Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

UJA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Individual Fellowships Hosting Offer 2019 (LIFE SCIENCES)

This hosting has expired

    14/06/2019 12:00 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Jaén
    Universidad de Jaén
    RNM-354 Ecology, Evolution and Conservation of Mediterranean Vegetation

Description of Hosting Institution (UJA – Spain)

Jaén University (UJA) was created in 1993 and is in the Top 50 of the world’s best young universities according to THE (Times Higher Education). This ranking analyzes aspects such as teaching, research work, the university’s international outreach, or integration into industry. Besides, the UJA has received the distinction of Campus of International Excellence in the fields of Agrifood (CEIA3) and Climate Change (CamBio), plus it also leads the Andalusian CEI project on historical heritage PatrimoniUN10.

Jaén University has five faculties (Social and Legal Sciences; Humanities and Education Sciences; Health Sciences; Experimental Sciences and Social Work) and two higher polytechnic schools for engineering (Linares and Jaén). In turn, these centers are organized into 35 departments. It also has three Postgraduate educational centers (Doctorate School, Advanced Study Center in Modern Languages and Postgraduate Study Center).

In regards to its research, there are five specialized centers at Jaén University. Besides, the full picture of the over 100 UJA groups covers the following research fields of expertise (https://www.ujaen.es/servicios/ofipi/uja-ri-expertise): Agrifood (AGR); Biology (BIO); Health (CTS); Social Sciences, Business, Law (SEJ); Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics (FQM); Humanities (HUM); Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (RNM); Information and Communications Technology (TIC); and Engineering Production Technology (TEP).

As far the UJA hosting offer is concerned, Prof. PEDRO REY ZAMORA (prey@ujaen.es) would be willing to host post-doctoral researchers that are funded through the H2020 MSCA-IF 2019 call for applications to be part of the following research team:


UJA hosting research group (https://bit.ly/2TKrM8q)

Our group addresses a wide set of topics related with the ecology and evolution of Mediterranean plant species and ecological and conservation aspects of Mediterranean plant communities. Currently the group is formed by four senior scientists: Pedro J. Rey (group leader), Julio M. Alcántara, Antonio J. Manzaneda and Ana M. Fernández-Ocaña. We regularly host 2-4 Ph.D. students as well as several project associated technicians assisting in lab and field work.

Our projects usually involve hard field work (both observational and experimental) in some of the most beautiful landscapes of Andalusia (natural protected areas in Sierra de Segura, Cabo de Gata and Sierra Nevada, or the olive orchards of the Guadalquivir Valley), but we also rely strongly on molecular studies, mathematical models and statistical analyses. Our research projects are funded through grants obtained from EU, national, regional and University competitive calls. We regularly publish our results in the 1st quartile journals of the SCI rankings.

Research facilities ascribed to our group include a small lab equipped for basic genetic and optical work and a 4x4 vehicle. We have also access to the University facilities at the CICT (Technical and Scientific Instrumentation Centre), including: experimental garden, portable equipment for ecophysiological measurements, growth chambers, molecular analysis lab (DNA, RNA, protein expression), quantitative composition analyser (C, H, N, S, O), and electronic and optical microscopy equipment.

Additional information can be found at: www4.ujaen.es/~jmalcan/ & www.ajmanzaneda.org


Project description

We are interested in reinforcing two of our currently active research lines:

Line1: Inference of Community Stability and Dynamics from Ecological Interaction Networks. The objective is understanding how plant community dynamics and stability are driven by the set of ecological interactions that plants maintain with each other and with other organisms. We have already developed a mathematical model of woody plant community dynamics based on a network of interactions between adult and juvenile plants. Now we want to explore how other interactions (especially with herbivorous insects) may affect the structure of this network, and hence the dynamics of the plant community. We look for candidates interested in studying plant-herbivorous insect interactions from the ecological networks perspective, and/or in theoretical ecology (we seek to develop new methods for the combination and analysis of multiple ecological networks).

Line 2: Untangling the origin of the ecological differentiation of the allotetraploid Brachypodium hybridum (Poaceae) in the Iberian Peninsula. We seek to explore the genetic basis of differentiation of B. hybridum populations in the Iberian Peninsula across an aridity gradient. We would use next generation sequencing technics to investigate whether among-population divergence in water use efficiency and gas exchange result from adaptive or neutral genetic differentiation. We will use GBS data to calculate Fst/Qst as indicator of environmental adaptability. Molecular data will be used to explore the origin of B. hybridum in relation to its diploid ancestors (B. distachyon and B. stacei) and to perform association studies (GWAS) in our germplasm collection. This work would be conducted in collaboration with the University of Virginia Tech (EEUU).


Application procedure

CV, Motivation letter and Summary of project proposal (250 words) by 14th June 2019 to ofipi@ujaen.es. Further information regarding the application requirements can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/actions/individual-fellowships_en & https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/msca-if-2019.



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