We have an exciting opportunity for a PhD student to investigate the chemical ecology of native bees, ‘ngaro huruhuru’, in New Zealand. This PhD project is part of a recently MBIE-funded ‘Smart Idea’ project on ‘Te tipu o nga ngaro huruhuru: managed native bees for productive agro-ecosystems’. The project will develop novel techniques for the management of these solitary ground-nesting bees.
Unlike honey bees, native bees do not live in colonies, but under certain conditions they nest in large aggregations. The PhD project aims to understand whether solitary bees use chemical cues to mark their nest and whether chemical cues are shared among aggregation sites across different species. The student will employ methods of chemical ecology, such as headspace volatile collection, solvent extraction and chemical analysis with gas-chromatograph coupled with mass-spectrometer. Behavioral assays and neuro-electrophysiological recordings will be performed to identify and confirm the biological relevance of chemical nest cues.
The specifics of the PhD study within the overall project target will be developed and decided in consultations between the student, the university supervisor (Dr. Paul Szyszka- Otago University) and the Plant and Food Research supervisor (Dr. Flore Mas).
This three year scholarship offers a stipend of NZ$37,000 per annum, which includes funds towards university fees plus operating costs.
We look for an enthusiastic PhD student with strong interests in chemical ecology. Applicants should have a firm background in one of the following fields: analytical chemistry, entomology, ecology.
Fluent spoken and written English.
Send a Cover letter explaining your motivation, a CV, your Master’s degree and thesis, as well as published papers. Also provide the names and emails of two referees.
Position open until filled.
Start : 15 September 2022 (Flexible)
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org