, geometric morphometrics, GIS, HPC, VR/AR applications.

Research computing technician:

Description: The hired individual will be responsible for computational support of lab research including; designing and maintaining research databases, maintaining lab websites, assist with design and maintenance of bioinformatic data analysis pipelines, application support for utilizing HPC resources, and desktop support to lab members. In addition, there are opportunities to lead or participate in development of new technologies that facilitate and accelerate biodiversity research.

Qualifications: An undergraduate degree or higher in a scientific or technical field and experience with scientific research computing are required. As this position is not tied to a single application or task, the ideal candidate would have a good baseline of programming skills, including familiarity with both compiled and interpreted languages, and ability to learn independently. Proficiency with Linux, SQL-based database design and administration, and at least basic familiarity with server administration are required. Experiences with one or more of the following would be highly desirable but are not required; GIS, bioinformatics, phylogenetics, ecoinformatics, parallel computing, and statistical computing.

Job Data: OIST is a newly established international graduate university located in the resort area of Onna-son, Okinawa, Japan, and offers a high quality of life and good working conditions in an international environment. Logistical and financial assistance with relocation will be provided, along with a competitive salary and benefits package. OIST is an English-language working environment, so knowledge of Japanese is not required.

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, and list of three references with contact information to <economo@oist.jp> in an email with subject "Research Technician Application" or "Research Computing Technician Application", as appropriate. Informal inquiries are also welcome at the same address. Application review will begin immediately and will remain open until the positions are filled.

Evan P. Economo
Assistant Professor
Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
1919-1 Tancha
Okinawa, Japan 904-0495

Posted 11/9/2018

Postdoctoral researcher: Ant Venomics, Ohio State

Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH USA

The Adams lab broadly aims to understand the evolution of traits that drive community assembly in ant-centric symbiotic species networks. This position focuses on comparative questions relating to venom evolution in Megalomyrmex ants.

The 1-2 year project will explore the variation in transcripts expressed in the venom glands of free-living and parasite species. Social parasites exploit ant societies by invading and stealing resources. Megalomyrmex ants enter host nests using chemical weaponry made from alkaloid-based venom (e.g., pyrrolidines, pyrrolizidines, piperidines, and pyrrolines). We have characterized the venom alkaloids of many species and would now like to explore and compare transcriptomes to understand the underlying genes responsible for venom toxicity.

Dr. Adams leads a collaborative team in a supportive research environment at the Museum of Biological Diversity at The Ohio State University. She is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive team that is productive, happy and will attain their career goals.

Interested candidates should have a strong publication record appropriate for your career stage and ideally experience in -omics techniques (e.g., transcriptome sequencing, genome assembly, comparative genomics and evolution). Top candidates will have excellent communication skills, enthusiasm for symbiosis research and a compelling argument that explains how their skillset will advance this line of work while also proposing additional projects of interest.

The successful applicant will work closely with Dr. Adams and her students in research design; field collections in Panama and/or Costa Rica; the establishment and maintenance of laboratory experiments and bioassays; data collection, management and statistical analyses; and possibly the supervision of live ant colonies.

Applications are encouraged from motivated individuals who have a Ph.D. or are nearing completion of their Ph.D. Please send a single pdf including 1) your CV, 2) a letter of motivation (your interests, past experience, and why you want to work with venomics), and 3) the names, addresses and phone numbers of three references. Women and underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Review of applications will begin by 15 September 2018 and will continue until the position is filled. Starting date is flexible.

Send material to:
Dr. Rachelle M. M. Adams: adams.1970@osu.edu
The Ohio State University
Learn more about the lab: megalomyrmex.osu.edu

Posted 11/9/2018

Research Technician: Social Evolution in Bees & Wasps, Exeter

We seek an enthusiastic, self-motivated person with an interest in genetics/animal behaviour/entomology for a full-time post starting October 2018 in the research group of Professor Jeremy Field at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, UK (see http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Jeremy_Field). The post will run until December 2020, with the potential for it to be extended for a further year. The job will involve a combination of mainly molecular but also field-based work towards understanding the evolution of castes and social behaviour in primitively eusocial bees (Lasioglossum) and wasps (Polistes). As well as labwork, the postholder will assist with fieldwork in the UK and potentially elsewhere in Europe. There will also be postdoctoral researchers working on the project. The successful applicant will have an MSc or PhD in a relevant subject, experience of DNA/RNA molecular techniques and fieldwork, and a full driving licence.

The closing date for completed applications is midnight on 26th September 2018. Interviews are expected to take place during the week of 15 October.

For full details, including how to apply, enter the job reference number (P63840) as a keyword in the University of Exeter job search engine at: https://jobs.exeter.ac.uk/hrpr_webrecruitment/wrd/run/etrec105gf.open?wvid817591jNg

Posted 11/9/2018

Two PhDs: Honeybee Evolutionary Genetics, Purdue University

Two full-time Graduate Research Assistantships (Ph.D.) are available beginning Summer/Fall 2019 in the laboratory of Dr. Brock Harpur (beemolevo.com) in the Department of Entomology at Purdue University.

