PhD topic: Role of natural enemy complementarity and antagonism on herbivore dynamics and biocontrol. Context & project: Biocontrol is usually enhanced when natural enemies are more diverse, a relationship known as the biodiversity-biocontrol relationship.
This relationship emerges through the “complementarity effect” whereby different enemies help each other by exploiting prey of different stages, or at different spatio-temporal scales. This positive effect can be lost when natural enemies engage in “antagonistic effects”, for example by eating each other. The goal of this PhD is to test hypotheses on the role of complementarity and antagonism among natural enemies in determining biocontrol potential.
This PhD will have an important experimental component where we will study in the laboratory the role of different natural enemy combinations on the population dynamics of aphids and spider-mites. To do this we will collaborate with the company Biobest who will provide all necessary natural enemies.
This PhD project also implies extracting data from published literature to perform a meta-analysis. This PhD is part of a larger ANR project entitled EnemyCocktail “Designing natural enemy Centre de Biologie pour la Gestion des Populations – CBGP Campus International de Baillarguet 755 avenue du Campus Agropolis – CS 30016 34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez – France cocktails for a better biocontrol”, which involves collaboration with theoretical modellers, ecologists and applied agronomists. The PhD will be supervised by Enric Frago (email@example.com) , a researcher at CIRAD.
Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any extra information.
Host institute: The PhD project will be based at CBGP (Centre for the Management and Biology of Populations) in Montpellier. This institute offers an international, dynamic and friendly scientific environment.
Requirements: This position requires a Master degree in biology or equivalent. The successful candidate should have a strong background in community ecology and/or behavioural ecology.
S/he should have a strong interest in experimental community ecology and entomology. We are looking for someone with good writing skills and statistical analyses using R, independent, motivated and keen on working in a multidisciplinary team. All geographic origins, orientations and identities welcome. Gross salary: 2044€ / month
How to apply: please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a CV and a motivation letter (in English or French) including in the subject of the email « Candidature PhD EnemyCocktail ».
Application deadline: 30th April 2023
Starting date of the PhD project: 15th September 2023
Details of the selection process: once the documents are received we will acknowledge receipt. We will perform interviews during the first week of May. If eligible, the candidate will be selected during the first two weeks of May.