PhD – Applied or Basic Biology of Social Insects

The PhD will focus on the biology of social insects (bees or ants) from either an applied science or a basic science direction, or a combination. The student will work in an active social insect research lab (LASI: Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects under the supervision of Professor Francis Ratnieks (Goole scholar page in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex, which has the largest concentration of social insect researchers in the UK. Funding is available for 3 years with the possibility of an additional 6 months. The start date is in the period October 2013 to January 2014. Applications are solicited from prospective students with a passion for social insects and a 2.1 or 1st class BSc degree in a relevant area, or equivalent. Although an MSc degree is not required this may be an advantage. Suggested areas of basic research: 1) Organization of ant trail systems; 2) Communication and information use in insect societies; 3) Effects of genetic diversity on the function of insect societies; 4) Role of nectar guides in bee foraging and learning. Suggested areas of applied research: 1) Helping honey bees and insect pollinators in rural or urban areas; 2) Improving the value of ornamental garden plants for flower-visiting insects; 3) Honey bee diseases and disease control.

Funding is available for 3 years with the possibility of an additional 6 months.

References (related to your research topic)

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Please see Google Scholar page of Francis Ratnieks

Application deadline: 30th September 2013 or until filled.

Please could you make a formal application using

Include a brief statement of interest in the project, full CV, all transcripts, two academic references and details on funding. Mention Prof. Francis Ratnieks as the suggested supervisor in the relevant section in the application.

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