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PhD Studentship in Insect-Plant Interactions - Hybridization as a path to success? Adaptive hybridization in willows in face of biotic and abiotic pressures


   Institute of Entomology, Department of Ecology

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  Dr Martin Volf  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate to join a project by funded Czech Science Foundation that aims at exploring if the hybridization in plants is fuelled by the adaptive value of hybrids in face of biotic and abiotic selection pressures. The project focuses on willows as a diverse and dominant key-stone plant genus to explore the distribution of their hybrids in natural communities and to dissect their interactions with insect herbivores and environment along elevational gradients. This is a highly interdisciplinary project. The successful candidate will conduct field work aimed at collecting insect and plant samples, join metabolomics and genomics analyses exploring chemical traits and genetic variation among the hybrids, and integrate these various types of data with biostatistics and bioinformatics methods.

We are looking for candidates that have

·    a MSc degree (non-negotiable requirement for applying for this PhD programme)

·    a deep interest in the community ecology of plants and insects

·    experience in both field work and lab work

·    excellent skills in biostatistics

·    previous experience in bioinformatics (optional)

·    fluency in spoken and written English

·    an ability to work independently

·    a driving license (optional, but highly recommended)

The successful applicant will join the Ecology Department at the Institute of Entomology, Biology Center of the Czech Academy of Science (web) and the Zoology Department of the University of South Bohemia (web). The PhD study will be supervised by Dr. Martin Volf (web). The candidate will live in Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic) (web) where the studies will take place. The programme offers an opportunity to conduct the laboratory work in the Czech Republic and abroad, within a collaborative network of our colleagues from Europe and overseas. The field work involves sampling in the Czech Republic and in the Alps in Austria. Our department is a diverse, international team studying ecology, evolution and biogeography, and a world-class centre for interaction network research with regular publications in leading journals.

The deadline for applications is November 30th 2022. The best candidates will be interviewed in early December. The successful applicant is expected to start on February 1st 2022 (later start date negotiable). The student will receive a scholarship fully covering living expenses in the Czech Republic for 3 years. Applicants from all countries are eligible. To apply, please send a CV, contact details for three references, and a cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation to Dr. Martin Volf ([Email Address Removed]) where you can also send any queries.

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