Qui troverete i dettagli per le opportunità per ricerca, borse di studio e lavoro, in Italia e all’estero, inerenti lo studio degli insetti sociali. Per eventuali posti vacanti relativi allo studio degli insetti sociali che vorresti aver pubblicizzato qui, si prega di fare richiesta mediante e-mail all’indirizzo di posta elettronica a david.baracchi@gmail.com. Tutte le pubblicità devono includere una data di chiusura per la domanda.


1) 2 PDRAs: The evolution of cognition in bees, Royal Holloway University of London

2) 1 year faculty position: Pollination ecology of non-Apis bees, University of Florida

3) PhD position: The evolution of social life in insects, University of Tours

4) PhD: Disease transmission in ant social networks, Lausanne

5) European Ant Course 2017


Two Postdoctoral Research Assistants (3 year posts)
School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London
Location: Egham
Salary: £34,137 to £40,317 per annum – including London Allowance
Closing Date: Wednesday 15 March 2017

Applications are invited for two Postdoctoral Research Assistant posts in the Department of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London, to join the research group of Dr. Elli Leadbeater (http://ellileadbeater.wixsite.com/insectcognition)

Position 1: Social network approaches to understanding honeybee behaviour and communication. Job reference: 0217-040

This is a full time, fixed-contract post, available for 3 years. The start date is flexible but must be before 15th May 2017, to coincide with our summer field season.

Honeybee colonies are microcosms of information flow, within which bees communicate with nestmates through a variety of signals and cues. We are interested in how these information-sharing systems interact, and how each contributes to colony fitness. The successful candidate will join a team of researchers working on an ERC-funded research project that focuses on the evolution of communication in honeybees, and will lead the social network-based axis of the project.You will be responsible for developing and piloting means to track social interactions in our honeybee observation hives, for designing experiments and building social networks, and for applying Network-Based Diffusion Analysis to identify information flow mechanisms. During the summer months, you will perform behavioural experiments on campus at RHUL, and during the winter you will be responsible for data analysis and manuscript preparation. You will work closely with other members of the research team, including our postdoctoral researchers, technicians and beekeeper, and external project partner Dr. Will Hoppitt (University of Leeds). All experimental work will be based at Royal Holloway, but the post holder will be expected to travel to other locations within the UK to undertake training as necessary.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in Biology (it is acceptable to be in the final phase of a PhD programme), with a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, and proven research expertise in Animal Behaviour. Experience of building and analysing social networks is essential, and experience of behavioural research involving live animals (especially insects) is highly desirable. The post holder is expected to be highly competent with R, and experience of using Matlab would also be an advantage. Most importantly, we are seeking an individual who has the drive to learn new techniques, the independence to take responsibility for one of the most important axes of our ERC-funded project, and the commitment to develop the project to its full potential.

Position 2: Linking learning and cognition to fitness in an insect model system. Job reference: 0217-040A

This is a full time, fixed-contract post, available for 3 years from 1st August 2017.

The evolution of animal cognition is a major theme within our research group, and the successful candidate will work on a Leverhulme Trust funded project that focuses on the fitness consequences of cognitive abilities in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. The project will involve large-scale behavioural experiments in the laboratory, and subsequent assays of fitness-determining traits in the field (on campus). This project is an opportunity to compare the contribution of different cognitive traits to survival and fitness under different ecological circumstances, using a unique study system that can be tested in the laboratory but simultaneously allowed to forage naturally in the wild.

You will be responsible for the design, set-up and implementation of behavioural experiments with live bees in our bumblebee research lab, in addition to data analysis, presentation and preparation for publication. You will work alongside the project’s associated PhD student, and will collaborate closely with other members of the research team, including postdoctoral researchers, technicians, postgraduate students and undergraduates. You will also be heavily involved in the piloting of experimental techniques.All experimental work will be based at Royal Holloway and in the surrounding woodland and parkland.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in Biology (it is acceptable to be in the final phase of a PhD programme). A strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals is essential, and experience of presenting at international conferences is highly desirable. You will have extensive experience of lab or field-based research in the field of animal behaviour, and be able to demonstrate a good understanding of statistical approaches to data analysis in behavioural research. We are seeking an experienced, independent and forward-thinking researcher who is keen to become a member of our lively and dynamic research group.

Both positions are based in Egham, Surrey, where the College is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance of London. Our department has particular strengths in social insect research, and our research group provides a supportive, lively and stimulating environment for Early Career Researchers. Our recently refurbished EU-funded apiary facilities include indoor and outdoor apiaries, a bumblebee cognition laboratory and dedicated bee rearing room. We also have the support of a contracted beekeeper and dedicated technical support.

For an informal discussion about either post, please contact Dr. Elli Leadbeater: Elli.Leadbeater@rhul.ac.uk. Details of how to formally apply for either post are available at https://jobs.royalholloway.ac.uk. The Human Resources Department can be contacted with queries by email at: recruitment@rhul.ac.uk. Please quote the job reference number in all correspondence.

Interviews will take place in late March 2017

Dr. Elli Leadbeater
School of Biological Sciences
Royal Holloway, University of London
TW20 0EX

+44 (0)1784 443547
+44 (0)7901 918423


This position is relevant to biologists studying the evolution, conservation, sociality, biogeography and biodiversity, host specificity, parasite and disease dynamics, development and genetics/genomics of bees. Evolutionary biologists interested in communicating science and working with public audiences, including agricultural stakeholders in Florida, are encouraged to apply.

