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Fully funded PhD position in evolutionary ecology: Ecology and evolution of mutualisms

Project Description

Project description: Mutualisms, interaction between two species that benefit both, are present nearly everywhere, and are essential for most ecosystems. Despite their importance we still have a rather poor understanding of how mutualisms persist. The PhD student will examine how mutualists interact with enemies external to the mutualism, and how this varies across closely related species. The model system is the mutualism between fig trees (Ficus) and their pollinating fig wasps; an attractive system because it allows experimental manipulations, fitness can be quantified in the field, and there are many species to use for comparative studies. It is also a keystone resource for tropical forests. The project will involve both fieldwork in natural populations and laboratory work, and will be based at the well-known Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama up to six months per year. The exact project will be developed together with the selected candidate. Supervisors are Assistant Professor Charlotte Jandér (main supervisor) and Professor Jon Ågren. For more information about the group see

This PhD student position is available at the Department of Ecology and Genetics, Programme of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University. Uppsala University is a research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting work places. Uppsala University has 40,000 students, 7,000 employees and a turnover of SEK 6.5 billion.

The Department of Ecology and Genetics is an international environment with staff and students from all over the world. Our research spans from evolutionary ecology and genetics to studies of ecosystems. For more information, see
The Evolutionary Biology Centre ( is one of the world’s leading research institutions in evolutionary biology and offers an inspiring international atmosphere. There are ample opportunities for interaction with PhD-students, Postdocs and researchers working on related topics.

Qualifications required: To be eligible for a PhD-student position the applicant must hold a MSc degree or equivalent in ecology, evolutionary biology, or a related field. We are looking for an excellent candidate with strong motivation and an ability to work independently and as part of a team. The successful candidate should have a keen interest in species interactions, and experience from previous work in evolutionary biology or ecology. Experience from fieldwork, microbiology, and molecular work is a merit. Candidates must be able to express themselves well in spoken as well as written English.

Access: 1 November 2019, or as agreed upon.

Application: The application should include 1) a letter of intent describing yourself, your research interests and motivation of why you want to do a PhD, and why you are suitable for the position, 2) your CV, 3) a short description of your education, 4) a copy of your undergraduate and master degree, your course grades and a copy of your master thesis, 5) the names and contact information of at least two reference persons (e-mail address and phone number), and 6) publications produced. The application should be written in English. You are welcome to submit your application no later than 2019-08-30. Apply through the Uppsala University application system:

Uppsala University aims for gender balance and diversity in all activities in order to achieve a higher quality at all levels of the organization. We therefore welcome applicants of any gender and with different birth background, functionality and life experience.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at .

Funding Notes

The graduate program covers four years of full-time study. The position can be combined with teaching or other duties at the department (up to 20%), which prolongs the employment with the corresponding time. The salary will be set according to local agreements (current starting salary is 26 700 SEK per month), and the position comes with standard social benefits and retirement funds. Rules governing PhD candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala university's rules and guidelines View Website. More information about postgraduate studies at Uppsala University is available at View Website.

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