dimanche 9 septembre 2012

Postdoc position in evolutionary ecology /urban ecology

A 18-months postdoc position in evolutionary ecology is available in the laboratory “Ecology and
Evolution” at the University of Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris (CNRS UPMC, UMR 7625). The postdoc is
funded by the “région Ile-de-France” (Paris district).
The postdoc research will be part of an interdisciplinary project that aims at studying
adaptations developed by organisms living in urban environments. Previous have suggested that
individuals living in urban area have specific characteristics as compared to individuals living in rural
area (Evans et al. 2009). The combination of particular traits would enable individuals to successfully
exploit urban environments. This urbanization syndrome may include increased reproduction rate,
high aggressiveness, boldness, tameness toward humans and tolerance to pollution. The degree of
melanin-based coloration has been frequently reported to co-vary with life-history, morphological,
physiological and behavioural traits. A recent review highlighted potential candidate pleiotropic
genes affecting both the degree of individual melanisation and other phenotypic traits, including
aggressiveness, tolerance to stress, energy homeostasis and anti-inflammatory immune reactions
(Ducrest et al. 2008), suggesting that melanin-based coloration would be associated with several
traits involved in the urbanization syndrome. The main objective of the postdoc is to investigate
whether melanin-based coloration reflects adaptations to different urban environmental factors
(pollution. etc…) in an emblematic urban species displaying a melanin-based colour polymorphism,
the feral pigeon (Columbia livia). The method will combine correlative approaches in the field and
experimental approaches in captivity.
The candidate should have a PhD degree in evolutionary biology or ecology as well as good
hands-on skills on bird manipulation (blood sampling, injection etc…) or strong willingness to acquire
them. A good background in data analysis (statistics) and experiment design is also recommended. A
driving licence is indispensable. All applicants from any nationalities are welcome.
The work will be conducted in the Laboratory of “Ecology and Evolution” (team: Ecophysiologie
Evolutive) in Paris under the supervision of Dr Julien Gasparini and Dr Adrien Frantz (Website of the
lab: http://ecologie.snv.jussieu.fr/). Applications should contain a curriculum-vitae with a
publications list and the name and e-mail address of two referees.
Duration: 18 months, starting before February 2013
Salary: 2500 euros per month net of taxes.
Contact: Julien Gasparini, Tel: +33 1 44 27 38 23, e-mail: jgaspari@snv.jussieu.fr