Matt has recently started a new collaboration with Phil Taylor at Macquarie University in Sydney, with the aim of investigating further the evolution of sex pheromones in Bactrocera fruit flies. As part of this project, Phil is looking for a PhD student,  with background and/or interests in chemical ecology, and evolution. The advert is below:

PhD opportunity: “Chemistry and function of fruit fly pheromones”

Expressions of interest are sought for a PhD opportunity to study composition and/or function of pheromones used for communication by Bactrocera fruit flies.

Bactrocera fruit flies – a genus of more than 500 species – include some of the world’s most devastating insect pests of horticulture. Air-borne pheromones are used by these insects to communicate, and in synthetic form also have potential as tools for control. Depending on the candidate’s interests, research emphasis may be comparative, describing and comparing pheromones used by different species, or may be functional, with more detailed analysis of pheromone composition, synthesis and biological activity.  The general skills developed in this research area would be readily transferable to other research questions later and so provide a good general training.

This project will be supported in the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences (www.cbms.mq.edu.au; Dr Ian Jamie, A/Prof Joanne Jamie, and Dr Soo Park) and Biological Sciences (www.bio.mq.edu.au; A/Prof Phil Taylor) at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and may also involve collaboration with Deakin University (Dr Matt Symonds) and Plant & Food Research, New Zealand (Dr Max Suckling and Dr Ashraf El-Sayed).

Several scholarship options are available, depending on nationality. For example, suitable candidates would be encouraged to apply for a Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (MQRES) of AU$25,392 pa (tax exempt, increased annually to index cost of living). Students on scholarships are not obliged to contribute to teaching, but may do so to supplement their income if desired. Generous funding is available for research expenses and for travel to domestic and international conferences.

Applicants should have completed research qualifications equivalent to a Masters or Australian Honours degree, and should first contact Dr Ian Jamie (Ian.Jamie@mq.edu.au) or A/Prof Phil Taylor (Phil.Taylor@mq.edu.au) with an expression of interest, including a CV and academic record.

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