Date Posted
3 Mar 2024

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

PhD position “Micro-CT 3D Imaging System for the study of evolution 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
“Micro-CT 3D Imaging System for the study of evolution in insects”

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

Project background
The geometric morphometrics has been already assessed as a powerful method to gain detailed information on the overall shape variation for complex anatomical structures. In the last years, studies on morphological variation in insects have been widely performed in our Laboratory employing essentially a 2D approach. At present, also the geometric morphometrics 3D approach is being developed in our Laboratory, employing a MicroCT to acquire the data.
Our studies focused mainly on Coleoptera Scarabaeidae and Carabidae. Aim of our research was to highlight the differential patterns during ontogenetic development, define the morphological variation within allied taxa, assess the phylogenetic relationships at various taxonomic (i.e., genus, species and/or population) level. A better understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms can led to a better knowledge of the extant taxa richness, contributing to maintain the biodiversity. In this framework, the identification of new taxa can contribute to, by means of a thorough classification of the threatened species.
The PhD project will devise new protocols for the acquisition and analysis of the morphological anatomical traits in insects.

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:
– Imaging acquisition and analysis method
– Statistical treatment of morphological data using geometric morphometrics methods
– Elaboration of the acquired information

Desirables skills
Good level of English
Knowledge of or interest in areas of entomology, evolutionary biology, systematics and zoology
Practical experience in a laboratory environment
Ability to work independently and to spend periods abroad training/collecting samples
Knowledge in statistics
An understanding of issues surrounding museum collections
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.