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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 Friday, February 23, 2018

Overview of vacancies on this page:

PhD: Bee Nesting Resources, Reading

PhD: Pollinator Ecology, Oxford

Postdoctoral Fellowship on the Genomics of Fungal Adaptations, Copenhagen

PhD: Genomic basis of honeybee foraging and decision-making, Mainz

Postdoc: Changes of pollination networks along environmental gradients, Prague

Postdoc: Bacterial Social Evolution, Tel-Aviv

Graduate student positions: Bumblebee Population Genomics, Alabama

PhD: Bee Nesting Resources, Reading

Bee nesting resources: the missing element of sustainable crop pollination

To ensure sustainable pollination services to crops, bees and other pollinators, need both forage and a place to live. There is a substantial body of research on how to enhance food resources for bees on farms, but the importance of nesting resources is poorly studied. This highly novel PhD provides an opportunity to work with a world class team of pollination experts to design and test novel interventions to provide bee nesting resources in UK apple orchards. The project will work in partnership with one of the UK’s biggest top fruit suppliers to better understand the fundamental nesting ecology of crop pollinating bees, and develop new management practices to boost nesting sites in commercial orchards. The student will benefit from working with a dynamic group of researchers focussing on pollinator conservation and crop pollination and work collaboratively with ecologists, economists, agronomists, social scientists and policy advisors.

This funded project forms part of a BBSRC-funded Waitrose Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) between the Waitrose Partnership, their international food production and supply companies, Lancaster University, the University of Reading, University of Warwick and Rothamsted Research. Between 2017 and 2023, the CTP will deliver studentships on the themes of sustainable crop production, sustainable soil and water and biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture.

The recruitment of this project is being led by Lancaster University, however this studentship is based at University of Reading

Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in biology, environmental science or agriculture/horticulture. A relevant Master’s degree would be beneficial. The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for laboratory work and extended periods of fieldwork. A full EU driving licence is also required. The student will be based between Reading and NIAB EMR and Registered with the University of Reading working under the supervision of Prof Simon Potts (UoR), Dr Michelle Fountain (NIAB EMR) and Tony Harding (Worldwide Fruit Limited). The PhD project will also involve a number of placements with WFL

Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£14,553 2017/18 tax free) for 4 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria. Unfortunately, studentships are not available to non-UK/EU applicants.

For further information please contact Prof Simon Potts, s.g.potts@reading.ac.uk. Visit the Waitrose CTP Website www.sustainableagriculturewaitrose.org/training/ctp/

Apply at: https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=94679

Deadline for applications is 2 March 2018

Posted 20/2/2018

PhD: Pollinator Ecology, Oxford

Fully funded PhD opportunity in pollinator ecology at the University of Oxford, UK - UK or EU nationals only

Global declines of both wild and managed insect pollinators threaten ecosystem function and human food security. Pollinator declines have been specifically linked to declines in the abundance and diversity of floral resources, the use of agrochemicals, and introduction of novel parasites. We are interested in how these changes in the foraging environment, as well as social interactions, affect foraging behaviour in UK bumblebees.

The proposed project would use a new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based insect tracking system based on harmonic radar tracking to track individual bumblebees while foraging. This study will improve understanding of how farm management systems, including crop types, field sizes, and field margins, as well as pasture, woodland and other semi-natural areas influence pollinator foraging patterns. The data will provide a foundation for modelling the necessary quantity, spatial pattern and temporal presence of floral resources in agricultural systems to maintain healthy wild pollinator communities.

The successful candidate will have a strong interest in pollinator ecology, insect learning, and agro-ecology and have experience piloting UAVs. Experience with radio frequency (RF) systems, microcontroller programming, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will be a significant advantage. For further details please contact tonya.lander@plants.ox.ac.uk.

This project is at the interface between ecology and engineering, and involves a collaboration between the Oxford departments of Plant Sciences (Dr. Tonya Lander) and Engineering (Prof. Chris Stevens).

Student Profile:

Apply here: https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=94942

Deadline for applications is 9 March 2018

Posted 20/2/2018

Postdoctoral Fellowship on the Genomics of Fungal Adaptations, Copenhagen

A two-year postdoctoral fellowship on comparative genomics of Podaxis fungi is available from July 1, 2018 at the Section of Ecology and Evolution within the Department of Biology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The fellowship will be part of a four-year research project titled "Solutions to Extreme Life in a Global Fungus”, financed by The Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences to Associate Professor Michael Thomas-Poulsen (http://www1.bio.ku.dk/english/staff/?pure=en/persons/227714). The project will be based at excellent research environment of the Centre for Social Evolution (http://socialevolution.ku.dk/home/), with Thomas-Poulsen as main advisor and Professor Nina Gunde-Cimerman (http://www.aluo.uni-lj.si/zaposleni/nina-gunde-cimerman/) from the University of Ljubljana as co-advisor. The project will involve sequencing and comparative genomics of selected species of Podaxis. The successful applicant will have bioinformatics experience and an interest in fungal genetics, genomics and evolution.

