PhD Studentships at University of Aberdeen

Two PhD studentships on disease ecology are available as part of a competition funded by EASTBIO BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. The deadline for applications is 5th December 2018.

Project 1: Understanding the generation and dynamics of Bartonella diversity in fragmented host populations.

Supervisory team: Xavier Lambin, Sandra Telfer (University of Aberdeen), Richard Birtles (University of Salford).

Project 2: Developing effective rat control for rural Madagascar landscapes: using individual based modelling approaches to inform strategies to increase agricultural productivity and reduce zoonotic disease risk.

Supervisory team: Sandra Telfer, Justin Travis, Xavier Lambin (University of Aberdeen).


Molecular/Cellular Biologist at University of Dundee

We are seeking to appoint a highly motivated researcher with appropriate skills in molecular and cell biology to join our Mechanism of Action (MOA) group to work on malaria. The MOA group is embedded within the newly formed Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) ( at the University of Dundee. The vision for the WCAIR is to tackle the urgent unmet medical need and lack of drug discovery research for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). WCAIR aims to integrate research in fundamental biology and translational research, exemplified by the Drug Discovery Unit (, to deliver high-quality pre-clinical drug candidates for NTDs. A key focus of research in WCAIR is kinetoplastid and apicomplexan parasites, organisms which cause a variety of severe diseases in humans and animals.

More details on the post and how to apply can be found here. The closing date for applications is 26th Nov 2018.


PhD studentship at Cardiff University:

"Spatial epidemiology in sub-Saharan African wildlife: schistosomes of Cape Buffalo"

Focusing on the Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer), a keystone species critical to the health of savannah grassland ecosystems, this studentship will involve fieldwork, species identification (snail and parasites) and landscape genomics to identify the drivers of schistosomiasis dynamics in the iconic Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. More details on the studentship and how to apply can be found here.


Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Liverpool

We are seeking an experienced researcher with expertise in the areas of nematode / parasite biology, genetics, genomics and genetic manipulation to work on a project investigating the control of development in the life cycle of the parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti. Further details on the post and how to apply can be found here.


Part-funded MSc by Research available at University of Lincoln:

"Quantifying the roles of host choice and vector competence in avian malaria transmission in the UK"

The following part-funded (consumables only – funded by The Royal Society) MSc by Research project is offered at the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, supervised by Dr Jenny Dunn and Dr Paul Eady.

Avian malaria is a globally widespread parasite infecting the majority of bird species that have been screened for infection. When introduced into naïve populations the parasite can cause severe morbidity and mortality, and even in co-evolved populations can result in reduced reproductive success and survival. The majority of avian malaria research focuses on the avian host and consequently relatively little is known about the ecology of the mosquito vector: the relative abundance, transmission competence and host choice of different mosquito species are all likely to influence transmission dynamics.

This project will examine how mosquito host choice (through DNA sequencing of bloodmeals) and vector competence (through confirmation of sporozoite presence in mosquito salivary glands) might drive infection dynamics. The project will involve labwork and fieldwork, sampling mosquito populations at sites around Lincolnshire (where avian hosts are also being sampled to identify malaria strains circulating in the host populations) and dissection of mosquito salivary glands, DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing to identify parasite strains.

For further details of the project, e-mail Dr Jenny Dunn ( To apply, please send a CV and cover letter to Dr Jenny Dunn by 20 November 2018; applicants will be short-listed and interviewed before submitting a formal application through the University with an initial start date of January 2019. Dr Jenny Dunn, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln


Research Fellow Post at the University of Surrey

An exciting opportunity for a postdoctoral Research Fellow with a background in parasitology and molecular biology is available at the University of Surrey.

The post holder will be employed on a new project funded by the MRC Newton Fund entitled: “ZooTRIP:  Zoonotic Transmission of Intestinal Parasites”. Working in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and University of Philippines Manila, this multidisciplinary project aims to assess the contribution of zoonotic transmission to the burden of human intestinal worm infection in the Philippines and determine the most appropriate strategies for intestinal worm control. As intestinal worm infections are highly prevalent in humans worldwide, this project has the potential to deliver significant public health impact. The post holder will carry out molecular characterisation of helminth isolates and development of genotyping assays. They will also participate in capacity building activities in the Philippines.

For further information and to apply, visit this link:


PhD available at the University of Edinburgh, UK:

"The evolutionary ecology of disease transmission: how are vector control programmes changing parasite life histories?”

Supervised by Prof Sarah Reece.

