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Postdoctoral Research Assistant

University of Oxford - Department of Zoology

Location: Oxford
Salary: Grade 7.1-7.4: £33,309 - £36,382 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 23rd June 2022
Closes: 4th August 2022
Job Ref: 158429

A postdoctoral research assistant position is available in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, to conduct research on insect–symbiont interactions, working with Dr Ailsa McLean. 

Many animals have important and persistent relationships (symbioses) with bacteria. In some cases, symbiotic bacteria are known to protect their animal hosts against pathogens and parasites, forming an element of host immunity. The overarching aim of this project is to understand how relationships between symbionts, hosts, and natural enemies influence the broader ecological community. For example, do natural enemy communities vary depending on the symbiont infections present? How might these community interactions alter in times of environmental change? We address these questions using a model experimental system of aphids, their protective symbionts, their food plants, and their natural enemies. 

The PDRA will conduct experiments to alter the bacterial symbiont infections of aphids and examine the outcomes for aphids and their natural enemies. 

You should hold (or shortly expect to gain) a PhD/DPhil in a relevant biological field (ecology/evolution). You will be responsible for experimental work, data collection and analysis, and will work with the PI and others in writing up results for publication. Experience working with insects in a laboratory or field setting would be an advantage, as would experience with basic molecular biology techniques (e.g. DNA extraction, PCR). You should also be willing to present results at conferences and scientific meetings (funding is available for conference attendance).

Where Covid-19 has resulted in substantial disruption to your work or research outputs, please explain this by providing an additional paragraph in your supporting statement. 

The University of Oxford is committed to equality and valuing diversity. 

This post is full time (although applications for part time and flexible working will be considered) and available from October 2022 for one year. 

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on 4th August; interviews are likely to be scheduled for the week beginning 22nd August.

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