Postdoctoral research position on honey bee chemical ecology

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Varroa destructor is the most important ectoparasite of the honey bee Apis mellifera and represents a major threat to colony survival and beekeeping. Breeding for bees that are naturally able to fight the varroa mite represents a promising control strategy. This is the case of bees that can detect the presence of varroa and remove the parasitized brood through Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) behaviour. To improve breeding programs for VSH, a method to phenotype the behaviour applicable in the field by beekeepers is needed. We are seeking a highly motivated postodoctoral associate to work on an applied programme which aims at developing a reliable and simple method based on natural compounds from varroa infested brood cells, to evaluate the level of expression of VSH behaviour in the field. This will require developing and implementing appropriate methodologies both in the field (colony monitoring and behavioural recordings) and in the laboratory (chemical analyses, formulation), as well as analysing and interpreting the data, in close collaboration with members of INRA and their private collaborators.


The position will be funded for 16 months with possible extension and should start in December 2017. Salary will be based on previous research experience, according to INRA regulation (~ 2400 €, gross monthly salary).

Candidate profile

  • PhD degree in Behavioural Entomology, Chemical Ecology or closely related discipline
  • Strong background in insect pathology, behaviour and chemical ecology
  • Previous experience with field and laboratory experiments, as well as honey bee science
  • Should not be allergic to bee stings
  • Good scientific writing skills and taste for applied research

How to apply

The application should include a detailed CV, a letter of interest including a short description of research experience, and names of two academic references who may be contacted. The documents should be sent by email within one file to Fanny Mondet.

Applications will be assessed until a suitable candidate is found.


Fanny Mondet,, Tel: + 33 (0)4 32 72 26 99

Yves Le Conte,, Tel: +33 (0)4 32 72 26 01

UR 406 Abeilles et Environnement
Site Agroparc, CS 40509
84914 Avignon Cedex 9, France

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