Up to three Master internship positions focusing on population ecology and phenotypic plasticity of aquatic insects are available in the group of Dr. David Boukal at the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia and Institute of Entomology in Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic). The students will work under the supervision of David Boukal, Pavel Sroka and Julien Mocq (French postdoc). We offer detailed hands-on training during the entire lifetime of your project; our previous interns have achieved very good to excellent results. One project has already been published in top journal (Sentis et al. 2015, Global Change Biology).

The positions are defined relatively broadly and the successful candidates will have the opportunity to choose one of the following topics depending on personal interests and skills:

1. Laboratory experiments on predation and trophic interactions in aquatic invertebrates. The successful candidate will perform experiments to investigate the effects of environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, habitat complexity) on predator-prey interactions, intraguild predation, cannibalism or diet shifts. This includes collection of insects or other aquatic invertebrates in the wild, carrying out the experiments, and statistical analyses of data.

2. Phenotypic plasticity and functional traits in aquatic invertebrates. The student will help collect and analyze data on phenotypic plasticity and/or functional traits (e.g. body size, feeding relationships) with emphasis on standing water taxa and traits involved in predation processes. This work can be based on an experiment and/or literature survey.

3. Gut content analysis of Odonata. The student will run simple experiments to analyze prey digestion of 1–2 common species of Odonata and to identify which prey traits affect digestion times and prey identifiability in these species.

4. Thermal performance windows and metabolic rates of aquatic invertebrates. The student will measure metabolic rates and survival of selected species of aquatic insects and other invertebrates on a temperature gradient to help understand the underlying allometries and the ability of species to withstand future effects of climate change.

Starting Date: Flexible for literature-based topic 2. Preferably in late March/April 2016 to help start the experiments (topic 1, 3, 4 and experiment-based topic 2).

Advisors: D. Boukal (head of group), J. Mocq or P. Sroka.
Duration: between 3 and 6 months, with possible extensions.

Stipend: Successful candidates will need to secure most or all of their funds. ERASMUS SPM (Student Mobility for Placement, ~350 Euros/month) or another similar European scholarship or a ‘bourse de mobilité internationale sur critères sociaux’ is enough to cover basic living costs and shared accommodation in student dormitories or in private for the entire duration of the stay. Exceptionally good performance may be supported with an additional Czech stipend. For more information about major French scholarships see here, here, here and here. If you are not in France and would like to apply, please contact us at [email protected]

We are seeking highly motivated students with good organizational skills and strong interests in quantitative ecology, behavioral ecology or evolutionary ecology. Master students in biology, ecology, entomology, limnology and related fields are welcome. Students interested in experimental work are particularly encouraged to apply. Candidates should be sufficiently fluent in English to be able to engage in discussions and write the report. For all topics, previous experience with aquatic invertebrates, laboratory experiments, use of spreadsheets (e.g. Excel, Access) and statistical analyses (R software) will be appreciated.

To apply, please send your CV, motivation letter (1 page maximum), and names and contact information for two references to D. Boukal ([email protected]) or J. Mocq ([email protected]) no later than 16 December 2015. Informal enquiries are welcome – please contact us by email.

Contact information:
Department of Ecosystem Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia &
Biology Centre AS CR, Institute of Entomology, Laboratory of Aquatic Insects and Relict Ecosystems, Branisovska 31, CZ-37005 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
www: kbe.prf.jcu.cz/en and www.entu.cas.cz/boukal
tel: +420 387 772 327
email: [email protected] (in English) or [email protected] (in French or English)

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