Project abstract
Adaptations to abiotic and biotic conditions through natural selection is a cornerstone in the evolution of life, but our understanding of adaptations to harsh conditions in fungi remains sparse. This is especially so for the basidiomycetes, despite their importance in natural ecosystems and for humans. The genus Podaxis is a promising model to elucidate basidiomycete adaptations to harsh environments, because species in this genus have evolved solutions to extreme abiotic and biotic conditions: desert species survive extreme drought and species growing from termite nests avoid antagonism from the insects during exploitation of termite resources. This project involves a complementary international group that will carry out comparative genomics, characterisations of genes of adaptive importance, and identification of putative insecticides in Podaxis, with the ultimate goal to provide fundamental insights into our understanding of fungal adaptations.

a) A PhD in biology.
b) Experience with fungal cultures.
c) Experience with whole-genome sequencing, assembly and analyses.
d) An interest in comparative genomics, fungal adaptations and evolution.
e) Creativity and ability to be both team-oriented and independent.
f) Embrace of an international research environment and interdisciplinary research.
g) A proven record of excellent English speaking, reading and writing skills.

Procedures and shortlisting
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether an expert committee will assess their application. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. The Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee, will make the final selection of the successful candidate.

Place of employment and principal place of work
University of Copenhagen, Department of Biology, Section for Ecology and Evolution, Universitetsparken 15, Building 3, DK-2100 Copenhagen East. The University of Copenhagen provides a top-notch research environment and the city of Copenhagen provides a vibrant cultural scene.

Terms of employment
The successful candidate will be offered a full-time position for a period of two years, contingent on a satisfactory performance, with the specific intent that it results in production of scientific publications. Terms of appointment and payment according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. While negotiation for salary supplement is possible, the starting salary is currently up to 367,627 DKK/year (+ pension up to DKK 62,864) including annual supplement and pension. Further information can be obtained from Dr. Thomas-Poulsen (e-mail: mpoulsen@bio.ku.dk).

How to apply
Applications must include: (1) a cover letter, (2) statement of research interests and reasons for applying to this position (max 2 pages), (3) curriculum vitae (including a list of publications), (4) copies of relevant diplomas (Master of Science and PhD), and (5) the names, e-mails, telephone numbers and addresses of 3 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.

Please complete your application via the job portal of the University of Copenhagen at : https://candidate.hr-manager.net/ApplicationInit.aspx?cid=1307&ProjectId=146687&DepartmentId=18965&MediaId=4636&SkipAdvertisement=true

Deadline for application is April 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM CET. Applications received after the deadline, not using the online application form, or not including the required documents will not be considered.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

Posted 20/2/2018

PhD: Genomic basis of honeybee foraging and decision-making, Mainz

Application deadline: 1st April 2018

We invite applications for a 3-year DFG (German Research Foundation) funded PhD position (65% TVL E13) at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany. We are looking for a highly motivated student to study the genomic basis of honeybee foraging behaviour. Honeybees exhibit sophisticated communication and decision-making processes. Their behaviour is highly flexible and is shaped by recent foraging experiences. However, the genomic and transcriptomic basis of decision-making in foraging bees is not well understood. The PhD project will investigates if and how the expression of behavioral genes in the brain affects foraging and decision-making. The successful applicant will perform behavioural experiments with free-flying bees, pharmacological treatments of bees, brain dissections and gene expression analysis using bioinformatic tools.

Students with a Masters degree in Biology and a strong background in behaviour and/or bioinformatics are particularly encouraged to apply. Good English skills and an ability to work as part of a team are important. Previous experience with honeybees, behavioral experiments, bioinformatics and a knowledge of German are helpful, but not a prequisite. The working language of our group is English. The Johannes Gutenberg-University 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. The successful applicant will join an international and interactive scientific environment with access to state-of-the-art, newly equipped laboratories. More information about our research interests and recent publications can be found here: http://www.bio.uni-mainz.de/zoo/evobio/index_ENG.php. The University of Mainz hosts many excellent scientific institutions (http://www.uni-mainz.de/eng/) and Mainz is a historic city located on the Rhine River with a large student population and a rich social and cultural life.

How to apply: applications should include (1) a 1-page cover letter describing your motivation, previous research activities and current research interests, (2) a CV and (3) the names and email addresses of 2 referees. Send all documents as a single pdf-file before 1st April 2018 to cgrueter@uni-mainz.de and foitzik@uni-mainz.de. Applications must be written in English. Skype-interviews for short-listed candidates will be scheduled for mid-April. The ideal start date is June 2018. Informal enquiries can be sent to: Dr. Christoph Grüter (cgrueter@uni-mainz.de) or Prof. Susanne Foitzik (foitzik@uni-mainz.de), Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution, University of Mainz, Germany

Posted 20/2/2018

Postdoc: Changes of pollination networks along environmental gradients, Prague

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoc to join a project assessing studies of plant-pollinator relationships in tropical and temperate environments. The research is focused on changes of general characteristics of pollination networks with environmental gradients, as well as on case studies of selected pollination systems. All the new team members will process already collected data and material, as well as actively participate on field sampling (at least two larger expeditions during the job) of data and their subsequent processing in collaboration with international specialists. The length of the postdoc is two and half years.

