We are inviting applications for a 2-year post-doctoral position in Karl Gotthard’s lab that is focusing on the evolution of life history and plasticity in seasonal environments, using primarily natural populations of butterflies as model organisms. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR).
The post-doc will work within the project Life history evolution across climate clines and focus on the evolution of life cycle timing in situations where insect species show shifts in the number of annual generations, i.e. when there are shifts in voltinism. As model systems we are using several species of butterflies where the phenotypic mechanism of life cycle regulation in response to photoperiod and temperature is well understood, and where we have genomic resources to explore the genetic basis for these adaptations. We are also exploring life cycle adaptations and potential voltinism shifts in the expanding range margins of butterfly species that are presently expanding their distributions northwards. At the northern range limits these expanding species are expected to experience strong selection for changes in how photoperiod regulates life cycle timing and voltinism. These projects will provide novel insights into ecological consequences of the interaction between the two most prominent effects of climate change on natural populations: northward range expansions and selection for changes in seasonal life cycle regulation.
The project will involve both field and laboratory work to study the ecology, genetics and physiology in natural population of temperate butterflies. The post-doc will sample replicated populations and do controlled laboratory studies of the phenotypic adaptations and associated genetic variation that underlie seasonal life cycle timing. The genetics will be studied by quantitative genetic methods and with a combination of populations crosses and genomics. Physiological manifestations of the different timing adaptations will be investigated using respirometry. An important part of the project is also to set up reciprocal transplant experiments in outdoor cages to test the adaptive significance of local difference in these adaptations.
The post-doc will participate in the ongoing projects and there are several potential directions for the main project of the new post-doc. Depending on the interests and qualifications of the successful candidate the exact focus of this project will be a matter of discussion. The post-doc will be highly encouraged to develop his/her own ideas within the research field.
Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.