The EcoBIZ-team at Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement (https://www.eco.omp.eu/research-team/biogeochimie-integrative-de-la-zone-critique-biz/) is now searching for a candidate for a 6 month M2 research internship within the field of Entomology, Ecogeochemistry, & Ecosystem Health
The emission and spread of global contaminants such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg), from local to global pollution sources, is of high global concern as these contaminants pose a risk to the health of humans and wildlife alike. Although often perceived as pristine by the general public, the Arctic is in fact a hot-spot for deposition of globally transported contaminants brought to this remote area via global air currents from mid-latitudes. Once deposited, contaminants can become available for onsite biota, potentially bioaccumulate and concentrate up the food-chain, eventually reaching top-predators including humans with a risk of adverse health effects.
Based on the extreme climate, short growing season and relatively low biodiversity, Arctic ecosystems are also considered particularly sensitive towards environmental and climatic changes, and are often deemed nutrient poor with a lack of minerals key to the welfare of local wildlife. Compared to mid-latitude ecosystems, Arctic food-webs are also generally considered to be short with fewer taxa and less links between taxa, thus yielding a faster transfer of e.g. contaminants through the food-chain. Yet, a comprehensive understanding of the fate and bioaccumulation/biodilution of essential- and non-essential elements in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems is still lacking.
The central theme of this study is therefore to identify potential differences in invertebrate biodiversity along an altitudinal gradient and establish a preliminary overview of the aboveground/belowground linkages of essential (i.e. Cu, Zn, and Cu) and non- essential (i.e. Pb, Cd, and Hg) elements in soil, vegetation and invertebrates collected near Zackenberg, North-East Greenland. A key focus will be on the Arctic wolf spider Pardosa glacialis and methods used will include e.g. species identification as well as state-of-the-art geochemistry (DMA, ICP-MS) and ecological isotopic tracers (δ13C and δ15N).
Key words: Invertebrates, Arthropods, Spiders, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, Biodiversity, Elevational gradient, Bioindicators
Within the framework of this M2-project the student is expected to perform:
(1) a comprehensive review and compilation of published scientific literature relevant to the project
(2) species identification of previously collected biota
(3) basic laboratory work and chemical analysis (e.g. DMA, IRMS, ICP-MS)
(4) data-treatment, -interpretation, and -compilation
(5) a presentation of obtained results in the form of a written project report as well as an oral presentation
At the end of this M2-project, the student is expected to have achieved:
1) a basic understanding of chemical cycles (e.g. copper, zinc, selenium, lead, mercury, and cadmium) in arctic ecosystems
2) a comprehensive understanding of potential changes in invertebrate biodiversity along elevational gradients in arctic ecosystems
3) a comprehensive understanding of the link between ecological traits (e.g. age, gender, size), ecological niche (i.e. food-web placement, δ13C, δ15N) and potential contamination loads (Pb, Hg, Cd)
4) a comprehensive understanding of the role of wolf spiders in the continued transfer of essential and non-essential elements in arctic ecosystems
1) Interest in entomology and ecosystem health
2) Good statistical knowledge and experience of Excel and R software
3) Ability to work independently
4) Experience of laboratory work is beneficial
5) A high level of English proficiency is beneficial
Duration of internship:
6 months. The internship is expected to start in early 2021.
573.30 € per month over the 6-month duration of the internship
The internship will take place at the Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement (Campus ENSAT INPT), Toulouse, France (https://www.eco.omp.eu/) but will be carried out in close collaboration with the Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Please send a CV by email, accompanied by a cover letter to [email protected] no later than Dec 10st 2021.
For additional information or further details please contact Sophia V. Hansson (CR CNRS, Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement) at [email protected] or (+33) 05 34 32 37 80.