Ref SLU ua.2021.2.5.1-3135
Location: Alnarp, Sweden
Starting date: 1 January 2022
Deadline for applications: 30 September 2021
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. The PhD student will assess the mechanism by which malaria vectors select host plants to obtain sugars needed for survival and reproduction, and how this behaviour is affected by the interaction with malaria parasites.
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 applies 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- and taste-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.
Harnessing flowering plants for the control of malaria
The global spread of vector-borne diseases, including malaria, remains a public health threat, raising the need for the development of new combat strategies for vector control. Knowledge of the natural vector ecology can be exploited in this regard, including the propensity for plant feeding. While plant nectar is essential for the nutritional ecology of malaria vectors, we have limited understanding of how mosquitoes select these resources, and how the natural diversity of plants affects mosquito competence for malaria parasites. The purpose of this study is to identify the mechanism(s) by which malaria vectors select host plants to obtain sugars needed for survival and reproduction, and how this behaviour is affected by the interaction with malaria parasites and toxic secondary metabolites present in nectar. Considerable amount of time in the project will be spent at the Institut de Recherche en Science de la Santé (IRSS) in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
The successful candidate will hold a MSc in a biology-related field. Experience with field work under challenging conditions and behavioural analysis of insects is a requirement. In addition, experience with chemical or molecular analyses and mosquito research is a significant asset. The applicant should be fluent in spoken and written English, and versal in French, 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
Forms for funding or employment
4 year PhD position. Fully funded.
1 January 2022
We welcome your application no later than 2021-09-30. You will need to apply online, see 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 www.slu.se/en/education/programmes-courses/doctoral-studies/
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.
Head of department/Professor
+46 40-41 53 11
Don't forget to mention MalariaWorld when applying for this position!