PhD student in Insect Evolutionary Ecology and Behavior

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Feb 2023

Ref. No. SU FV-4689-22

at the Department of Zoology . Closing date: 15 February 2023.

The Department of Zoology has a long history of basic and applied research of animal species, from arthropods to large mammals, from the perspectives of its five divisions: Ecology, Ethology, Population Genetics, Functional Morphology, and Systematics and Evolution. The advertised position will be affiliated to the Division of Ecology. There is a long-standing tradition for researchers at the Department of Zoology to collaborate amongst divisions and with researchers from other fields and universities. The Department has about 50 employees, including professors and postdocs, and 40 PhD students, along with Masters students.

Project description 
The Department of Zoology invites applications for a four-year PhD position. The project is aimed at investigating the consequences of climate warming on butterfly reproduction. Thermal sensitivity of reproduction is well-known but the extent to which climate warming may affect population persistence and affect response to climate change is broadly unknown. The project will take a comparative approach using sister taxa from Pieridae and Nymphalidae that vary in host plant use, voltinism and geographic distribution. Critical and fertility thermal limits will be determined in the laboratory across species and across populations of each species. Traits that associated with thermally induced sterility will be determined and then used in field work throughout Spain to establish the ecological relevance of thermal fertility limits via surveys of natural populations. Using citizen science data on butterfly distribution and abundance, the project aims to link experimental data on predictors of thermal fertility limits with field data on fertility loss to generate more evolutionarily realistic models to improve forecasts of species responses to future climate change scenarios. Thus, the project is searching for a candidate with good knowledge in insect ecology, thermal biology and/or evolution. Experience of fieldwork, insect rearing, and a good grounding in statistics are considered important qualifications. The PhD student will join the research group led by Professor Rhonda Snook.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Ecology stipulates that applicants must have completed a research degree (e.g. Master’s) or have passed at least 120 hp (2 years) of biological studies, including an approved independent project of at least 30 hp at advanced level (“examensarbete”) within ecology or a related subject. The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge in a relevant field of research, written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position. Other important criteria in the selection process are documented experience in fieldwork, insect rearing, and a good grounding in statistics.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations .

Terms of employment 
Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact Professor Rhonda Snook, .

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, , Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, ,  (SEKO), and PhD student representative, .

Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter (max 2 page)
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position .

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

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