Four PhD positions (m/f/d) within GBOL III: Integrative Taxonomy of “Dark Taxa” of Diptera and Hymenoptera (E13 TV-L, 65%)

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

Project description:

Four positions are open at the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart (SMNS) for excellent and highly motivated PhD students with interests in the application of integrative taxonomic approaches, including DNA barcoding and morphology, to expedite the discovery and description of little-known insects ("dark taxa"). The four PhD projects will focus on selected “Dark Taxa” of especially species-rich Diptera (Phoridae and Sciaridae) and parasitoid Hymenoptera (Platygastroidea and Ceraphronoidea).

Candidates are expected to make a substantial contribution to the taxonomy of one of these taxa by extending the DNA barcode library, creating identification keys, and developing new protocols and approaches to make the corresponding taxa available for scientific research in applied entomology, ecology and other biological disciplines. The projects involve 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. Successful candidates will benefit from taxonomic training by international specialists and the opportunity to visit major collections, and will participate in national and international conferences and workshops.

Candidates with the following profile will be given consideration:

  • M.Sc./Diploma degree or equivalent in biology or a related discipline by the time of the commencement of the project
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills in English
  • strong interest in working with insects using integrative taxonomic approaches
  • very good organizational skills and flexibility
  • willingness to travel
  • background in taxonomy and/or molecular systematics
  • experience in the analysis of molecular and morphological data will be a bonus

Please note: Employment will be at the SMNS, Stuttgart. The applicants are expected to enroll in a doctoral program at the University of Hohenheim to obtain the appropriate degree.

In turn we offer:

  • the opportunity to pursue your academic career in an internationally renowned research museum with state-of-the-art facilities
  • exciting research projects in an international and multidisciplinary environment
  • the possibility to attend national and international conferences and publish your results in scientific journals
  • intensive academic and personal mentoring
  • an attractive workplace in the centre of Stuttgart
  • flexible and family-friendly working hours
  • benefits from occupational health management

The salary is based on the German civil service salary scale E13 [TV-L, 65%]. The position is limited to three years. Please send your application including a cover letter, CV and certificates exclusively online (in one file, max 5 MB) to gbol-phds [at] smns-bw [dot] de by January 15, 2020.

Please note that your incoming data will not be automatically encrypted. By submitting your application documents, you agree to share them with members of the selection committee in compliance with the provisions of the European General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO).

The job interviews are scheduled for early February 2020.

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Lars Krogmann: 0049-(0)711/8936-219, lars [dot] krogmann [at] smns-bw [dot] de or Dr. Daniel Whitmore: 0049-(0)711/8936-215, daniel [dot] whitmore [at] smns-bw [dot] de

The SMNS is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity, tolerance and excellence. Preference will be given to applicants with severe disabilities if equally qualified.