The CNRS Ecophysiology lab at CEBC, Chizé, France seeks to recruit a post-doctoral research fellow in 2018 for a 20 months long period starting in April 2018 (possible extension to 40 months) to examine the functional basis of climate sensitivity in terrestrial ectotherms. The project is part of an ANR-funded research program to improve general understanding of the interactive effects of temperature and water constraints on the ecology of lizards and snakes (squamate reptiles).
A major challenge in ecology is to accurately predict responses of organisms to environmental variation. In this context, clarifying proximate mechanisms and possible functional tradeoffs is essential, and integrating physiological mechanisms with ecology and evolution is a relevant and promising approach. Water is vital for terrestrial organisms and this resource exhibits important seasonal and/or spatial fluctuations. Water restriction can alter individual performances and survival, and the regulation of water balance (hydroregulation) can interact with other demands such as energy and thermoregulation resulting in physiological and behavioral conflicts. Our group has recently shown that water-based functional trade-offs can mediate evolutionary conflicts (e.g., cost of reproduction, parent-offspring conflict), climatic adaptations and responses to climate change, but these are yet largely unconsidered in evolutionary ecology. The ANR-funded AquaTherm research program precisely focuses on the interplay between hydroregulation and thermoregulation in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) with a multidisciplinary approach using mechanistic models, field studies of natural populations, and laboratory studies at the individual level.
The candidate will investigate the functional basis of climate sensitivity in two cold adapted squamate species. He/she will study long-term sensitivity and acclimation responses to joint changes in water availability and temperature focusing on the critical gestation and early growth (i.e., summer period) life stages. This work will be based on experimental manipulation of thermal and hydric conditions using climatic chambers and longitudinal measurements of associated metabolic, water loss and fitness responses with state-of-the art techniques.
The successful candidate will be recruited by the CNRS in the CEBC laboratory in Chizé (http://www.cebc.cnrs.fr) in the EcoPhysiology team and will also be able to closely collaborate with a dynamic group of ecologists and ecophysiologists in France. He/she will be supervised by CNRS Researcher Olivier Lourdais, a leading expert in thermoregulation, climatic adaptations and reproductive strategies. The student will benefit from the local expertise and complementary approaches to study physiological trade-offs, behavioral responses and individual performances. Our research program involves the CEREEP-Ecotron IleDeFrance (Saint-Pierre-lès-Nemours), iEES Paris, CEBC (Chizé) and SETE Moulis (Saint Girons) laboratories. The post-doctoral research fellow will thus work in an interdisciplinary and lively research environment and will contribute to a national collaborative program involving more than 20 researchers and staff including world leading experts in animal ecology and ecophysiology.
Required qualifications and skills
Candidates should meet the following requirements (1) have a PhD in ecology, ecophysiology, or a related field; (2) a background in evolutionary ecology/ organismal biology / ecophysiology, (3) demonstrated experience in experimental research, (4) a successful publication record and (5) be creative and independent. Candidates are welcome to come with their own ideas provided they are feasible during the time frame of the project.
Terms and salary
The position is available for a period of two years starting preferably in March 2018. Salary is €22,000 per year. Review of applications will begin on December 15, 2018, and continue until the position is filled. The initial appointment is for 20 months with potential renewal for addition 20 months conditional on additional funding from another grant proposal.
How to proceed:
Applications should be sent to [email protected]
Applications should include a single pdf file with curriculum vitae including a full list of publications, a brief description of research interests, and a list of at least one reference familiar with the applicant’s qualifications and experience.