For Non-EU/UK citizens potential PhD students:
There are a number of possibilities to join the group which can be discussed. The lab is part of different programmes: CONACYT, CSC and the NERC DTP. If you are interested, please contact Dr Chistophe Eizaguirre at firstname.lastname@example.org
For MSc. students:
If you are a MSc student and are interested in doing your thesis on sea turtles or sticklebacks contact within our group, you can contact Dr Chistophe Eizaguirre with your idea. These are some examples:
A central question in biology is how species can adapt to current environmental changes. Never before global conditions have changed as rapidly as nowadays. Although there is no doubt that microbes can adapt quickly to those changes, uncertainties remain for large vertebrates which already often suffer from major population decline. One challenge with those species is that lab experiments are not possible and therefore large knowledge comes from field studies. Using the loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Cape Verde, we investigate the evolvability of the species to possibly resist emerging diseases associated to global changes. To this end, we evaluate how the immune genes of the major histocompatibility (MHC) which play a crucial function at the root of the adaptive immune system evolve. Evolution has found additive significance to those genes since, in addition, to respond to parasite pressure, they are also involved in female mate choice. Investigating female mating strategy in relation to MHC genes, we will test for the possibility of populations to respond to emerging diseases.
How human-caused environmental change affects the ecological and evolutionary processes that create and maintain biodiversity is a pressing question in biology. The eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems is a widespread and ongoing problem that has manifold consequences for sustaining critical ecosystem services, including water quality and biodiversity. The loading of nutrients (e.g. phosphorus and nitrogen) to freshwater environments not only affects their chemical and physical condition, but also influences the nature of interactions between species such as host-parasite interactions which generate local adaptation patterns and may even lead to speciation. Pervasive effects of eutrophication can alter selection regimes and therefore, cause unexpected evolutionary changes in populations over short time scales. Here, using three-spined stickleback as a model system, we focus on how the interactive effects of nutrient loading and parasites might drive rapid evolutionary changes and breakdown of local adaptation.
Fieldwork in Cabo Verde
If you are interested in gaining experience in the field of sea turtle conservation, some of the NGOs which we collaborate with offer some interesting opportunities in the form of internships and/or volunteering programmes.
You can find more information on their website, but here is a summary:
Location: Sal Island
Internship / Paid jobs: 4-month internship during the nesting season from June until October with a small stipend.
Volunteering: volunteering programme to work during the nesting season (June until October) and/or during the hatching season (October until December). They offer other volunteering programmes.
Location: Boa Vista Island
Paid Jobs: they may offer some job opportunities. Check their website.
Volunteering: volunteering programme to work during the nesting season (June until October).
Location: Maio Island
Volunteering: volunteering programme to work during the nesting season (June until October). They offer other volunteering programmes.