PhD with giant tortoises ~

4 de octubre de 2012

PhD with giant tortoises

Dear All,

We have a 3-year SNF-funded PhD position available in our group at the
Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of
Zurich, Switzerland: "From understanding to predicting: Giant tortoises as
drivers of the seed dispersal network of Aldabra".

The Aldabra Atoll in the Western Indian Ocean is home to 100,000 giant
tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea) – the largest surviving population of
giant tortoises in the world. The project aims at dramatically improving our
understanding of the role of the giant tortoises as seed dispersers. We will
investigate multiple levels of ecological organisation, from individual
behaviour and the outcome of pairwise interactions, to community-level
interaction patterns. The project has three components: 1) developing a
theoretical individual-based model of seed dispersal by giant tortoises and
experimentally field-testing its predictions by radio tracking artificial
ingestible seeds, 2) constructing the seed dispersal network of Aldabra
(camera trapping, fecal analyses), and 3) experimentally evaluating the
effect of tortoise gut passage on seed germination and seedling
establishment. The preferred starting date is mid-2013, and applicants
should have or expect to obtain an MSc (or equivalent) in a relevant field.
Review of applications starts on 01 November 2012, but candidates will be
considered until the position is filled.

More information and application details can be found here:

Cheers & best,

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