The successful applicant will become a part of the multi-disciplinary team (www.insect-communities.cz) at the Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, with a close collaboration with the Institute of Entomology and Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences. The fieldworks will be performed in Cameroon and/or Czech Republic. We have more than ten years continuous experience with various field projects in Cameroon. All senior members of our team have also worked in field in the Czech Republic since their studies.

Offered for all positions:

Required for all positions

Desirable (but not necessary) for all positions

All applicants will send a structured CV, contacts for three referees, and a cover letter stating their previous work, qualification (especially all field experience and less usual field/laboratory techniques) and motivation to our group email insectcommunities@gmail.com. Any questions should be sent to the same email as well. The review of applications will begin on 20th February 2018 and will continue until the position has been filled. Selected applicants will be interviewed through Skype in the first ten days of March 2018. The postdoctoral position will start from early summer 2018.

The postdoc will be collaborating on several our projects from both tropical and temperate regions. She/he should be mainly responsible for the network analyses and comparisons of various datasets of plant-pollinator interactions on the community level. Nevertheless, she/he is expected to join also other aspects of our pollination research based on her/his skills, including field sampling, samples identification, measuring and analyses etc. She/he will have an opportunity to join our field sampling in both Cameroon and Czechia. The postdoc will be jointly led by Dr. Robert Tropek and Dr. Štěpán Janeček.

Specific requirements for this position

Desirable (but not necessary)

Robert Tropek <robert.tropek@gmail.com>

Posted 6/2/2018

Postdoc: Bacterial Social Evolution, Tel-Aviv

The Eldar lab at Tel-Aviv University is looking for a highly motivated post-doc for a 3-4 year period, to work on an ERC funded project on the evolution of cooperation and communication in bacteria. The post-doc will take place in Tel-Aviv University in Israel.

Background: bacterial cooperation is often regulated by cell-cell communication systems known as quorum-sensing. Some bacterial mobile elements also code for their own signaling systems and use it to regulate their transfer or to manipulate their host behavior. The aim of the project is to analyze the interplay between bacterial and mobile-element quorum-sensing systems and understand their impact on the evolutionary divergence of quorum-sensing systems and mobile element life-history strategies.

The proposed work combines:

  1. Modeling the implication of a variety of processes on selection for cooperation and conflict between bacteria and its mobile elements.
  2. Analysis of data coming from a variety of sources, including high throughput fitness landscape data, time-lapse microscopy and genomic data.
  3. Active participation in the design (and preferably implication) of experimental work.

Requirements: The applicant should ideally have

Fellowship will depend on the applicant's record.

The work will be done at the faculty of life sciences in Tel-Aviv University, the largest university in Israel located at the heart of the city of Tel-Aviv.

For more details, please contact avigdor@gmail.com

Posted 6/12/2017

Graduate student positions: Bumblebee Population Genomics, Alabama

The Lozier Lab (lozierlab.ua.edu) at The University of Alabama, Dept. of Biological Sciences, is recruiting a highly motivated graduate students to start in the Fall 2018 semester. Students would work on projects related to ongoing NSF-funded studies of bumble bee population genomics to uncover signatures of adaptative and demographic processes within and among species. Students would specifically be working to generate and analyze population-level whole genome resequencing data across multiple species and broad environmental gradients at a large geographic scale, and could also be involved in sequencing and assembly of reference genomes from new bumble bee species using long-read sequencing technologies.

Students would have the opportunity to collaborate with project collaborators across institutions, and to integrate phenotypic data, including physiology and morphology, into genomic analyses.

Students with an interest in population genetics/genomics should contact Jeff Lozier (jlozier@ua.edu), with a brief statement of interest, a resume/CV, and an informal academic history (e.g., GPAs, GREs, and relevant coursework list, etc.).

The University of Alabama is the flagship campus of the University System of Alabama, with an enrollment of over 35,000 students.The University is committed to achieving excellence as one of the country's primary centers of research and education. It is located in the vibrant college town of Tuscaloosa, AL, which boasts many cultural and athletic activities. The campus also benefits from the close proximity to the Birmingham metropolitan community.

The University of Alabama is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Jeff Lozier
Associate Professor
Biological Sciences
The University of Alabama
Office 205-348-2754
jlozier@ua.edu | lozierlab.ua.edu

Posted 6/12/2017

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 Friday, February 23, 2018