[Coral-List] Post-doc position available

Valeriano Parravicini valeriano.parravicini at gmail.com
Tue Aug 1 08:56:19 EDT 2017

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Metabarcoding, Trophic ecology

Duration: 24 Months

The post-doctoral position will be based at the CRIOBE in the core
laboratory on the University of Perpignan Campus (France). Some field trips
are planned in French Polynesia. The post-doc will work mainly with
Valeriano Parravicini (EPHE-CRIOBE) and Serge Planes (CNRS-CRIOBE).

The ideal candidate should demonstrate a background in the employment of
metabarcoding from next generation sequencing and experience in the
analysis of complex ecological networks. The candidate will be in charge of
developing analysis of the trophic niche of reef fish species employing a
mixed approach based primarily on DNA metabarcoding of gut and intestinal
contents, but also on stable isotopes analysis. The overall goal is to
reconstruct the trophic interactions among species based on the
identification of exact food consumption. Metabarcoding will mix plants
(algae) and animals survey to evaluate the complexity of the diets and
introduce the level of admixture on the species diets. The successful
candidate will work within the frame of two larger and already funded
projects in collaboration with several other international leaders in coral
reef ecology.

Trophic interactions among species provide the basis of ecological and
evolutionary dynamics as all species have to acquire the resources
necessary to survive and reproduce. These constraints tend to organize
biodiversity into complex food-webs where species interact directly, via
the classic resource-consumer interaction, or indirectly via multiple
resource-consumer interactions linked to one another. Therefore, the
topology of food-webs determines synergies, competition and antagonism
among species, mediates the effects of external disturbances and is a key
property of ecosystems. However, the empirical characterization of trophic
networks is generally limited to simplified architectures (e.g. bi-trophic
predator-prey relationships, plant-pollinator and host-parasite
interactions). Detailed information on food-web architecture for coral
reefs relies mainly on data from the Caribbean, Cuba and simplified Pacific
food-webs. These architectures are based mainly on gut content analysis,
literature or expert opinion and their level of detail is limited to broad
trophic guilds (e.g. herbivores, detritivores, invertebrate feeders). This
raw resolution impairs our ability to understand the complexity of coral
reefs and to evaluate the disturbance potential to propagate through the
interaction network. The main goal of this project is to combine
metabarcoding analysis based on the existing global DNA-barcode library
(cf. BIOCODE project) and stable isotopes analysis to assess reef fishes
dietary preferences in the Insular Pacific.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, a statement of research
goals and a CV to valeriano.parravicini at gmail.com. Applicants will receive
an e-mail confirming their application has been received.

All applications should be submitted by 30 September 2017. However, until
the position is filled, we will continue to accept application materials.
The position aims to start early 2018 at the latest.

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