There is no open position right now… but…
La Caixa offers a really good fellowship for foreigner students to do a PhD at my institution. If you are interested in the coexistence of plant-animal interactions read below and contact me for details (call is open until 2 February; make sure to select my project when applying; in the search box of institutions choose EBD, and is the last one on page three of the results(I know a bit hidden)).
Proposed project: Linking network structure and species coexistence
Understanding biodiversity maintenance is central to ecology, especially on the face of human-induced environmental change and the alarming rates of biodiversity loss. Coexistence theory and complex networks theory have produced important theoretical advances on the mechanisms determining species persistence. However spatial and temporal explicit data is often lacking and most theoretical predictions are not validated empirically. In addition, despite ecological communities are formed by a plethora of species with antagonistic and mutualistic interactions, those are analysed usually independently. The aim of this project is to use and develop ecological theory to understand the conditions that allow for multitrophic species coexistence and test it with high quality data. The student will be able to benefit from existing data on plant-pollintor networks collected over three years across 16 sites (EU BeeFun project) and contribute to expanding this unique dataset, as well as from theoretical developments done on species coexistence in the project Lincx. We expect to start disentangling the actual conundrum of community persistence.
The PhD student will integrate in a vibrant research environment lead by Dr. Bartomeus and collaborate closely with him and the other PhD students and postdocs in the group. The overarching aim of the group is to understand which global change pressures impact on species communities and its consequences for ecosystem functioning. The lab follows an open Science philosophy and uses tools like version control and scripted analysis to ensure reproducibility of the results. In addition the PhD student will collaborate closely with Dr. Godoy and with international researchers involved in the above named projects (Dr. Parker and Dr. Gilbert from University of Santacruz, US).
We are looking for a highly motivated student who wants to understand how biodiversity is maintained using both ecological theory and empirical data. The PhD student will be able to direct his/her own research within this framework. Critical thinking and passion for the study subject are a must. Knowledge of R statistical programming language (or any other programming language) is desired, but this skills can also be acquired during the PhD as long as the PhD student is motivated to learn them. The PhD student also would need to spend significant amount of time in the field and field work will be conducted in Spain, with often involve hot days under the sun. Above all, we are looking for someone able to play well in a team and have fun doing high quality research.
I can help you secure your own funding for your PhD or PostDoc if you have a neat idea. Drop me an email with your CV, interests and why would you like to work with me (you should read this first) and we can talk about it. I am broadly interested in how global change affects community structure and composition and its repercussion on ecosystem functioning. Pollinators and pollination is a good study system to tackle those questions both from the applied and basic research perspectives, but I am also open to work with other insects-plant systems.