Two fully-funded PhD position are available to work in our group on themes broadly related to evolutionary ecology and health. Using species of Daphnia and their associated pathogens as powerful experimental model, the successful candidates will work closely with Matt and his collaborators to develop projects that explore any one of the following eco-evolutionary processes (or even suggest another…)
1) Linking sex-specific adaptation to the evolution of infectious disease
The science that guides our understanding of health and infectious disease routinely overlooks the pervading impact of sex. Males and females commonly differ in their susceptibility to infection, yet gaps in current theory limit our ability to understand the consequences of such variation for the evolution of infectious disease. This PhD project aims to develop both empirical and/or theoretical approaches that help to predict the evolution of disease in any species with separate sexes.
2) Some like it hot: how mismatch between host and pathogen thermal ecology influences adaptation to global change.
Global change is predicted to result in both rapidly changing environments and dramatic changes in disease outbreaks. Key to predicting winners and losers under the nexus of infection and global change is any mismatch between hosts and pathogens in their thermal tolerances and adaptive potential. This PhD project aims to explore how tropical and temperate populations might respond to the dual threat of parasitism and changing temperatures. It aims to develop evolutionary and epidemiological approaches that can help define the types of host and pathogen characteristics that lead to extinction risks under future warming.
A stipend (living-allowance) scholarship of ~$28,000 per annum is provided tax free (the equivalent of approx. $33,000 before tax) with no teaching requirements for 3.5 years (the length of a PhD in Australia). We also offer travel and establishment allowances to help in your move and our tuition scholarships cover the cost of tuition fees (normally $38,900 per year). Guaranteed funding of project costs and research support, including the costs of attending at least one conference per year, is included.
Project start dates can be any time in early 2019 onwards.
To be eligible, applicants must have completed a 4 year degree with a research component or have post-graduate research experience in ecology, genetics, behaviour, or evolution (or will do by the end of the year). Preference will be given to those with strong quantitative skills and publications in international journals. Interested students should send a CV and a brief statement of interests to Matt via firstname.lastname@example.org.