The Department of Ecology (SLU) is looking to recruit a postdoc to work on a research theme related to understanding honeybee host molecular adaptations of tolerance and resistance to virus infections. The position will be placed within the internationally distinguished honeybee research group where the successful candidate will be offered a stimulating context with colleagues who focus on various aspects of bee health and have an extensive collaborative network.
The goal of this project is to comprehensively characterise the molecular adaptations of tolerance and resistance to virus infections in naturally-adapted honeybee populations using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies. These honeybee populations not only display host traits that reduce the mite’s population growth, but they also independently demonstrate tolerance and resistance to virus infections and offer exclusive insight into the natural adaptive capacity of honeybees and host‒parasite–virus coevolution. Honeybee viruses interact primarily with the RNA phase of the host genetic systems, and the relevant tolerance/resistance markers can thus also be identified there. The transcriptome is also a useful matrix for investigating the genetic response of the host to virus infections, including various small interfering RNAs, which constitutes the primary cellular defence against virus infections in insects. It can also allow for detection and analysis of pathogens replicating simultaneously in the host, and their internal interactions. This provides an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how different viruses interact and compete in the host during infection.
For this position, you must have a PhD degree with a research focus on genomics, transcriptomics, small RNAs or similar. A proven experience of bioinformatic skills in analysing and managing large sequencing datasets of genomics, RNAseq is highly merited. You should have the ability to work independently as well as in a team. You should have contributed to research through publications in peer reviewed international journals. Prior experience with honeybee studies is a merit. You should be motivated, highly interested in honeybee virology, virus interactions, insect immunity and have excellent English language skills (both oral and written).