Postdoctor in Insect chemical ecology/Entomology, Lund University

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Postdoctor in Insect chemical ecology/Entomology

Type of employment: Limit of tenure, 2 years
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Biology, Lund
First day of employment: 2012-10-01
Official Records Number: NPA 2012/385

Subject area

Insect chemical ecology/Entomology

Specific subject description

Characterization of life history parameters and identification of olfactory or other cues suitable for effective detection and monitoring of the target species and its relatives.

Job assignments

Understanding the spread of invasive pests and pathogens in a changing climate is fundamental to propose adaptive measures in forestry. By combining modelling and empirical ecology, it is possible to understand environmental conditions triggering outbreaks and develop ecosystem modelling for climate change impact assessments. The Hungarian Spruce Scale was found for the first time in Sweden during 2010 and could be associated with heavy defoliation of Norway spruce over hundreds of ha. Similar patterns were noticed in other areas around the Baltic Sea. In order to understand which factors that may have triggered the outbreak, scientists from different disciplines have started to look at climatic and edaphic factors that may have had an effect on forest growth and health. However, we still lack basic knowledge about the insect involved, the HSS, and will undertake studies on its life history and sensory ecology. The species belong to a group of insects that has been subject to very few investigations. Therefore, the work will include studies
- to recognize the target species and its relatives with similar life histories
- to collect data on important life history parameters
- to collect and identify possible chemical signals (e.g. by using head-space collection, extraction, GC-MS, electrophysiology, behavioural bioassays) involved in host and mate choice (kairomones and pheromones)
- to evaluate various methods to be used in the field for detection and monitoring
- to integrate the biological data with climatic and edaphic variables
Some work may be done in other countries than Sweden and in collaboration with researchers and foresters in those countries.
This position is within a collaborative project between Olle Anderbrant (The Pheromone Group, Department of Biology and Anna Maria J�nsson (Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science The aim of the project is to understand spread of pests and pathogens in a changing climate, with focus on recent outbreaks of the Hungarian Spruce Scale (HSS), Physokermes inopinatus, in Sweden and other countries. The postdoctoral work will include field and laboratory studies to characterize life history parameters and develop methods for monitoring of the HSS and related species. The research will take place within the framework of the Strategic Research Initiative BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate. BECC brings together researchers from ten different institutions in science, political science and economics at the universities of Lund and Gothenburg. The vision of BECC is to create a world-leading interdisciplinary research programs that contribute to the sustainable management of ecosystem services and biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. More information can be found at:

Eligibility/Entry Requirements

The qualifications for academic positions are given in Chapter 4, Section 3-4 of the Higher Education Ordinance.

The applicant must have a PhD degree in a subject relevant for the appointment. This position is a qualifying appointment focused on research, with intention to be an initial career step.

Basis of Assessment

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in entomology, chemical ecology or a similar subject area. A person holding a foreign degree equivalent to a doctorate is qualified for appointment. The main criterion for assessing candidates is scientific excellence. Experience of one or more of the techniques mentioned above, as well as basic knowledge on ecosystem modelling, is a plus. Desirable is also effective ability to communicate scientific results, and to carry out research, both independently and in group, and having a valid driving licence. The candidate must master the English language fluently, both orally and in writing.
Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for academic positions are given in Chapter 4, Section 15 of the Higher Education Ordinance, Lund University Teacher Appointment Regulations,( ) and in the Strategic Plan of Lund University (


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