PhD Call

Ph.D. Positions - Molecular Ecology of Tree-Insect Interactions

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, is searching for researcher to a new project, co-financed from the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education “Building up an excellent scientific team and its spatio-technical background focused on mitigation of the impact of climatic changes to forests from the level of gene to the level of landscape at the FFWS CZU Prague”, reg. no. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000433, Ph.D. Position in “Level G’ to work on the Molecular Ecology of Tree-Insect Interactions.


Chemical defenses often occur as pools of stored chemicals (e.g., phenolics, terpenoids, and alkaloids) to be released upon attack. However, chemical defenses in trees also include enzymes such as chitinases and glucanases that can degrade components of invasive organisms, toxic proteins, and inhibitors of enzymes. Our Molecular lab will study the tree-insect interactions among trees of different stress levels induced by different biotic and abiotic factors. We aim to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underpinning successful colonization by beetles. Through transcriptomics, and functional proteomic approach, we will identify differentially abundant proteins, responsible for various plant tolerance. First, in the digestion by the midgut of larvae and adults of the beetles. Second, we focus on adult insect tolerance (detoxification) to the strong defenses in the bark of the stem. These identified differentially abundant proteins may serve as targets for weakening insect defense or support tree defense and thus aid in forest pest management in the future. Responsibilities will predominantly be data collection, data analysis, and manuscript preparations. We also look at the microbial contribution to insect adaptation to plant defense. Based on our findings, we try to formulate knowledge-based bark beetle management strategies using RNAi or other upcoming technologies like CRISPR/CAS9.

Putative Ph.D. research area for the position

  1. Understanding the mechanism of bark beetle adaptation through transcriptomic approach.
  2. Proteomic approach to elucidate bark beetle resistance against host plants.
  3. Bark beetle microbial diversity (Exo and Endo) and its contribution to adaptation.
  4. RNAi mediated approaches for bark beetle management.

Qualifications for the position

  1. Completed Mastered education and have the interest to peruse research on insect adaptive physiology.
  2. Research experiences of molecular biology and physiology of insects. (Optional)
  3. Some experience of NGS data analysis is an advantage. (Optional)
  4. Evidence of publication activity will also be considered as an advantage. (Optional)

Key responsibilities

  • carry out R&D activities within the assigned sub-tasks.
  • publishes the results of his/her work in good international journals.
  • Reports to supervisor routinely.

We offer

  • Work in a dynamic, international, cooperative and high professional quality team.
  • A reasonable stipend for living a good life in the Czech Republic. Possibility for own grant application at different grant agencies within the university (high success rate) or at national / international level.
  • Training opportunities for bioinformatics.
  • Opportunities to present research results in National and International conferences.
  • Involvement in national / international; collaborative projects.


The following documents must be documented along with the application:

  • Curriculum Vitae including Publication list.
  • Letter of motivation


For more information about the position and research topic related queries, contact :

Dr.Amit Roy


Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague

Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6 – Suchdol

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