jeudi 2 février 2017

2 PhD studentship & 1 postdoc on parental care @UoHull

Evolution of parental care
We are advertising a cluster of projects on the evolution of parental care funded by University of Hull including two PhD studentships and a postdoctoral position supervised by Drs Isabella Capellini, Lesley Morrell and James Gilbert. For details about the postdoctoral position, soon to be open, please contact
There are astonishing differences in whether, how, and for how long, animals care for their offspring. In most species, such as many marine fishes, parents abandon their fertilized eggs, which are mostly eaten by predators. By contrast, parents of other species, as in humans, provide protection and substantial amount of resources to their eggs or offspring.
To be considered for the shortlist, interested applicants are strongly advised to contact the relevant lead supervisor well in advance of application. Please enclose a CV and a brief explanation of why this position interests you, and any questions you have. Applicants should have at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree in Biology, Ecology, or related discipline, together with relevant research experience. A 1st class undergraduate degree or Masters level qualification are anticipated. 
PhD 1: Evolution of parents feeding offspring
Lead Supervisor: Dr James Gilbert,
Parental feeding is rare among animals. The studentship will focus on this crucial but little-understood behaviour. Insects are excellent for asking evolutionary questions about parental care: strategies are diverse, and often differ among related species. The student will first complete and publish a large reproductive trait database for insects, begun by Dr Gilbert, and second, in a broad comparative analysis across many species, address the following questions: (1) What ecological factors favour the evolution and/or maintenance of parental provisioning? Does provisioning evolve with harsh or stable environments; scarce, specialized resources; or predation? Is loss of offspring self-sufficiency a key precondition for the evolution of parental provisioning? (2) What are the evolutionary consequences of a food-provisioning strategy? Is optional (or partial) food provisioning behaviour inherently unstable? The project will deepen our understanding of an extremely important group, insects, and provides key comparisons not available in groups like mammals who uniformly feed offspring.
Further requirements: experience essential with at least one out of: database management, phylogenies, insect behaviour studies; two or more desirable. Experience with R desirable.
How to apply: Application is online at the following link:
PhD 2. Laterality and parental care in fish.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Lesley Morrell,
Long thought to be unique to humans, lateralisation (or handedness) is now recognised as widespread in vertebrates. Animals show lateralisation in a wide range of organs and behaviours, and it is hypothesised that cerebral lateralisation can enhance cognitive abilities, particularly through the ability to attend to multiple tasks at one time (multitasking). For fish, this might be the ability to simultaneously forage and remain vigilant for predators, for example. In this project, we will investigate the potential link between lateralisation, parental care and other ecological factors in fish. More specifically, the project seeks to address the following questions: 1) Within and across species, are individuals that provide care more likely to be lateralised than individuals that do not? 2) How does laterality link to the ability to multitask in caring and non-caring situations? 3) How do environmental conditions shape laterality, and how does this link to the ability to multitask? Experimental work on the behaviour of fish in the University’s aquarium facilities will be a key component of this project.
Further requirements: essential to the project are good skills and experience with experimental work, preferentially in behavioural ecology and/or with fish; experience with R desirable.
How to apply: Application is online at the following link:
Positions will start on the 25th September 2017. Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU’ student rate and maintenance (£14,121 in 2016/17) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress. Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.