Southern Mexico and Central America is a particularly interesting region for tropical bee research. This region has been invaded by Africanized bees and possesses a great natural diversity of bees, in particular stingless and bumble bees. Despite this high diversity, few studies have been conducted to determine the existing genetic diversity, the evolutionary pathways followed by bees and the development of sociality. The conservation biology of endemic species also remains poorly studied.
The present call is published with the aim of hiring a researcher with a strong background in population genetics and social insect’s biology, who will seek among other objectives, to:
- describe and explain the biodiversity of tropical bees, with field based methodology as well as laboratory methods, in particular based on population genetic approaches;
- conduct research on the phylogeny of bees, in particular of groups like stingless and bumble bees;
- use such data to explain the evolution of sociality and behavior such as communication;
- establish and participate in the implementation of protection strategies for endemic species threatened with extinction, possibly based on an agroecological approaches.
The main functions of the researcher will be:
- Plan, elaborate and conduct research projects and publish results in international journals
- Coordinate personnel, assign responsibilities and administrate material and financial resources
- Participate in teaching at the postgraduate level and in the direction of student research projects and thesis
- Develop a direct link with local producers, so that the results of research respond to social needs
- Obtain external funding for their research projects
- PhD in ecology or biology
- Experience with molecular biology tools, quantitative analysis in population genetics, and with social insects model.
- Full-time availability (40 hours per week).
- Knowledge of Spanish.
• Duration of the position: a minimum of six years. During this period, the researcher will be evaluated each three years to determine permanency and assess performance and eligibility for promotion.
Monthly salary of MXP 17,671.75 to MXP 25,000.50 (USD 1606 to USD2272) depending of the initial evaluation. The salary is based on a standard scale depending on the category assigned to the researcher, according to a table common to the institutions of the CONACYT system. It is important to note that researchers are eligible for salary bonus payments based on academic productivity as well as participation in a saving fund, payments for materials and an end-of-year bonus. Post-doctoral researchers are expected to join the Mexican National System of Researchers which also provides monthly financial support to productive scientists. Altogether, these bonus payments may be as high as the salary itself.
The position will be located in the Tapachula unit of ECOSUR, positioned in Carretera Antiguo Aeropuerto km 2.5, in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas.
ABOUT ECOSUR AND THE BEE LINE
ECOSUR is a public research center in Mexico with 117 researchers in 32 research lines, each one integrated with scientific and technical personnel, who develop specific topics of research, postgraduate teaching and extension. One of these research lines is "Bees of Chiapas". It was created in 1986 and consists of a principal researcher, four technicians, seven post-graduate and undergraduate students, and six persons working on external funding.
The “Bees of Chiapas” research line has two working axes: 1) research in biology and ecology of tropical bees, and 2) extension services with honey producers, by means of participative research and technical teaching. Most of the present research studies are oriented towards tropical bee eco-ethology. These studies should now be complemented by studies in population genetics and molecular phylogeny.
Candidates should send exclusively via e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>: presentation letter, curriculum vitae with copies of relevant documents (title), and at least three recent scientific papers, a proposal of scientific project, and three references of established researchers who may recommend the candidate (name, address and e-mail). Do not include letter of recommendation.
Documents should be sent between 3rd December 2007 and 20th March 2008. For general information on the institution, please check www.ecosur.mx and for specific information on the position, please write at <email@example.com>. Do not call or send fax.
The selection will follow two steps. First, the curriculum of the candidates will be evaluated, and the best ones will be selected and contacted between the 4th and 11th April 2008. Second, the selected candidates will be invited to present one of their recent research studies, and also a research proposal in a seminar in the Tapachula Unit of ECOSUR or by videoconference, in the period between 14th and 21st April 2008. The interview will include the presentation of a previous research (20 minutes) and of a project to develop in ECOSUR (10 minutes). The final decision will be based on the academic value of the candidate and on the match between personal and institutional interests. The position can be occupied beginning May 2008.
Women and persons originating from southeastern Mexico and Latin America are specially invited to participate in this call.