We are seeking one highly motivated postdoc to join a project aiming at identification of the factors underlying co-existence and niche partitioning of orchids in species-rich habitats of two climatically different regions by exploration of functional traits of orchids and their mycorrhizal fungi.
Project description: Plant species can co-exist under natural conditions due to niche
partitioning and an association with mycorrhizal fungi is one way to differentiate resources. Orchids critically rely on mycorrhiza during life cycle, and coexistence may be strongly contingent on the functional traits (FT) of their symbionts. Congruently, co occurring orchids tend to associate with distinct mycorrhizal communities. It is however unclear to what extent orchid mycorrhizal fungi differ in ecological strategies and corresponding FT to enable effective niche partitioning. We will explore FT of orchid fungus communities in species-rich habitats of two climatically different regions (Czech Rep. and Southern France) with special focus on enzymatic activity and nutrient utilization of fungi, mycorrhizal specificity under different conditions and presence of endohyphal bacteria. Using bipartite network modelling and multivariate statistical models we will describe the network structure and co-variation of FT of both symbiotic partners. The FT of orchid mycorrhizal fungi will be explored in such a complex approach for the first time.
Responsibilities: the applicant will lead fieldwork in the Czech Rep. and France mainly during the first year of the grant project, will participate in isolation of OrM fungi into culture and their molecular identification, will carry out tests of orchid-fungus specificity in situ and in vitro, will focus on in vitro assessment of fungal traits such as fungal growth rate, enzymatic activity and fungus chemistry, and will take part in data analyses and manuscript writing.
Research environment: The research is funded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic for years 2018-2020. The position will be based at the Department of Biology of Ecosystems at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. The project will be supervised by a team of six researchers (team leader Assoc. Prof. Jana Jersáková – symbiotic interactions, Assoc. Prof. Petr Šmilauer – statistician, Dr. Jiří Bárta – soil microbiologist, all from University of South Bohemia, Dr. Jan Ponert – plant physiologist from Charles University in Prague, Dr. Petr Kohout – mycorrhizal research at Microbiological Inst. of Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague and senior researcher Dr. Bertrand Schatz – symbiotic interactions, from the CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier, France), other team members involved are two postdocs (Helene Vogt-Schilb and Tamara Těšitelová) and two PhD. students. The team will access various facilities of University of South Bohemia, Microbiological Inst. of Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, Charles University and CEFE-CNRS according to project needs.
– a Ph.D. degree in the relevant field (in early spring 2018 at the latest)
– ability to work as a team member, but also being independent
– reasonable publication record
– driving license
– fluency in English, both written and spoken
– skills in techniques used in mycorrhizal research is an advantage
– basic background in molecular tools (PCR, RFLP, cloning), knowledge of next generation sequencing methods is an advantage
Duration: This position would ideally start from February 2018, latest start in April 2018 and will last till December 2020.
Salary and other conditions: salary on the basis of local standards, including health
insurance and social advantages. Monthly 27 000 CZK brutto, 250,000 CZK net annual income. There is possibility to increase the salary with variable remuneration determined by employee performance. The cost of living in the Czech Republic is generally low compared to other countries in Europe (http://www.studyin.cz/livingcosts/).
How to apply: Prepare a cover letter explaining your interest in the position. Give the names and email addresses of one to two people with first-hand knowledge of your skills and past research experience. Add a curriculum vitae including a publication list (3 pages maximum). Send your completed application in a single pdf file to the principal investigator ([email protected]). Call for applications open until the position is filled. For full consideration, apply by 31. January 2018. After pre-selection, an interview will be organized, if necessary by Internet.