Date Posted
3 Mar 2024

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PhD Project
Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology – University of Torino

PhD position “Ecological functions and ecosystem services in insects”

3 Mar 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

Applications are sought for a PhD position in
“Ecological functions and ecosystem services in insects”
at the University of Torino (Italy)

Project starting date: 01/10/2017
The project will be supervised by the University of Turin (Italy).
Supervisor: prof. Claudia Palestrini (University of Torino), e-mail:

Project background
Maintaining multiple ecosystem functions (‘multifunctionality’) is crucial to conserve the capability of ecosystems to provide services on which humans depend. Even if accumulated evidence suggests that the effect of biotic communities may be different, and potentially stronger, when multiple functions are analyzed together, research on multifunctionality remains still scarce. There is a critical need to investigate and examine empirically the contribution of animal model systems (e.g. insects) to the complex interrelations between multiple ecosystem functions over space and time. In the last years we assessed the role of dung beetles (Coleoptera:Scarabaeoidea) in regulating multiple processes related to nutrient cycling in pastures of Northwestern Alps. We focused on the nesting strategy of dung beetles by contrasting functions provided by tunnelers and dweller.

The student will participate fully in the activities of the Doctoral School of Sciences and Innovative Technologies (for more details see here and here: ).
By conducting the research project and collaborating with other researchers, s/he will acquire specific skills in:
– Field activity and collection data methods
– Statistical treatment of data
– Elaboration of the acquired information

Desirables skills
Good level of English
Knowledge of or interest in areas of entomology and systematics
Practical experience in a laboratory environment
Ability to work independently and to spend periods abroad training/collecting samples
Knowledge in statistics
Experience in conducting research projects
Organisational skills
Scientific publications
Basic level of Italian/French/Spanish

How to Apply

The applicant must have obtained (or will have obtained by 31/10/2017) her/his degree in a non-Italian institution. The CV and short motivation letter should be sent to by 15/03/2017

Position Category: Medical & Biological Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project. Salary: €10'000 - €20'000.