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2 PhD positions: The role of symbiont-driven resistance to parasitoids in greenhouse biocontrol success

Are you interesting in working on the fore-front of biological control in a multidisciplinary project? Do you enjoy combining field work in greenhouses with …

7 maanden geleden

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Standplaats:
Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Dienstverband:
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
Opleidingsniveau:
WO

Functieomschrijving

Are you interesting in working on the fore-front of biological control in a multidisciplinary project? Do you enjoy combining field work in greenhouses with experiments in the laboratory?

If so, we have two PhD candidate positions available in the NWO funded project: "Aphids out of control? The role of symbiont-driven resistance to parasitoids in greenhouse biocontrol success". Aphids are major crop pests, both in greenhouses and in the field. They are now still predominantly controlled using pesticides, which is not environmentally friendly, nor sustainable. A very effective alternative is biocontrol through the use of parasitoids that prevent early-stage aphid population expansion. Unfortunately, endosymbiotic bacteria associated with aphids can confer resistance against parasitoid attacks leading to biocontrol failure. Current knowledge is scarce on endosymbiont variation. Moreover, research about the functionality and the specificity of aphid-endosymbiont associations, and the role that the symbiont community plays in resistance is mostly lacking.

In this project, two PhD students will work closely together to provide this essential information through, (i) monitoring and establishing the extent of aphid-endosymbiont associations, aphid resistance, and parasitoid virulence, (ii) unravelling the aphid-symbiont interactions and mechanisms of defence, (iii) determining the aphid-parasitoid interactions and variation in virulence, in order to (iv) deliver advice on biocontrol resource development and biocontrol application strategies.

Functie-eisen

Our ideal candidates:

  • Are highly motivated and enjoy working in a team with the PhD candidate, a technician and the supervisors.
  • Have a strong background in entomology, evolutionary biology and/or molecular ecology. Some experience with bioinformatics will be a bonus.
  • Like to do field work in greenhouses (and preferably have some experience) and are good in communicating (with growers).
  • Are proficient in the English language.
  • Have a driver's license, because the field work involves a driving between greenhouses, fields, and the laboratory.

Conditions

We offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another three years. Gross salary per month € 2.222,- in the first year rising to € 2.840,- per month in the fourth year, for a fulltime appointment. The candidates will be based at both the Laboratory of Genetics and the Laboratory of Entomology in Wageningen.

Additional information

Information on the research and selection procedure: Dr. Bart Pannebakker (bart.pannebakker@wur.nl) or Bas Zwaan (bas.zwaan@wur.nl).

You can apply up and until 26 March 2018
For this position you can only apply on line: www.wageningenur.nl/career


Don't email directly to the people mentioned above but use the website to apply. Stuur uw sollicitatie niet naar de genoemde contactpersoon, maar solliciteer via de website.

Bedrijfsomschrijving

The mission of Wageningen University & Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 5,000 employees, and 10,000 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at the special career site. www.wur.eu/career .

The Laboratory of Genetics is part of Wageningen University and works closely together with other groups of Wageningen University. The group investigates causes and consequences of natural genetic variation within species. Because genetic variation plays an essential role in ecological and evolutionary processes, we ask ecologically and evolutionary motivated research questions. We use a wide array of organisms, ranging from bacteria, fungi, plants and insects.

The Laboratory of Entomology aims at an interdisciplinary approach from cellular to community level to unravel biological phenomena underlying the functioning of insect sex determination, plant-insect communities, insect vectored diseases, insect neurobiology and insects as food and feed.