Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Expression of interest (EoI) - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action -Evolutionary Ecology- University of Valencia

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    22/07/2019 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Paterna
    University of Valencia
    Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology
    Evolutionary Ecology

The evolutionary Ecology Group conducts empirical and theoretical studies on population ecology and evolution, using rotifers as model organisms. The specific scientific interests of the group include:

(1) adaptation to environmental variation in time and space (genetic, physiological and ethological components),

(2) identification and ecological characterization of cryptic species of rotifers, (3) demographic, genetic and evolutionary implications of cyclical parthenogenesis,

(4) evolution of life cycles in rotifers, with special attention to the evolution of sexual reproductive patterns (induction, optimization and mating behavior),

(5) feasibility analysis and complex population dynamics,

(6) processes mediating the coexistence of competing species,

(7) ecological and evolutionary implications of diapausing egg banks and

(8) genetic ecology (population differentiation, intrapopulation variation and local adaptation).


The University of Valencia is implementing since 2017 the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R),this seal recognizes the University’s ability to attract talent, create a favourable work conditions, encourage research and enhance the careers of researchers in Europe: https://www.uv.es/uvweb/research-service/en/uv-research/human-resources-strategy-researchers-1286005500771.html


Brief description of the project:

In the process of range expansion, a species first needs to disperse, then to colonize a new habitat, and finally to persist there. The case of the zooplankton is puzzling because despite their small size and assumed high potential for dispersal, population differentiation is often observed even at small spatial scales. An explanation for this paradox is provided by the Monopolization hypothesis (MH), which preconizes founder effects and resource monopolization, together with a rapid build-up of a diapausing stage bank by first colonizers. This hypothesis is mainly based in the case of cyclical parthenogenetic (i.e., facultatively sexual) zooplankters, being rotifers one of their major representatives. Indeed, a minimum genetic diversity —correlated with a minimum number of founders— might be needed in order to found a successful population, because that genetic diversity will fuel selection for local adaptation and compensate for the negative effects of a small population size. It is therefore crucial to know the number of founders that might arrive in a new habitat before monopolization operates. However, neither realized dispersal rates of zooplankton dormant propagules nor evidence in favor of the MH are yet available. Nor are there many trials on the effect of genetic diversity on the success of colonization of a new habitat. The objectives of this project are to quantify short-distance dispersal rates in a set of closely-related rotifer species, and explore the factors affecting their arrival and successful colonization of new habitats, with special emphasis on the role of sexual reproduction and genetic diversity.

Document to be submitted by the candidates: CV


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