Research center: UMR CNRS UPMC 7204 Center of Ecology and Conservation Sciences (CESCO), 43/61 rue Buffon, National Museum of Natural History (MNHN, CNRS, UPMC), Paris, France
Supervisors: Sandrine Pavoine, UMR CESCO & Philippe Grandcolas, UMR 7205 Institute of Systematics, Evolution, Biodiversity (CNRS MNHN UPMC EPHE), National Museum of Natural History (MNHN UPMC), Paris, France
Funder: Labex « Biological and Cultural Diversities : origins, evolution, interactions, future » (BCDiv)
Start date: October 1st, 2016
Duration: 3 years
Description of the project (PhD): In ecology, more and more studies search for ecological, evolutionary and historical processes that structure species assemblages by analysing phylogenetic and functional diversity (the latter being the diversity in the biological traits assumed to represent the role species have in their ecosystems, or in the biological traits that influence organism performance) (e.g. Emerson & Gillepsie 2008, Pavoine & Bonsall 2011). The contribution of each species to phylogenetic diversity and to functional diversity can be measured by its originality. A species is original if it has few close relatives (phylogenetic originality) or if it has unique or rare trait states (functional originality). A few studies showed that the phylogenetic originality of a species departs from its functional originality (e.g. Cianciaruso et al. 2013).
Despite its use in the last two decades in conservation biology (Isaac et al. 2007), the concept of originality is still rarely studied in community ecology. The role original species have in their community and in their region in addition to the impact ecological, historical and evolutionary processes have in the distribution of original species still have to be determined. Such a research is all the more important that original species may be rare (low population size) and potentially vulnerable (Mouillot et al. 2013). In this context, the objective of this PhD project will be to measure, analyse, and model the relative originality of species from different taxonomic groups, along environmental gradient or in distinct habitats to link the phylogenetic and functional originalities of species to ecological, evolutionary and historical processes that shape assemblages.
Collaborations: Michael Bonsall (Univ. Oxford, U.K.), Owen Petchey (Univ. Zurich, Suisse), Carlo Ricotta (Univ. La Sapienza, Rome, Italie)
Profile: Master in one of the following fields: Biomathematics, Theoretical Ecology, Evolutionary Ecology, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, Conservation Biology. Minimum skills in statistics and in the R environment (https://cran.r-project.org/) required.
Applications must be sent as a single pdf by email by May 15, 2016 to Sandrine Pavoine : [email protected]
The pdf should include: a detailed CV, a motivation letter, a copy of grades and rank for the master degree (first and second-year marks), name and contact information of two reference persons (if possible, with a letter from one of these persons).