PhD Studentship in Insect-Plant Interactions

Workplace: Institute of Entomology
Department: Department of Ecology
Laboratory: Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology
Employment relationship: Employment contract
Job type: Researcher
Researcher profile: R1
Duration: Fixed-term
Job status: Full-time
Job starting date: 1. 2. 2023
Application deadline: 30. 11. 2022


Hybridization as a path to success? Adaptive hybridization in willows in face of biotic and abiotic pressures.

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate to join a project funded by Czech Science Foundation that aims at exploring if the hybridization in plants is fuelled by the adaptive value of hybrids in face of biotic and abiotic selection pressures. The project focuses on willows as a diverse and dominant key-stone plant genus to explore the distribution of their hybrids in natural communities and to dissect their interactions with insect herbivores and environment along elevational gradients.

This is a highly interdisciplinary project. The successful candidate will conduct field work aimed at collecting insect and plant samples, join metabolomics and genomics analyses exploring chemical traits and genetic variation among the hybrids, and integrate these various types of data with biostatistics and bioinformatics methods.

The successful applicant will join the Ecology Department at the Institute of Entomology, Biology Center of the Czech Academy of Science (web) and the Zoology Department of the University of South Bohemia (web). The PhD study will be supervised by Dr. Martin Volf (web). The candidate will live in Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic) (web) where the studies will take place. The programme offers an opportunity to conduct the laboratory work in the Czech Republic and abroad, within a collaborative network of our colleagues from Europe and overseas. The field work involves sampling in the Czech Republic and in the Alps in Austria. Our department is a diverse, international team studying ecology, evolution and biogeography, and a world-class centre for interaction network research with regular publications in leading journals.


Min. education level: Master's degree

We are looking for candidates that have

  • a MSc degree (non-negotiable requirement for applying for this PhD programme),
  • a deep interest in the community ecology of plants and insects,
  • experience in both field work and lab work,
  • excellent skills in biostatistics,
  • previous experience in bioinformatics (optional),
  • fluency in spoken and written English,
  • an ability to work independently,
  • a driving license (optional, but highly recommended).


  • 1 extra week of holiday, i.e. 5 weeks of paid holiday per year in total
  • Subsidized lunches in our own canteen
  • Benefits from Social fund
  • Student benefits
  • Working in a stable, prestigious research institution of international importance
  • Friendly international working environment
  • Support of leisure time activities
  • Free language classes – Czech for foreigners, English for Czechs (the capacity is limited)
  • Opportunity to take part in mentoring programmes as a mentor or a mentee
  • Concessionary mobile tariff at the contractual operator
  • Concessionary banking services at the contractual bank


The deadline for applications is November 30th 2022. The best candidates will be interviewed in early December. The successful applicant is expected to start on February 1st 2023 (later start date negotiable). The student will receive a scholarship fully covering living expenses in the Czech Republic for 3 years. Applicants from all countries are eligible.

České Budějovice (2 hours away from Prague) is a city with over 750 years of tradition. It has history wherever you turn, excellent beer, breathtaking countryside around, and a growing international expert community at the Biology Centre CAS (BC CAS) and the University of South Bohemia (USB). Check out our Guide for Expats ( to read about life in the city and the Czech Republic.

The Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences holds the HR Excellence in Research Award. Our selection process is transparent, open, non-discriminating, and fair. For more information about the researchers' recruitment policy at our institution, see OTM-R (


To apply, please send a CV, contact details for three references, and a cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation via the REPLY button at the bottom of our official site:

If you have any queries, contact Dr. Martin Volf (Tato e-mailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty. Pro její zobrazení musíte mít povolen Javascript.).