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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 Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Overview of vacancies on this page:

PhD on pathogen spillover and spillback among bee communities, Halle (Germany)

Three Postdoctoral positions in genomics, pollen meta-barcoding, and ecology at York University, Toronto, Canada

Postdoc: Hormonal and pheromonal regulation of reproduction and social behaviors in a bumble bee, Jerusalem

PhD on pathogen spillover and spillback among bee communities, Halle (Germany)

Application deadline: 7 April 2021

We have an open PhD position to contribute to an exciting new project (ComBee) on interactions between bee species, their parasites and land use in the group of Robert Paxton at the University of Halle, Germany (https://www.zoologie.uni-halle.de/allgemeine_zoologie/). The goals of the project are to explore how apiculture and agricultural practices, including organic farming and floral field margins, impact the health of honey bee and wild bee populations. The research includes field experiments in association with the team of Catrin Westphal at the University of Göttingen, Germany (https://uni-goettingen.de/de/601841.html), as well as molecular genetic studies on bees and their viral pathogens. Interest in host-parasite relationships, population genetics, virology and molecular genetic skills in the lab are desired.

The PhD salary is on the standard national (German) scale and the position is for 3 years, with a start date as soon as possible. Halle (Saale) is an historical city located 150 km south-west of Berlin, with many like-minded academic institutes in the vicinity (e.g. UFZ, iDiv). For further information, contact Robert Paxton, E-Mail: robert.paxton@zoologie.uni-halle.de

Applications should be submitted by April 7, 2021, cite registration number 5-3009/21-D and include a cover letter explaining your interests in the PhD position and contact details of three academic referees.

Related publications:

Posted 27/3/2021

Three Postdoctoral positions in genomics, pollen meta-barcoding, and ecology at York University, Toronto, Canada

Application deadline: 20 April 2021

The honey bee lab (http://zayedlab.apps01.yorku.ca/wordpress/) at York Universitys Dept. of Biology (Toronto, Canada) has several positions available starting Summer of 2021. Projects include:

1) Developing bio-markers for honey bee health: Our group is leading a national initiative called BeeCSI (https://beecsi.ca) which will systematically expose honey bees to a large number of relevant stressors to identify transcriptional biomarkers associated with exposure. We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow with experience in transcriptomics and interest in honey bee biology to participate in both wet-lab and bioinformatics components of this research.

2) Molecular palynology: To better understand the role of nutrition in bee health, our group is looking for a postdoctoral fellow with experience in DNA barcoding and meta-barcoding to identify the source and diversity of pollen collected by honey bee colonies situated near and far from a large number of crops in Canada. The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with collaborator and molecular palynology expert, Dr. Rodney Richardson (University of Maryland), in addition to collaborating with other researchers on the BeeCSI team.

3) Landscape and bee health: We are assembling a rich dataset of pests, pathogens, pesticides, pollen diversity and transcriptomic profiles in a very large number of honey bee colonies from across Canada. We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow with experience in spatial ecology to study how landscape interacts with multiple stressors to influence honey bee health in the field.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter outlining their expertise, a CV, reprints of relevant papers, and contact information for 3 referees to honeybee@yorku.ca between now and April 20th 2021. We will evaluate the applications as they are received.

In addition to the honey bee lab, York University is home to the Center for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (BEEc, https://www.yorku.ca/bees/). Successful candidate will have a chance to interact with the diverse faculty, fellows and students at BEEc, and participate in BEEc activities and training initiatives.

Duration: 2 years Salary: $50,000 including benefits.

Posted 27/3/2021

Postdoc: Hormonal and pheromonal regulation of reproduction and social behaviors in a bumble bee, Jerusalem

Deadline for applications: 15 May 2021

Bumble bees provide important models for research on the evolution of sociality because they represent an intermediate level of social complexity, commonly referred to as "primitively eusocial". Although the regulation of reproduction is one of the hallmarks of insect societies, its mechanisms in bumble bees remains elusive. The bumble bee colony exhibits a clear transition from a cooperative eusocial phase in which the queen inhibits gyne production and worker reproduction, to a competition phase characterized by conflicts over reproduction involving the queen and an increasing number of dominant workers. We are looking for a highly motivated postdoc to study pheromones and hormones mediating the regulation of reproduction in B. terrestris, the best studied bumble bee. An additional aspect of the project involves the hormonal regulation of learning and memory. The project uses an integrative multi-level approach, combining sociobiology, behavior, chemical ecology, neurobiology, endocrinology, and functional genomics, to comprehensively study the interplay between pheromones, behavior, fertility, and hormone signaling pathways. To facilitate the research we have already established working protocols for RNAi and JH manipulations and are in the process of establishing a CRISPR- Cas9 DNA editing for B. terrestris. We expect that this project will provide the most comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms underlying social regulation of reproduction in a primitive eusocial insect, setting the stage for comparative evolutionary studies on the evolution of social complexity. Given that bumble bees are key pollinators of agricultural and natural ecosystems, an expected benefit of our research is a significant contribution to the understanding of bumble bee physiology, molecular biology, and behavior. These new insights will be valuable for sustainable production of bumble bee colonies for commercial pollination, and for mitigating the loss of natural bumble bee populations.

Required qualifications
- A PhD degree in Entomology, Zoology, genetics, neurobiology, molecular biology or related fields
- Relevant lab expertise in neuroanatomy, bioinformatics, or molecular biology techniques
- An excellent academic record
- Experience in organismal biology (e.g., animal behavior, neuroethology, or ecology) is advantageous.
- Fluent spoken and written English
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work in a team.

We offer a strong, internationally recognized and interdisciplinary working environment with an open academic atmosphere. Location in the beautiful city of Jerusalem. Israel leads the world in COVID-19 vaccination and provides a safe environment. The university campus has already returned to normal teaching and research. The position can start immediately, or later this spring or early summer. The position is for 2-3 years.

For further information, please contact: Prof. Guy Bloch (guy.bloch@mail.huji.ac.il)

Relevant recent publications:

Posted 30/3/2021



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.

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Last modified Tuesday, March 30, 2021