Postdoctoral research position on honey bee defences against

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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, detailed knowledge of the mechanisms supporting this host defence are needed. We are seeking a highly motivated postodoctoral associate to work on a programme which aims at promoting the development and selection for honey bee colonies that are able to naturally limit the burden of varroa infestations, through the study of the environmental context that can influence the expression of VSH behaviour. This will require developing and implementing appropriate methodologies both in the field (colony monitoring and behavioural recordings) and in the laboratory (chemical and molecular biology analyses), as well as analysing and modelling the data, in close collaboration with members of INRA and their collaborators.


The position will be funded for 18 months and should start in January 2018. Salary will be based on previous research experience, according to INRA regulation (~ 2400 €, gross monthly salary).

Candidate profile

  • PhD degree in Behavioural Entomology or closely related discipline
  • Strong background in insect pathology, behaviour and statistical analyses
  • Previous experience with field and laboratory experiments
  • Preferably experience with beekeeping, honey bee science
  • Should not be allergic to bee stings
  • Good scientific writing skills and excellent English proficiency

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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