SENTINEL-II is a research project that aims to investigate the potential of pesticides and other organic micropollutants to increase the transmission of schistosomiasis in western Kenya. The project is funded bythe German research foundation (DFG) and comprises of Kenyan institutes: Kenya Medical ResearchInstitute (KEMRI), Moi University and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology – Icipe(Kenya) in collaboration with German institutes: Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ,Leipzig, Goethe University Frankfurt and Stendal University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburg, Germany.The project will be implemented in Kenya and Germany, and will involve two PhD students: one studentwill be involved with the biology of Schistosoma host snails while the other student will perform the chemicalanalysis. This advertisement is specific for the biology student.
PhD position Subject: Spatio-temporal dynamics of the Schistosoma, host snails and associated environmental factors.
Schistosomiasis is a tropical disease caused by trematodes of the genus Schistosoma, hosted by snailsfrom the genus’ Bulinus and Biomphalaria. The project aims to investigate the population dynamics of thehost snails in connection with the schistosomiasis and its associated environmental drivers. Field monitoring of macroinvertebrates (including snails and their parasites) will be carried out to study the spatiotemporalchanges associated with pesticide pollution and environmental conditions. Macroinvertebrates collectedfrom the field will be identified in the laboratory under microscope. Laboratory investigations will beimplemented to study the effect of sub-optimal conditions on host snails and their infection by schistosomes.Data will be analyzed with multivariate statistics for contamination patterns, environmental conditions andco-variation with biological parameters from the analysis of snail and cercaria abundances as well asmacro-invertebrate community assessment. This project offers fully funded fellowship to train PhD studentto learn the procedures above and undertake research at an international level.
Candidates should provide the following information in their application in English:
- Cover Letter, detailing your motivation and background for the PhD project.
- A detailed CV including technical and analytical skills and publications if applicable.
- Academic certificates (BSc and MSc) including university academic transcripts.
- An abstract of the BSc and MSc thesis including any previous research project (if applicable).
- Two reference letters with contact information of referees (phone number and email).