We are welcoming applications for a funded 2-year Postdoc position beginning around May-June 2022 (start date flexible) as part of the ANR project CHOOSE, to study the environmental drivers of habitat choice evolution using ciliate microcosms. The offer will stay open until the position is filled.

Individuals that choose to leave a habitat to join another are often phenotypically different from those that stay in this habitat. The major consequences of non-random dispersal decisions that are both phenotype- and context-dependent have been recently developed under habitat choice theory. Compared to random dispersal, this theory predicts that habitat choice based dispersal should generate spatial heterogeneity of phenotypes and thus lead to drastically different consequences for a variety of ecological and evolutionary dynamics such as range distribution, metapopulation dynamics and local adaptation. However, our comprehension of what drives the evolution of habitat choice and its ensuing consequences remains weak, especially because of the lack of experimental approaches dedicated to testing theoretical predictions.

The postdoc project specifically aims at testing experimentally theoretical predictions about the conditions required for habitat choice evolution, and its interactions with local strategies like phenotypic plasticity. The hired postdoc will join a dynamic team whose research interests range from understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying individual phenotypes, including dispersal, to the consequences of variability in phenotypic strategies for populations, communities and ecosystems, using both theory and experiments.

The position will be supervised by Staffan Jacob, and will closely interact with Bart Haegeman (Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station, CNRS, France) plus other membres of the team involved in the project. We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic candidate with deep conceptual interests in evolutionary ecology. Previous experience in microbiology is beneficial but not mandatory.

Applicants should send a cover letter and a CV to Staffan Jacob (staffan.jacob -at- sete.cnrs.fr).

Related publications:
Raffard A, Bestion E, Cote J, Haegeman B, Schtickzelle N, Jacob S (2022) Dispersal syndromes can link intraspecific trait variability and meta-ecosystem functioning. Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
Jacob & Legrand. 2021. Phenotypic plasticity can reverse the relative extent of intra-and interspecific variability across a thermal gradient. Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Laurent, Schtickzelle & Jacob. 2020. Fragmentation mediates thermal habitat choice in ciliate microcosms. Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Jacob et al. 2019. Variability in dispersal syndromes is a key driver of metapopulation dynamic in experimental microcosms. The American Naturalist
Jacob et al. 2018. Habitat choice meets thermal specialization: competition with specialists may drive suboptimal habitat preferences in generalists. PNAS
Jacob, Legrand, Chaine, Bonte, Schtickzelle, Huet, Clobert. 2017. Gene flow favours local adaptation under habitat choice in ciliate microcosms. Nature Ecology and Evolution

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