PhD position in responses to changing environments in bats
Application deadline: 13.02.2018.
The Zoological Institute and Museum at the University of Greifswald invites applications for a PhD position within the Research Training Group RESPONSE

Starting date: April 1st 2018.

Duration: 3 years.
Salary: German salary scale (TV-L 13, 65%).

B6: Ecological drivers and genetic consequences of range expansion in lesser horseshoe bats
Sébastien Puechmaille & Gerald Kerth, Zoological Institute & Museum

Background: The European vertebrate fauna is highly dynamic due to both historical climatic variation and anthropogenic pressures. The ability of a species to track climatic changes by range shift is expected to be a major determinant of extinction risk (Science 313: 789). For some species, such as the Palearctic bat species Rhinolophus hipposideros, regressions and advances are quite well documented and represent unique opportunities to study how and why range limits move. Such dynamic range boundaries can be observed at the Northern edge of the current distribution of R. hipposideros, regions in which models of climate change predict a northward progression of this species during the next decades (Global Change Biol. 16: 561). Based on a large existing dataset (20,000 genotyped samples) and newly gathered data we will investigate colonisation and colony formation via dispersal in the focal species, study trade-offs / associations between dispersal and life history traits, and elucidate factors influencing dispersal, paying special attention to social and environmental factors.

Goals of the projects: Interconnected wild colonies at the Northern edge of the species’ range will be surveyed in Germany and combined with data already obtained from France (via associated partner E. Petit). Droppings will be collected from all colonies and genotyped using available microsatellite loci (protocol already optimized; Mol. Ecol. Res. in press), allowing for individual identification and pedigree reconstruction. Non-invasive genotyping over consecutive years in the colony networks will be used to estimate demographic parameters (i.e. population size, population growth, vital [births, deaths] and dispersal [emigrations, immigrations] rates). Temperature and humidity will be monitored throughout the year within and outside the colonies, and habitat characteristics around the colonies will be mapped (Corine Land Cover). The project will focus on associations between realised dispersal and reproductive rate as well as on the influence of population density, social and environmental factors on dispersal and colony formation. The obtained results will be used to parametrize a hybrid correlative/mechanistic model to predict range expansion in the species. This study will be carried out in collaboration with local conservation agencies and Dr. E. Petit, INRA (Rennes, France).

Required skills:
· The candidate should have (or at least be willing to develop) skills in population dynamics and population genetics, landscape ecology, management/treatment of geo-referenced databases (GIS)
· Good writing skills in English
· Basic knowledge of German is a plus
· Knowledge of statistics
· Good knowledge of programming in R (important)
· Experience with fieldwork (preferentially with bats) will be an advantage but is not mandatory,
· Driving license and willingness to use own car for field-work
· Good organizational skills and ability to work in a team (incl. with NGOs)

Applications (application form [=Appendix 3], CV, degree certificates, motivation letter, two recommendation letters [=Appendix 4]) should be sent to: [email protected] Forms can be found here:

The official job offer and the legal requirement for the recruitment is available in the internet (in German):

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Pout toute autre question, vous pouvez contacter [email protected].