PhD position: German Barcode of Life III - Parasitoids in caterpillars

Universität Würzburg

The German Barcode of Life (GBOL) initiative aims at assembling a comprehensive DNA barcode library of German animals. During the GBOL I and GBOL II projects, DNA barcodes of over 23,000 species have been generated, and the reference library currently covers all major groups of German insects, e.g., butterflies and moths, beetles, bees, and wasps.

The new project, GBOL III, will target taxonomically less thoroughly known taxa of insects, in particular several families of Diptera, and the parasitoid Hymenoptera. GBOL III will tackle such little-known "dark taxa" through a DNA barcoding-based, integrative taxonomic approach. Apart from complementing the DNA barcode library, the outcomes of the project will include species level revisions, identification keys, species checklists, and enhanced protocols for DNA metabar-coding. Another important aspect of GBOL III will be the training of skilled, next generation taxo-nomists. The project involves taxonomic training by external specialists and the development of an accelerated publication workflow, and the application and development of tools for big data analysis of mass barcoding results from metabarcoding-based biodiversity studies.

The Ecological Station Fabrikschleichach of the Julius-Maximilians University Würzburg offers a PhD position for excellent and highly motivated candidates with interests in forest entomology, the application of barcoding approaches and applied ecological science. The project will focus on cryptic parasitoids in caterpillars of forest moths collected in different stages of outbreak of gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) as well as in forest stands with different diversity of tree species. Identifying the incidence and host specificity will open new insides in the role of parasitoid hymenoptera regulating moth populations. The caterpillar data will be collected by canopy fogging.

Salary and benefits are equivalent to a public service position in Bavarian (TV-L, 65 %) for three years. The intended starting date is 1st March 2020. Equally qualified handicapped applicants will be given preference. Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply. The place of employment is Fabrikschleichach, Germany.

Your application should include a cover letter that outlines your motivation and suitability for the position, a detailed CV with list of publications, the names and addresses of two referees, and copies of educational transcripts and should be submitted as a single pd-file per email to, latest until 15th January 2020.
Candidates (m/f/d) with the following profile will be given consideration:
  • MSc degree in biology, forestry or a related discipline
  • background in taxonomy and/or molecular systematics
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills in English
  • very good organization skills
  • interest in field work (canopy fogging)
  • mobility by an own car and a driving license class B
  • experience in the analysis of molecular and morphological data will be a bonus
Universität Würzburg
Ökologische Station Fabrikschleichach
Glashüttenstr. 5
96181 Rauhenebrach
Prof. Dr. Jörg Müller
0931 3183378
0931 3183089
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