Malaria is transmitted by Anopheline mosquitoes and their control centres on long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets and indoor residual spraying. Insecticides are implicated in causing: the evolution of resistance mutations to target sites and detoxification mechanisms, shifts in feeding schedule and location, altered host preference, changes in the relative importance of different mosquito species as vectors, and shorter lifespan. Predicting how parasites will respond to such changes in vector populations requires knowledge of: (a) The impacts of interventions on parasites directly (e.g. do insecticides kill parasites?). (b) How parasite fitness is affected by changes in vector genotypes and phenotypes (e.g. insecticide resistance, biting time-of-day, lifespan, vector species). (c) How much plasticity and genetic variation exist in parasite populations for heritable traits, including fitness, that are affected by vector-control. (d) Whether parasite traits affected by vector-control are governed by trade-offs or co-variances that affect responses to selection.

This PhD will open the black box of what life inside mosquito vectors is like and develop a novel field by revealing the genetic and environmental drivers of parasite transmission to, and from, the vector. This project will use malaria parasites of rodents and mosquitoes to integrate developments from different biological disciplines into an evolutionary framework. Malaria parasites are an ideal model system because well-controlled laboratory experiments that perturb the environments parasites experience within mosquito vectors can easily be carried out. The experiments will reveal the genetic and environmental drivers of parasite transmission to, and from, the vector.

For further information and to apply, please visit this link


NERC-funded PhD studentship at University of Exeter: Antibiotic exposure impacts on fish health in natural freshwaters

Lead Supervisor
Professor Charles Tyler

Additional Supervisors
Dr David Bass, Centre for Enviroment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (CEFAS)
Professor Joanne Cable, Cardiff University
Dr Ben Temperton, University of Exter
Dr Jackie Lighten, University of Exeter

Location: Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon.

The NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Freshwater Biosciences and Sustainability (GW4 FRESH CDT) will provide a world-class doctoral research and training environment, for the next generation of interdisciplinary freshwater scientists equipped to tackle future global water challenges. GW4 FRESH harnesses freshwater scientists from four of the UK’s most research-intensive universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) plus world-class research organisations the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and British Geological Survey (BGS).

For an overview of the GW4 FRESH CDT please see website

Note, the research projects listed are in competition with 23 other studentship projects available across the GW4 FRESH CDT Partnership. Up to 12 studentships will be awarded to the best applicants.

Microbiomes (the microbes associated with a host) are a fundamental component of human and animal health. Stressors that induce shifts in microbial communities including antibiotic exposure, have been associated with increased disease and infection in humans, but almost nothing is known in this regard for fish.

Antibiotics that target bacteria can reach microgram per litre concentrations in some UK surface waters (Monteiro and Boxall 2010) and some are now on the European Chemicals Watch list because of concern for human health through antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Bacteria can evolve resistance to natural phages (viruses) also, but doing so often involves a phenotypic trade-off such as increased susceptibility to antibiotics (Chan et al. 2018). Thus, the spread of AMR may be mitigated by host-virus interactions in natural communities. Understanding interactions between antibiotic and phage resistance in microbiome shifts and disease susceptibility is important for modelling the spread of AMR in both natural fish populations and aquaculture; as well as identifying and directing putative treatments through phage therapy.

Further details on the project and how to apply can be found here


Research Assistant Position at Durham

Applications are invited for a Research Associate to work on a MRC-funded Confidence in Concept project: “Target validation of a novel antileishmanial”

Leishmaniasis is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) caused by insect-borne Leishmania spp protozoa. With increasing cases (12M), limited drugs and rising resistance, the development of new effective, non-toxic and affordable therapies is essential. Working with LifeArc ( we have identified a novel antileishmanial with both in vitro and in vivo activity. For development towards (pre)clinical trials the identification of the molecular target(s) is essential. In this project, the appointed researcher will generate drug resistant parasite lines and validate the molecular target(s) utilising genome sequencing coupled with metabolomic analyses. Success will facilitate entry into a hit to drug lead programme.

The post is fixed term for 12 months and the successful candidate will be working with Dr Paul Denny (PI) at Durham University and Dr Andy Merritt at LifeArc.

For further information and to apply, visit this link.


Fully funded PhD Studentship at University of Cambridge

A fully funded PhD studentship is available for October 2019 with Dr Catherine Merrick to study the sensing and response of Plasmodium parasites to DNA damage.

Further details are available here.


PhD Position in Evolutionary Biology

The position is available in the research group of Dr. Frida Ben-Ami,from Tel Aviv University, Israel ( The position is available from October 15, 2018.

I am looking for a highly motivated candidate who is interested in host-parasite interactions and coevolution. In my lab, we are using the crustaceans Daphnia and their microparasites as a model system.

The successful candidate will be able to choose a project from a range of projects currently being pursued in in the lab.

• MSc degree in biology
• creative thinking
• background in evolutionary biology or ecology
• hands-on experience with experimental work
• analytical skills and good knowledge in statistics
• communication and writing skills in English
• good work ethic

Please send your application by email (all material in one PDF) to Frida Ben-Ami ( Applications should include a CV, a list of publications and a statement about research interests (motivation letter). Please give names and email addresses of two persons who are willing to write a letter of recommendation.