WHERE: The Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida is accepting applications for an Assistant Professorship focused on pollination ecology in natural areas and crop systems. This is a 12-month, tenure-accruing position that will be 60% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station), 25% Extension (UF/IFAS Extension Service), and 15% teaching (College of Agricultural and Life Sciences). The position is based in Gainesville, FL, USA.

WHAT: The primary focus within the research assignment is the pollination ecology and/or conservation of non-Apis bees. The Extension responsibilities will include developing and implementing an effective statewide Extension education program to support conservation efforts and stakeholders who rely on the pollination services that non-Apis bees provide. The teaching responsibilities will include developing an undergraduate/graduate course in pollinator ecology/conservation and participation in revolving topic seminars in the candidate’s area of expertise. Please forward this announcement to all interested parties. More information about the position can be found at http://explore.jobs.ufl.edu/cw/en-us/job/501323. The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution.

For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by March 25, 2017. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.


We invite applications for a 3-years PhD position at the Insect Biology Research Institute (IRBI) located at the University of Tours, France. The project aims at better understanding the evolution of social life in insects by focusing on the European earwig, a species in which family life is complex, temporary and facultative. The PhD student will investigate how parent-offspring interactions may improve resistance against pathogens, enhance food acquisition and limit the expression of social conflicts in this species. The scientific project includes standard laboratory setups, behavioral experiments, pathogen manipulation and life-history traits measurements (including immunity). Depending on the student interests, the project may also include chemical ecology, as well as quantitative/population genetics.

Our research institute offers an excellent, international, dynamic and interactive scientific environment (http://irbi.univ-tours.fr/) with state-of-the-art, newly equipped laboratories. Information on the scientific work of our group can be found here: http://joelmeunier.wixsite.com/researchpage. Do not hesitate to contact Joël Meunier (see email below) for more detailed information.

Tours is a beautiful historic city located on the Loire Valley with many students and a rich social and cultural life (http://www.tours-tourism.co.uk/). Note that the university has a “welcome center” to help foreign PhD students setting up in Tours.

The position requires a Master degree in Biology (or a related field). The successful candidate should have a strong background in evolutionary biology and/or behavioral ecology. Good skills in biostatistics or a high motivation to improve the statistical knowledge (e.g. R language) are important. Moreover, the candidate is expected to be very motivated, energetic, independent and have a good team spirit. The position is funded by the French Ministry of Research. People from every nationality are encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates should send applications to Joël Meunier (joel.meunier@univ-tours.fr). The application should be sent as a single document (pdf format) containing a detailed motivation letter (max. 1.5 pages), a curriculum vitae (with the grades of Bachelor and Master classes), a summary of the Master thesis (max. 500 words and the expected date of completion if applicable) and the email of 2-3 potential referees.

The deadline for applications is the 26th of March 2017 (included).

The starting date for the position is September 2017


I am looking to recruit a highly motivated PhD student to work on disease transmission in ant social networks at the Department of Ecology and Evolution (DEE) of Lausanne University, Switzerland. The position is fully funded for three years and starts in August 2017.

The successful candidate will work with a novel system, the queenless clonal raider ant Ooceraea biroi (formerly: Cerapachys biroi), to investigate the properties of social groups that increase resistance to pathogens (fungi, nematodes). The unusual biology of this species allows us to precisely control and replicate aspects of colony composition (e.g. size, genetic and demographic structure) that are thought to modulate interaction network structure, and therefore, disease spread. The student will use newly developed techniques for automated behavioral tracking in combination with experimental infections and/or molecular methods (RNAseq/qPCR) to study how ant colonies of different composition regulate behavior and immune function at the individual and group levels, and how this affects disease spread. Within this framework, the student will also be encouraged to develop her/his own research questions.

Candidates should have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) and a background in evolution/ecology, behavior, epidemiology, systems biology or other relevant field. Motivation, curiosity, and an ability to work independently are essential. Experience working with social insects, programming, or standard wet-lab techniques would be advantageous but are not necessary. The working language of the group is English; proficiency with French is helpful but not required.

The successful applicant will join an international, interactive department with 20 groups working on a wide range of topics in evolution and ecology, including other labs working on social insects. Lausanne is a small but vibrant city located on the shore of Lake Geneva, less than one hour from the Alps. There are large student and international communities and the city is well connected to all major European cities.

To apply, please send a CV, a short (<1 page) cover letter describing your background and interests, and the name and contact information of 2-3 persons willing to provide recommendations to: yuko.ulrich@gmail.com by the end of March. Informal inquiries are also welcome.

Yuko Ulrich (main supervisor)
Laboratory of Social Evolution and Behavior (current address)
The Rockefeller University, New York

DEE in Lausanne: https://www.unil.ch/dee/en/home.html
O. biroi: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/23/science/gene-modified-ants.html


28 August – 2 September 2017

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

This 6-day PhD course is designed to give an appreciation of the evolutionary history and general ecology of the European ant fauna, and to provide a toolkit of skills and resources enabling the identification of any European ant species. The course will be run by the Centre for Social Evolution, and this years’ external guest teachers will be Riitta Savolainen and Christos Georgiadis. The course is limited to 20 students, and while designed for PhD students, is also open to MSc students and Postdocs if seats are still available. Participation is free, but students must arrange their own travel and accommodation. For more information, and to enrol, see: https://phdcourses.ku.dk/DetailKursus.aspx?id=102546&sitepath=NAT