Predoctoral researcher in Community Ecology

Basque Centre for Climate Change
September 30, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), offers a full-time predoctoral researcher position to support the research activities in the context of the European Research Council (ERC) project GorBEEa (ID: 101086771), led by Dr. Ainhoa Magrach. This is a 5-year research project funded by the ERC that will be developed at the ‘Global change impacts on ecosystem functioning' lab, and within the framework of the Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Line (RL3).

About the project:

This position is part of the ERC Consolidator Grant GorBEEa “Understanding biodiversity-ecosystem function and biodiversity-stability relationships across spatial and organizational scales” led by Ainhoa Magrach. The project seeks to understand the drivers of functional stability at different levels of organization, to understand the feedback loops that enable biodiversity to be maintained. GorBEEa combines multiple disciplines, from the use of theoretical network developments to predictive models, experimental approaches and empirical observations integrated in a framework to predict the consequences of different perturbations for natural communities and to provide input for future policy actions aiming at the conservation of functional landscapes. To this end, the project used plant and pollinator communities and their interactions as model system. For more information on the project, click here.

Job description:

The applicant will work on the effects of honeybee introduction for plant and pollinator abundances, their interaction frequencies as well as the composition and functionality of wild bee gut microbiomes.

The predoctoral researcher will work collecting and analyzing data on plant and pollinator interactions from Gorbea Natural Park to investigate the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem functioning and stability. The predoctoral researcher will participate in the analysis of the gut microbiome composition and functional diversity of the wild pollinator species Bombus pascuorum and how this composition changes through a time depending on the diversity of floral resources consumed by individuals of this species, as well as how it is impacted by the introduction of managed honeybee hives. Generally, the researcher will support the PI and the rest of the team to achieve the scientific objectives of the project, publish and disseminate project findings.

Key responsibilities:

  • Sampling species (plants, insects) and ecosystem functions
  • Laboratory work: sorting and process samples, ID, DNA isolation, handling samples for sequencing, etc.
  • Analyse and visualize ecological and genomic data
  • Write manuscripts and disseminate results
  • Develop experimental design and analyses to study microbiomes and metagenomes to characterize bacterial and fungal communities in wild pollinator guts.
  • Apply molecular biology expertise in a lab-based setting and integrate traditional microbiology with bioinformatic and genomics analyses.
  • Develop expertise in pollinator microbial communities and contribute new knowledge and ideas to this area of research.
  • Develop and apply bioinformatics tools and approaches to identify communities, relevant taxa and associations.
  • Contribute to written and oral communication, including peer-reviewed manuscripts, blog posts, outreach through social media, and the public.
  • Archive data and maintains databases and contribute to budget management.
  • Support the organization of project meetings and conferences across the project.

    Main requirements/skills:

  • Candidates who have completed a MSc/master's degree in a relevant field (e.g. Biology or Environmental Sciences, Molecular Biology, Microbiology) will have an advantage.
  • Strong analytical skills, good knowledge of statistics, and programming experience.
  • Proficiency in laboratory practice, experimental design, laboratory safety procedures. Proven wet lab experience (e.g. DNA and RNA isolation, PCR amplification, etc.)
  • Proficiency in bioinformatics. Knowledge of a scripting language (Bash, Python, Perl, etc.) and R.
  • A high level of computer literacy
  • Ability to read and interpret safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and ability and interest in communicating with diverse groups.
  • Ability to work collaboratively.
  • Ability to write reports, correspondence, and peer-reviewed manuscripts
  • Ability and interest in contributing to outreach activities.
  • Ability to contribute to a positive work environment built on trust and transparency that values different perspectives and backgrounds.
  • Drivers license and previous experience driving a four-wheel drive vehicle
  • The applicant must have good interpersonal and communication skills, as well as excellent written and oral command of English is required.
  • Desirable skills

  • Previous experience with liquid nitrogen and dry ice manipulation.
  • Ability to work with a high degree of independence.
  • Good command of Spanish and potentially Basque is not indispensable but desirable because the fieldwork will be carried out in a rural area in the Basque Country.
  • IMPORTANT: Applications including links to previous works/projects/initiatives that show how the applicant meets these requirements will be given priority.

    Benefits and work environment:

  • Interdisciplinary and inspiring work environment
  • Quiet and spacious workspaces
  • Possibility of participating in internal training and academic activities of the center
  • 35-hour week work calendar
  • 30 days of vacation per year
  • Term of contract

    Starting in 2024, the position will be for a maximum of 4 years, with a six- month probation period.



    The position will carry competitive salary, matching the academic and professional profile of the applicant, and excellent work conditions.


    Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa, Spain.

    As an HR Excellence awarded institution, BC3 is committed to conciliating research-academic requirements and family duties. BC3 is particularly concerned with creating equal opportunities for people independently of gender, culture, and race. Anyone with relevant qualifications is therefore strongly encouraged to apply for the position.

    Application procedure:

    Fill the form below and upload one PDF document with the following information:

  • Letter of application / motivation
  • CV
  • the names and email addresses of two referees if possible.
  • Deadline

    30 September, 2024

    Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Ainhoa Magrach ( [email protected]) and Dr. Luis Javier Chueca ([email protected]) noting in the subject of the message “ Predoctoral researcher in Community Ecology ”.

    Please consider that only applications sent through the form included at the bottom of the BC3 web page will be considered (https: //,

    Name Nombre Izena

    Last Name Apellido Abizena


    Gender FemaleMaleOther (please, specify)Prefer not to say

    Not compulsory for the process - Consider that the information providedwill be used solely for statistical purposes.


    Not compulsory for the process - Consider that the information provided will be used solely for statistical purposes.

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    Project 101086771 funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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