One internship position focusing on adaptive evolution, phenotypic plasticity and epigenetic of aphids is available at the Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB) laboratory in the group of Dr. Jean-Louis Hemptinne at the University of Toulouse III-Paul Sabatier (France). The student will work under the supervision of Jean-Louis Hemptinne, Etienne Danchin, and Arnaud Sentis.

Little is known about the importance of phenotypic plasticity and epigenetic mechanisms for species adaptation and evolution in the light of their paramount role for species survival and interactions, and for ecosystem functioning, crops yields and control of agricultural pests. The successful candidate will thus perform a transgenerational evolution experiment on aphid and their ladybeetle predator specifically focused on transgenerational non-genetic responses to biotic (i.e. predators) and abiotic (i.e. warming) stressors to better understand mechanisms of non-genetic inheritance for adaptive evolution and improve biological control of aphid pests under climate change. This includes routine maintenance of aphid colonies and conducting laboratory experiments, collecting data, and statistical analyses.

Key-words: aphid, ladybeetle, laboratory experiment, epigenetic, phenotypic plasticity, evolution, climate change, biological control.

For more information see:


Candidate competences:
We are seeking highly motivated students with good organizational skills and strong interests in experimental quantitative ecology, behavioral ecology or evolutionary ecology. Master students in biology, ecology, mathematics or a related field are welcomed. Students interested in both experimental and theoretical work are particularly encouraged to apply. Candidates should be sufficiently fluent in English to be able to engage in discussions. Previous experience with insects, laboratory experiments, use of spreadsheets (e.g. Excel) and statistical analyses (R software) will be appreciated.

To apply, please send your CV and motivation letter (1 page maximum) to Arnaud Sentis ([email protected]). Informal enquiries are welcome – please contact us by email.

Practical information:
Starting date: 13st of June (or as soon as possible) to 12st of August 2016
Advisors: Jean-Louis Hemptinne, Etienne Danchin and Arnaud Sentis
Duration: 2 months
Location: Ecole Nationale de Formation Agronomique (ENFA)
2, route de Narbonne (Auzeville Tolosane)
BP 22687
Tél. : + 33 (o)5 61 75 32 32

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