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Research Assistant in disease ecology (OneHealth)

Postdoctoral Scientist. Salary €33,516 – 47,316 per annum. Fixed term, 3 years. IRD Institute of Evolutionary Sciences, Montpellier, France.
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Scientist position in the group of Prof. Rudy Gozlan at ISEM, Montpellier, as part of a research team interested in exploring the link between human diseases and hosts community structures. More specifically, to undertake research exploring the structure of food web communities in tropical freshwater ecosystems across three continents and 6 countries, and the emergence of trematodes in local human and animal populations.

About the role
Within the framework of an international research programme in Cambodia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Guadeloupe, we are looking for a dynamic, inquisitive PDRA with a proven track record to study the role of aquatic food webs structure on the risks of infectious disease emergence in humans and animals. The post-holder’s main task will focus on trematode diversity, spatial distribution and integration into different components of local aquatic host communities. The candidate should have a good level of food web modelling, stable isotopes analysis, an interest in aquatic ecology and a curiosity for travel in tropical areas. The postdoctoral fellow will be accompanied by a technician for species identification and field work during the research programme.

About You
The post-holder should have a PhD in food web ecology, disease epidemiology, ecological modelling or a related field. The candidate should be able to provide evidence of expertise in disease ecology, statistical modelling and a willingness to develop expertise in all areas that will be required for the project. Self-motivation, an ability to work as part of a team and excellent research management and presentation skills are essential.

About ISEM
The Institute of Evolutionary Sciences, Montpellier (ISEM) is a research institute affiliated to the French National Research Institute in Sustainable Sciences (IRD). IRD is a French public research establishment operating under the joint authority of the French Ministry for Higher Education, and Research and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to create an original approach to research, expertise, training and knowledge-sharing for the benefit of tropical countries and regions, making science and innovation key drivers in their development, more information can be found at https://en.ird.fr/ .

The successful applicant will be awarded a 3-year Career Development Fellowship/ Postdoctoral Training Scheme position. This is a training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has recently completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited experience of key transferable skills. The IRD-ISEM has excellent scientific core facilities and training opportunities.

For informal enquiries please contact Prof. Rudy Gozlan at
Or send a cover letter and a cv to

Although a high percentage of the approximately 250 known emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in humans have been attributed to tropical forests, the precise mechanistic details of this association often remain elusive. The rapid increase in human populations, settlements and encroachments worldwide is resulting in a rapid and concomitant decline in biological diversity, with significant changes in species community composition and severe disruptions to established food webs, which are directly addressable by land-use change and deforestation.

Results include advanced effects on ecosystem functioning and the potential for marked changes in associated microbial dynamics, including impacts on resident human populations. To potentially understand more generalist EIDs, which often do not depend on a single specific host or vector species, an in-depth analysis of changes in host/non-host communities caused by natural habitat modifications and/or land-use change is needed. For example, hosts of different fitness will be adapted differently to altered environments, so it is essential to quantify their relationship to a food web. In addition, changes in land use or habitat often lead to a change in trophic interactions, which may be a direct (e.g. predation) or indirect (e.g. extinction cascade) change in food web structure. A severe change in a food web can have a significant impact on a food web, with the promotion or decline of certain host species in the community web.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: Prof. Rudy Gozlan
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