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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 Thursday, February 15, 2024

Overview of vacancies on this page:

PhD: Soil Dwelling Ants and Termites in Malaysian Borneo, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

2 PhDs: Stingless Bees / Native Bee Pollination, Sydney, Australia

PhD, Bee Health, Macquarie University

PhD: Soil Dwelling Ants and Termites in Malaysian Borneo, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

Application deadline: 28 February 2024

A PhD Studentship is available to work on the topic: Impacts of anthropogenic habitat change on soil-dwelling ants and termites in Malaysian Borneo and consequences for soil properties

A highly motivated postgraduate student is sought to join a project exploring links between soil dwelling social insects, soil properties and plant diversity in tropical rainforest. The student will focus on the part of the project linking soil properties to soil dwelling social insects. We hypothesise that small-scale spatial turnover in ant/termite composition will result in strong spatial heterogeneity at this scale, hence increasing the range of soil property niches available to plants. Loss of soil dwelling social insects to logging and conversion to oil palm plantations reduces social insect diversity, and we hypothesise that this will reduce the ability of this arthropod group to support diverse plant communities via impacts on soil properties. The student will use a combination of field surveys for soil dwelling social insects, assays for soil properties, field-based experimental manipulations to explore insect-soil links, and collaboration with ongoing long-term research being conducted in large scale permanent vegetation plots. Field work will be based in Danum Valley Field Centre, a world leading tropical field station. Duties will include spending extensive periods of time in the field in Malaysian Borneo. There will also be opportunities to develop the project in a direction of the students’ own choosing, and to form collaborations with a range of international partners.

The successful applicant will join the Ant Research Group (http://antscience.com/) at the Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, under the supervision of Tom Fayle (http://www.tomfayle.com/index.htm) and Petr Klimes (https://antscience.com/people/). The laboratory is a dynamic, multinational group studying ant ecology, evolution and biogeography, and is embedded within the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, a world-class centre for tropical ecology research with regular publications in Science, Nature, Ecology Letters and other leading journals. The research facility is in Ceske Budejovice, a charming historical city in the south of the country, within easy reach of Prague and Vienna.

The deadline for applications is February 28th 2024, with an expected start date of 1st May 2024 (negotiable). The students will be employed on an ongoing grant from the Czech Science Foundation (3 years) and will enrol to PhD programme for the 4-year PhD course and receive a scholarship from the Faculty of Science at University of South Bohemia, which combined are sufficient to cover living expenses in Czech Republic, and will be registered on the Entomology PhD programme. Applicants from all countries are eligible.

• A master’s degree (non-negotiable requirement for PhD study in Czech Republic).
• Interest in the ecology of social insects (in particular ants or termites) or soil science.
• 1st or upper second (2.1) undergraduate degree in ecology or related subject (or equivalent: https://tinyurl.com/y2kcw2c8)
• Enthusiasm for working in the field for extended periods of time in challenging conditions in tropical rain forest.
• Ability to work independently, manage small teams of assistants, and collaborate with other team members.
• Fluency in spoken and written English.
• Experience in the use of ecological statistical analyses.

• Previous experience of tropical field work.
• Research experience with social insect ecology/soil science.
• Experience with scientific publishing in the above fields.

To apply please send a CV, contact details for three references, and cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation for this position to Jana Liparova (slancarova@entu.cas.cz). Please make sure to specify the title of the position you wish to apply for, as we are advertising two studentships on this project (the other is on Impacts of spatial variation in soil properties on plant diversity in relation to anthropogenic habitat change in Malaysian Borneo). If you would like to discuss the project further, please feel free to contact Tom Fayle (tmfayle@gmail.com).

Posted 15/2/2024

2 PhDs: Stingless Bees / Native Bee Pollination, Sydney, Australia

Application deadline: 29 February 2024

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) is offering two PhD scholarships for highly motivated candidates to work within a research group focussed on the biology of insect pollinators and their roles in pollination of fruit and vegetable crops. These industry-linked projects are funded by Hort Innovation Australia and Western Sydney University.

The PhDs will explore the biology and husbandry of stingless bees (PhD1), and the role of native bees in pollination of orchard and glasshouse crops (PhD2). Both will involve a combination of field, glasshouse and laboratory research to address research gaps, such as

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) is a research institute within Western Sydney University. HIE has rapidly become a research leader in environmental and ecological research, with a strong reputation for delivering research outcomes of the highest quality. The project will be based at HIE with the opportunity to also work with Australian academic and industry partners as part of a major collaboration on insect pollination of crops.



We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to key issues in entomology and horticulture. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in fields such as entomology, ecology, plant biology, horticulture and animal behaviour.

The successful applicant should:

International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency


Complete the application via the link: 


Follow the step-by-step instructions on the how to apply for a project scholarship page.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

For questions and advice about the research project, contact the Lead Researcher; Prof James Cook: james.cook@westernsydney.edu.au or Dr James Makinson: J.Makinson@westernsydney.edu.au

For additional details, please see: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/native-bees-and-crop-pollination/?p168843

Posted 15/2/2024

PhD: Bee Health, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Deadlines: 3 March 2024 (international), 30 April 2024 (Domestic, Australia)

Untangling environmental effects on bee health

A PhD scholarship is available to investigate how pollinator-pathogen dynamics shift and evolve across environments in two globally distributed bee species (honeybees and bumblebees) exposed to different Varroa impacts. The candidate will join the Landscape Genetics lab in the School of Natural Sciences at Macquarie University, under the supervision of Rachael Dudaniec.

The project implements genomic approaches spanning invasive bees in Australia (AU) and New Zealand (NZ), and native bees in the United Kingdom (UK). This PhD project will identify key biotic and abiotic determinants of viral and microbial dynamics, and their effects on pollinator-pathogen evolution, in both native and invasive bees. Further, while NZ and UK have been exposed to the destructive Varroa mite for a long time, Tasmania offers a time sensitive, pre-Varroa snapshot of bee health.

The PhD project would suit candidates with background in some or all of: evolution, genetics, landscape ecology, viruses, microbiomes and DNA metabarcoding. There will be considerable flexibility in the design of the project, and candidates are encouraged to develop their own questions.

The scholarship is available for candidates who are eligible to undertake a direct entry three-year PhD program and the position is open to both domestic and international students.

The value of the stipend scholarship is $A 35,000 per annum (full-time, fixed rate) for up to three years.

To apply and for more information see:

Posted 26/1/2024

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 Thursday, February 15, 2024