North American honeybee populations are non-native. They originate from European settlers who brought colonies from at least two highly-diverged source populations. How does admixture of highly diverged populations influence gene expression, gene regulation, phenotypic expression, and ultimately the evolution of traits? The Harpur lab is seeking two Ph.D. students to combine genomics, transcriptomics, computational biology, and biochemistry to tackle this question focusing on industry-relevant traits. Application of molecular techniques and outreach to beekeepers and the community will be an integral part of the students' training.

Contact: Interested candidates should contact Dr. Harpur (b.harpur@gmail.com) by November 17th, 2018. Please contact him with any questions. To be considered for this position send a C.V., contact information for 3 references and a 1-page cover letter describing research interests and background (use email subject line: "Grad Fellowship: Harpur Lab"). You can also meet Dr. Harpur in person at the 2018 ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting (Entomology 2018) in Vancouver.

About Purdue University: The Department of Entomology at Purdue is an integral part of the College of Agriculture, one of the world's leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences, ranked eighth globally in the 2016 QS World University Rankings. The College is deeply committed to the three land-grant missions (teaching, research, and extension), to international activities and perspectives that span all missions. The College has 11 academic departments and includes 325 faculty, 2782 undergraduate students, and 690 graduate students. The College's strategic plan can be accessed at https://ag.purdue.edu/plan/Pages/default.aspx

For more information on the Entomology Graduate Program, Purdue University and West Lafayette, Indiana see: http://www.entm.purdue.edu/prospective-grads/, http://www.purdue.edu/ and http://www.homeofpurdue.com/

The Department and College of Agriculture are committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement. Purdue is an ADVANCE institution - www.purdue.edu/advance-purdue . Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Posted 11/9/2018

Postdoc: Ant Adaptation to Hot and Arid Areas – Transcriptomics Data Analysis, Brussels

The Evolutionary Biology & Ecology lab (ULB Belgium) and the Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels (ULB and VUB Belgium, ibsquare.be) are recruiting a 2-year postdoc researcher to study how desert ants have evolved their extreme degree of thermophily. The project is based on a comparative approach to examine how similar desert conditions have led either to the evolution of convergent traits in different lineages or to the adoption of alternative strategies. The postdoc will focus on the computational analysis of sequencing data of the heat-shock responses (HSRs) in ants (e.g. RNA-seq de novo assembly, differential expression analysis, clustering).

Candidates should have a strong expertise with RNA-seq (including library preparation and computational analysis of sequencing data) and must have effective written and oral communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to publish peer-reviewed papers. He/She must have a PhD pending or obtained within the last 3 years in computer science, biology or bioinformatics. The applicant may not have resided or pursued his/her main activity (studies, employment, etc.) in Belgium for more than 24 months during the last 3 years immediately preceding the first period of postdoctoral residence.

The post-doc will be based in the Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels under direct supervision of Matthieu Defrance (Associate Professor) and Serge Aron (Research Director of the Belgian NSF/FNRS). He will work closely with a PhD student, who will focus on empirical data collection. The position is funded for 2 years. Start date is early 2019. The candidate's salary for the first year will be ~2 420 euros, net of tax; it will increase the second year in accordance with the legal rules in force in Belgium.

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, and names and contact information for three references to Serge Aron (saron@ulb.ac.be) and Matthieu Defrance (matthieu.dc.defrance@ulb.ac.be). The application deadline is December 1st, 2018. ULB is an Equal Opportunity Employer: all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

For more information, please visit the Evolutionary Biology & Ecology lab website (http://ebe.ulb.ac.be) and the Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels website (ibsquare.be), or contact Serge Aron (saron@ulb.ac.be) or Matthieu Defrance (matthieu.dc.defrance@ulb.ac.be).

Posted 11/9/2018

Two PhDs: Evolutionary Epigenetics and Genomics of Social Insects, Georgia

NSF-supported graduate studies in evolutionary epigenetics and genomics of social insects in the Hunt Lab at the University of Georgia.

The Hunt Lab is broadly interested in how evolution produces variation in insect form and function. We use ants and bees as models for studying how evolutionary mechanisms shape variation in social behavior. We have two, recently-funded projects in the lab to support graduate students; both use functional genomic and transcriptomic methods to study the genetic and epigenetic factors that underlie differences in social structure.

The first project, in collaboration with Ken Ross at UGA, explores how a supergene and phenotypic plasticity influence variation in colony queen number and social behaviors in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

The second project, in collaboration with Sarah Kocher at Princeton University, investigates how gene regulatory evolution has influenced evolutionary variation in social behavior in halictid bees.

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. The diversity and multitude of faculty at UGA results in diverse areas of expertise and coursework availability to 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 strong 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.

Posted 11/9/2018

Vacancies will be advertised on this page until the closing date for applications, or, where no firm closing date is given, for a maximum of 3 months. If a position has been filled in the meantime, please let the webmaster know.

This site is maintained and promoted on the Internet by David Nash. email to: DRNash @ bio.ku.dk
Last modified Tuesday, September 11, 2018