Postdoctoral and PhD Positions Available for Tropical Research

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 PhD Studentship in Tropical Ecology, Novotny Lab

University of South Bohemia & Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

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We are seeking a highly motivated postgraduate student to join our international team studying tropical plant-insect food webs. The successful applicant will have strong background in entomology, botany, community ecology, molecular ecology, phylogenetic analysis and/or biostatistics. He/she will be supervised by Vojtech Novotny and expected to develop a research programme on community ecology of insect-plant interactions, using our excellent field facilities in Papua New Guinea, in collaboration with our partners at the University of Minnesota, the Smithsonian Institution and the Center for Tropical Forest Science. The position is fully funded (tuition, living expenses and research costs). A completed MSc degree is required to enroll in the PhD programme. The length of study is 4 years.

The application including CV, names of three referees, and a cover letter stating your previous work, qualification and motivation should be emailed to Prof. Vojtech Novotny (novotny@entu.cas.cz). Review of applications will begin on 15th February and will continue until the position has been filled. The position is available from 1st April 2014.


PhD Studentship on The Effects of Forest Fragmentation on Ant-termite Food Webs and Consequences for Soil Properties

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A highly motivated postgraduate student is sought to join a project assessing the way that interactions between soil dwelling ants and termites change, and the consequences of this for soil properties, when tropical rainforest is logged, fragmented and converted into oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo. The student will quantify interactions using field collections and experiments linking the soil biota to soil properties and nutrient redistribution rates, environmentally constrained null models of species co-occurrence and molecular identification of gut contents. There will also be opportunities to develop the project in a direction of the student’s own choosing. Duties will include spending extensive periods of time in the field in Malaysian Borneo.

The successful applicant will join the Laboratory for Tropical Ecology at the Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, under the supervision of Tom Fayle and Vojtech Novotny. The laboratory is a dynamic and world leading centre for food web research, with regular publications in Science, Nature and other leading journals. The studentship will also provide the opportunity to collaborate with the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems project (SAFE), the world’s largest experimental forest fragmentation project. The deadline for applications is February 15th 2013, with a start date of April 1st. The student will receive a scholarship from the University of South Bohemia and employment on an ongoing grant for three years, sufficient to cover living expenses in Czech Republic.

Required

  • A master’s degree (non-negotiable requirement for PhD study in Czech Republic).
  • Interest in the ecology of social insects.
  • 1st or 2.1 undergraduate degree in ecology or related subject (or equivalent).
  • Enthusiasm for working in the field for extended periods of time in challenging conditions in tropical rain forest.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Experience in the use of ecological statistical analyses.

Desirable

  • Experience with methods relevant to analysis of soil properties and/or molecular techniques for species identification.

To apply please send a CV, contact details for three references, and cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation to Tom Fayle (tmfayle@gmail.com).


Postdoctoral Research in Tropical Ecology, Novotny Lab

Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic & University of South Bohemia

We are seeking a highly motivated and productive postdoctoral researcher to join our international team studying tropical plant-insect food webs.

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RESPONSIBILITIES The successful applicant will develop ecological, statistical, molecular and phylogenetic analyses of large data sets on plant-insect food webs. In addition, s/he will be able to develop an independent project, use our excellent field research facilities in Papua New Guinea and collaborate closely with our partners at the University of Minnesota, the Smithsonian Institution and the CTFS. S/he will also contribute to the design of further studies of food webs, apply for grant support and mentor graduate students.

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATION AND SKILLS

  • Ph.D. in ecology, evolutionary biology, entomology or related field
  • Proven ability to develop, implement and publish interesting research projects
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Proficiency in statistical and other analysis of data
  • Knowledge of phylogenetic methods, particularly those relevant to community ecology
  • Laboratory experience with molecular methods and/or field experience in the tropics
  • Ability to manage small teams and work in challenging conditions

EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS The salary will be commensurate with experience, in the range of Euro 14 – 24,000 per annum. The appointment is initially for one year, with additional two years possible given satisfactory progress. The position is available from 1st March 2014. Location: Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic (note that cost of living in Czech Republic is 65% of the UK cost).

APPLICATION PROCEDURE For informal enquiries and application, email your CV, names of three references, and a cover letter stating your previous work, qualification and motivation to Prof. Vojtech Novotny (novotny@entu.cas.cz). Review of applications will begin on 15th February and will continue until the position has been filled.

More information: http://www.entu.cas.cz/png/brc-vacancies.htm