If you are interested to join the laboratory, do contact us about opportunities for postdoctoral research, graduate studentships and undergraduate research experience.
Postdoctoral Position Available
A postdoctoral position is available to join our research on the molecular basis of bacterial symbiosis in plant sap feeding insects. These insects (including aphids, whiteflies, planthoppers, cicadas and leafhoppers) bear symbiotic microorganisms that provide essential amino acids, nutrients in short supply in plant phloem and xylem sap. The symbiotic bacteria are intracellular, and restricted to specialized insect cells known as bacteriocytes. Our goal is to:
(1) Identify the key insect enzymes and transporters in the bacteriocytes that mediate the supply of nutrients to the bacteria and process the metabolites received from the bacteria, by metabolic reconstructions and modeling, and phylogenetic analysis
(2) Discover additional genes contributing to the insect-bacterial interaction by comparative analysis of within- and among- species variation in symbiosis function, using transcriptional and genome sequencing strategies
(3) Determine the significance of candidate genes for symbiosis function and insect fitness by metabolic analyses of different insect/bacterial genotypes and experimental manipulation of gene function.
Candidates should have a PhD and expertise in either computational or experimental approaches to study metabolism, or expertise in insect-bacterial symbioses. Previous experience of team working is preferred. Applications should be sent by email to Angela Douglas (email@example.com). Please provide a CV, statement of research, and contact details of three referees. The covering letter should include an explanation of how your qualifications and experience make you a good candidate for this position. Informal inquiries are welcome. To ensure full consideration, all materials should be received by 31st March 2014.
Students with an interest in symbiosis, nutritional physiology and the immune responses of insects are especially encouraged to contact us. Applications can be made through the Graduate Field of Entomology, Graduate Field of Genetics & Development, or the Graduate Field of Microbiology, with excellent funding opportunities.
We aim to offer a broad training, providing the opportunity for students to experience independent research and team-working, and enabling them to follow their own research goals. Specific research skills provided include genomics, molecular and whole-organism physiology, experimental design, and statistics. We have weekly lab meetings, and students are encouraged to attend regular discussion groups across campus (e.g. Symbiosis Group, Gut Group, Ecology & Evolution of Infection and Disease Group, Plant-Insects Group,... and more) and regular seminars in the Department and across campus.
To discuss opportunities further, do contact us. The annual deadline for applications to enroll in the fall of each year is early December of the previous year. You are recommended to contact us well before the deadline.
Working in a research lab is excellent experience for students intending to enroll into graduate school or take up a career in research. We regularly have opportunities, especially for students interested in symbiosis, how insects work or in applying bioinformatics tools to biological problems. Previous experience is not required, but it is essential you are motivated to learn, reliable and have initiative.