Postdoctoral Research Assistant (31 Jan)

Grade 7: £31,604 p.a.

The Open Philanthropy Project recently announced an award to the Target Malaria consortium (led by Imperial College London) to assist it develop and prepare for the potential deployment of gene drive technologies in mosquitoes to help eliminate malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Deployment will only occur if it is feasible, ethical, safe, approved by the regulatory authorities, and supported by the affected communities.

Part of the award has been allocated to understanding the community-ecology consequences of reducing in density, or eliminating, the particular mosquito species that transmit malaria to humans.  Fieldwork in Ghana will seek to understand the ecology of these mosquitoes and use modern molecular techniques (such as DNA “barcoding” and metagenomics) to analyse their position in local ecological food webs.  The project will be led by Professor Charles Godfray [Oxford] assisted by Dr Fred Aboagye-Antwi (Accra), Professor Owen Lewis (Oxford) and Professor Frédéric Tripet (Keele).

We seek a post doc with molecular biological skills, who ideally has experience in the application of molecular biology to ecological problems (for example, obtaining quantitative estimates of DNA sequences for environmental samples, metagenomics, constructive tropic webs using molecular data).  The successful candidate will largely be based in the UK and will be responsible for developing molecular techniques to, for example, identify the diet range of predators from gut or excreta samples, the role of mosquitoes in pollination through molecular pollen grain analysis, and the effects of mosquitoes on the microbial flora of their larval habitats.

We are looking for a motivated individual who is interested in working across the sub-disciplines of biology. The successful candidate will be a team player and enjoy working collaboratively on a common project. The successful candidate will hold a PhD in a relevant field (or awaiting examination). The successful candidate will hold a PhD in a relevant field (or awaiting examination).

The post is based at the Department of Zoology is full time and fixed term for 4 years.  The closing date is 31 January 2018.  

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