PhD announcement: The impact of the fungus Laboulbenia formicarum on invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus

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A 3-year PhD position is available (application deadline: 15 March 2023) within the project “EMINENT: Consequences of an EMerging parasite on an INvasivE aNT in Europe” starting on August 1, 2023 (flexible: 01.07.2023-01.10.2023)

(© Uni Halle, Simon Tragust)

Biological invasions and emerging infectious diseases are widely recognized as two of the most significant biological threats to biodiversity. In Europe, a novel disease, the likely invasive ectoparasitic fungus Laboulbenia formicarum, has recently emerged on the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus. Aim of the project is to assess the impact of Lab. formicarum emergence for the success of the invasive garden ant and the well-being of European native ants using a combination of field monitoring with sampling (mainly in Lyon, France, for 3-6 months), laboratory experiments (host reproduction, survival, and disease transmission) as well as molecular work (population genomics via PoolSeq whole genome sequencing).

We require:
We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with an inquisitive, solution-oriented and frustration-tolerant mind that has excellent organisational skills to independently plan and conduct laboratory and field work. The following qualifications are required:

  • Applicants must hold a scientific University degree (MSc/Diploma) in biology or related fields
  • Previous experience in field work, experiments involving insects and/or molecular techniques (DNA extraction, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics) is desirable
  • Fluency in English (lab working language) with good communication and social skills
  • French knowledge is a plus
  • Driver’s licence valid in France is mandatory and (ideally) access to a car for field work

We offer:
A friendly and inspiring working atmosphere in a young research group (for more information check out: with collaborative connections at the national e.g. the Freie Universität Berlin (Berlin) or the Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, iDiv (Leipzig) and international level (for field work in Lyon the applicant will work closely together with Dr. Bernard Kaufmann, Université Claude Bernhard Lyon 1:   )

The group is embedded in the Department General Zoology sporting excellent, state of the art research facilities in the delightful, historic city of Halle with good and affordable living conditions and good connections to e.g Berlin (~1h by train), Leipzig-Halle airport (~15min by train) or Munich (~3h by train)

A project that will help to develop and foster the applicant’s academic profile combining diverse techniques in field, lab and molecular work.

Please submit your full application in English with registration number Reg.-Nr. 5-1086/23-D until 15th of March 2023 via e-mail as a single PDF to For informal queries about the position or the project please contact Dr. Simon Tragust ( Applications should include a cover letter detailing their motivation to join the project and the group against the background of their research interests and experience, a CV, certificates (MSc/Diploma) and the names and email addresses of two potential referees. Interviews of applicants will take place until mid April.

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