PhD position in chemical ecology within nGICE

Updated: 26 days ago

Department of Plant Protection Biology

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Plant Protection Biology, has an open position for a PhD student in chemical ecology within nGICE.

The Disease Vector group at the Department of Plant Protection Biology conducts and promotes basic research on the chemical ecology of disease vectors in accordance with societal needs, nationally and internationally, and apply this know-how to develop novel surveillance and control tools to be used within the integrated vector management framework. Our multi-disciplinary approach to study how odour-mediated behaviours of disease vectors are modulated by external chemosensory cues and internal physiological states is directed towards the identification of targets for reducing host-vector interactions.

The Max Planck Centre, next Generation Insect Chemical Ecology (nGICE) is a high-level cooperation between SLU, Lund University and the Max Planck Society. The nGICE Centre focuses on a better understanding of the consequences of global climate change on insect ecosystem services, outbreaks of invasive insect species and the spread of disease vectors in Europe through the lens of insect chemical communication systems. .

The PhD student will assess the genetic basis for host preference in disease vector mosquitoes.

The genetic basis for host preference in disease vector mosquitoes

With rising temperatures, increasing pollution and extreme water conditions, the Anthropocene is seeing range expansions, contractions and outright migrations of a wide variety of species, resulting in new inter- and intra-specific contacts, with the potential to create super-vectors of disease. Such a range expansion of two Culex pipiens biotypes has resulted in hybrid offspring that are seriously effective bridge vectors of West Nile virus. While each parent is either strongly ornithophilic or anthropophilic, the hybrid offspring are both, making them superb bridge vectors. This system provides an excellent opportunity to understand the role that gene and genome play in shaping the natural host preference of mosquitoes. In this project, the PhD student will use an ecological genomics approach to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying host preference, in combination with both classical and reverse chemical ecology techniques. The aim of the project will be to identify the genes and their variants involved in host preference, to functionally characterise a subset of the chemosensory-related genes, e.g. chemoreceptors, and to evaluate the effect of these genes and genetic variants in vivo. At least 6 months of the project will be conducted at the Max Planck Institutes for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany.


The successful candidate will hold a MSc in a biology-related field. Experience with ecological genomics is a requirement. In addition, experience with behavioural analysis in insects is a significant asset. S/he should be fluent in spoken and written English, and have excellent communication skills. The candidate should enjoy working in a group environment, as well as demonstrate a solid ability to work independently to advance our research.

Place of work:      

Alnarp, Sweden

Forms for funding or employment:

Employment (4 years)

Starting date:

1 January 2021


We welcome your application no later than 2020-09-30, use the button below.

Specific documents attached: Applications must contain (1) PhD application form, (2) CV, (3) a description of research experience, (4) a statement of scientific interests, as well as (5) contact information of two references.

A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Please observe that applicant/s chosen to participate in an interview shall hand in certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen we require a certified copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and photography.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact person

URL to this page

View or Apply

Similar Positions