For the project "The influence of microplastic pollution on the outcome of host-parasite interactions (IMPACT)" we are inviting applications for a doctoral student position starting in spring 2023 with a duration of 36 months.
The doctoral project centres on the implications of microplastic (MP) pollution in the context of parasitic infections, using the water flea Daphnia and its various natural pathogens as a model host-parasite system. Given that parasitism is one of the most common lifestyles on earth and can play important roles in many evolutionary and ecological processes, we propose to incorporate interactions between host species and their parasites as important new ecotoxicological endpoints to better assess the ecological consequences of MP pollution. In order to assess MP effects on the outcome of host-parasite interactions and to understand the mechanistic drivers of potential changes and related upscaling effects, several lab experiments will be conducted. For example, we will test if MP-induced changes in host resistance are related to: immune priming (transcriptome), re-allocation of host resources (life-history traits), and modification of the host gut microbiome (metabarcoding or shotgun sequencing). The successful candidate will join a team of researchers working on evolutionary ecology of disease, microbiology, plankton ecology and modelling. The position is located at IGB in Berlin.