PhD position available with WasserCluster Lunz

We are seeking a highly motivated student to pursue her/his PhD studies within the research project “Is Bythotrephes not invasive at home due to prey adaptations?”, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Spreading and establishment of species beyond their native range may have drastic ecological, environmental and socio-economic consequences. While alien species invasions receive attention, detailed knowledge about the species in their native area is often lacking. In this project we will investigate the performance of a large predatory cladoceran Bythotrephes longimanus (the spiny water flea) and its impacts on zooplankton communities within a part of its native range, the Austrian Alpine lakes. The role of Bythotrephes as predator in the lakes will be assessed by a combination of several novel and traditional approaches of both field and experimental work, in the international team lead by Radka Ptacnikova (WasserCluster Lunz), and involving Jens C. Nejstgaard (Leibnitz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries,  Stechlin, Germany), Marc E. Frischer (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of Georgia, Savannah, Georgia, USA) and Adam Petrusek (Faculty of Science, Charles University Prague, Czechia).

The focus of the PhD thesis will be in developing and application of molecular gut analyses of Bythotrephes in a close cooperation with prof. Marc E. Frischer and will include a 3-months stay in his laboratory.. The student is also expected to participate in field and experimental work. The qualified candidate must hold a MSc.. degree in ecology, limnology and/or related fields. Practical experience with molecular methods in ecology will be of advantage. Strong motivation, flexibility and capacity of independent work are important qualities. The position is funded for 36 months, salary will follow FWF rules for PhD jobs (~37 000 € pre-tax annually).

WasserCluster Lunz is a highly interactive inter-university research center for Aquatic Ecosystems Research at Lake Lunz (160 km from Vienna) with an international community of students and researchers.

Students interested in this PhD-position are encouraged to contact Dr. Radka Ptacnikova ( For your application, submit a letter of interest, CV including publications, and names of two references. Review of applicants will begin immediately, and the position will remain open until filled. Start date is flexible but in early 2018 is preferred.

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