Interesante postdoc eco-evolutivo en la Riviera Francesa ~

12 de septiembre de 2020

Interesante postdoc eco-evolutivo en la Riviera Francesa

Modelling feedbacks between demography and genetics in introduced populations

# Scientific background

A crucial area of research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is understanding the role of eco-evolutionary dynamics in determining the fate of small populations. Specifically, declining populations are extinction-prone, and introduced populations often fail to establish. A general explanation is that low numbers trigger deleterious demographic and genetic processes such as inbreeding depression, Allee effects, and stochasticity. Although each process is well-studied, their relative influence and mutual dependence remain unclear. Do these processes reinforce one another and drive small populations into an extinction vortex, or do they provoke a form of evolutionary rescue underpinned by a purge of the genetic load?

Such a question is of prime importance for population management, including biological control. Populations of biocontrol agents experience dramatic variation in the number of individuals during collection, importation, rearing and releases. Meta-analyses suggest that low numbers partly explain establishment failure, but some experiments tell a different story. Our aim is therefore to develop a general simulation model implementing demographic-genetic interactions in a context of population introduction. The model will serve to analyze the consequences of these interactions on the dynamics of small introduced populations, and to search for optimal scenarios maximizing establishment probability.

Beyond biological control, we seek a better understanding of eco-evolutionary feedbacks and the functioning of small populations, with relevance to Invasion and Conservation Biology.

# References

Extinction of populations by inbreeding depression under stochastic environments. Tanaka, Y. 2000. Population Ecology 42(1): 55-62.

Invading parasitoids suffer no Allee effect: a manipulative field experiment. Fauvergue X, Malausa JC, Giuge L and Courchamp F. 2007. Ecology 88(9): 2392-2403.

Inbreeding depression is purged in the invasive insect Harmonia axyridis. Facon B, Hufbauer RA, Tayeh A, Loiseau A, Lombaert E, Vitalis R, Guillemaud T, Lundgren JG, and Estoup A. 2011. Current Biology 21:424-427.

The biology of small, introduced populations, with special reference to biological control. Fauvergue X, Vercken E, Malausa T, Hufbauer RA. 2012. Evolutionary Applications 5(5) : 424- 443.

Trophic interactions may reverse the demographic consequences of inbreeding. Bompard A, Amat I, Fauvergue X & Spataro T. 2016. Ecology. 97(11) : 3131-3142.

The genetic Allee effect: A unified framework for the genetics and demography of small populations. Luque G, Vayssade C, Guillemaud T, Facon B, Courchamp F & Fauvergue X. 2016. Ecosphere. 7(7) : e011413.

# Location

The position is housed at ISA (Institut Sophia Agrobiotech), a research institute funded by INRAE, CNRS and Université Côte d’Azur (ISA website). ISA hosts about 200 professors, researchers, engineers and technicians distributed across 13 research teams, as well as an international Master school and many students. Research will be supervised by Xavier Fauvergue, research director at INRAE.

The Institute is based in Sophia-Antipolis, near Antibes on the French Riviera (GPS coordinates: 43.612906, 7.077723). Surroundings combined with Mediterranean climate offer great opportunities for outdoor activities in sea and mountain environments (les Alpes Maritimes).

The position is for 18 months with a gross salary of about 2700€/month.

# Qualifications

Competitive applicants will have a PhD in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology or a related discipline by the start date, expertise in Population Genetics, and should show evidence of strong quantitative and modeling skills. English speaking and writing must be fluent, French is not mandatory.

# Application

To apply, please send a single pdf file including a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, contact information for at least two previous supervisors, and any first-author articles that are related with the position to You are also welcome to use this mail for prior inquiries.

Deadline for application: October 1st, 2020.

Start date: negotiable, but ideally by November 15th, 2020.

# Web sites

xavier :
Alpes Maritimes :

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