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Oferta PhD_Amphibian Pesticides Risk

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Dear colleagues,

We are seeking for two highly motivated candidates to apply for national funding in order to develop a PhD project in the context of amphibian pesticide risk assessment. We would appreciate if you help us to disseminate this information. Below you can find the proposed project descriptions.

Interested candidates should send their complete CV and MSc transcript of records to us before the 10th of November. The selected candidates will apply together with us for an FPU grant under this call:

 If successful, the candidates will have the additional benefit of an active networking with experts from academic institutions and private companies through a recently approved COST action ( in the field of the proposed PhD projects.

 This is a very competitive process, so please refrain to apply if you your MSc average grade is below the 83% of the maximum possible grade (e.g. below 8.3 in a 0-10 grading scale).

Looking forward to receive your applications.

Best regards,

 Manuel E. Ortiz-Santaliestra,

Andreu Rico,

PhD 1. Ecotoxicological effects of pesticides on amphibians

Main Supervisor: Manuel E. Ortiz-Santaliestra, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (UCLM-CSIC-JCCM), Ciudad Real, Spain

University: Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Amphibians have been until recently not directly considered in the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides. The risks posed by these products on amphibians are assumed to be covered by assessments conducted on other vertebrates. However, the life cycle characteristics (alternating water stages and terrestrial ones) makes them highly susceptible to pesticide exposure through several routes. This PhD project will aim to assess the uptake and toxicity of several classes of pesticides on model amphibian organisms. Laboratory toxicity experiments will be conducted with different pesticide classes, exposure patterns and routes of exposure (water, soil, food). The data generated by these experiments will be used to investigate individual-level effects on survival, reproduction, etc. and to define the mode of action of the different pesticides on amphibians. Moreover, the data generated by these experiments will be used to parametrize toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models that can be used to predict effects under more complex exposure conditions.

PhD 2. Modelling amphibian population declines due to pesticide exposure

Main Supervisor: Andreu Rico, IMDEA Water Institute, Alcala de Henares, Spain 

University: Universidad de Alcala

Pesticide pollution, together with habitat loss, have been identified the main factors contributing to the decline of amphibian populations in agricultural landscapes. Assessing the influence of this factors under field conditions requires long-term studies that are incompatible with the proposed prospective risk assessment schemes for pesticides. As alternative, population models have been proposed to assess the impact of pesticides on the observed population declines. This PhD project will aim to develop a population model for amphibians that is capable of defining spatial-temporal abundance changes in the presence of pesticides and other habitat alterations (decrease of temporary water bodies, refuge areas). The toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models developed by PhD 1 will be used to link exposure patterns to individual-level effects. Population effects will be assessed by coupling these models with more complex life-cycle population-level models. FOCUS exposure scenarios for soil and aquatic environments will be combined to perform long-term simulations on pesticide impacts and some climatic and agricultural management actions will be tested to assess their influence on the population declines.