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Postdoc call in Conservation Physiology

Lorenzo Palma
Lorenzo Palma Morales es Periodista, Licenciado en Comunicación Social y Bachiller en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad Austral de Chile. Diplomado en Periodismo de Investigación de la Universidad de Chile y Magíster en Desarrollo Rural, Becado por CONI- CYT (UACh), Diplomado en Escritura Creativa de No Ficción por la Universidad Alberto Hurtado. En el año 2018 fundó el medio de comunicación nacional y agencia de contenidos www.cienciaenchile.cl, del cual es su director. Ha participado organizando actividades de divulgación y difundiendo resultados de investigación en innumerables proyectos de norte a sur del país.

Global warming, conservation and hibernation in the relict marsupial Monito del Monte, in Southern South America 

Our laboratory is looking for postdoctoral associates interested in applying to the next Fondecyt competition, for developing a 3-years research project in populations of the relict marsupial “monito del monte” (Dromiciops gliroides). Possible topics are listed below, and will depend on applicant’s background:

  1. Hibernation and climate change. To develop a physiological model predicting geographic shifts and survival in gliroides populations, using the temperature projections of global warming. This includes parameterizing a model with field data from temperature data loggers and nests, across an altitudinal gradient in Southern Chile and Argentina (Humphries et al., 2002).
  2. Mesocosm experiments and the bioenergetics of To perform a replicated outdoor experiment for measuring field metabolic rates in hibernating monitos, including thermographic images and thermal gradients in animals located within field enclosures in the Valdivian forest (example: Nespolo et al., 2020, see also Fig 1).
  3. Local adaptation of hibernation genes, across monitos geographic range. This includes to use the recent whole genomic sequencing of monitos, to assess local adaptation by resequencing and testing for positive selection in genes with functional significance for the cold (example: Ngatia et , 2019). Sampling (blood) in our field locations at extreme Andean North/South populations in Chile and Argentina is required.
  4. Seasonal changes in body composition during hibernation using quantitative magnetic This includes to use the recently obtained quantitative resonance equipment (Fondequip) for studying how monitos manage to accumulate reserves and spend them during hibernation (example: Hindle et al., 2015).

Interested researchers are asked to provide a one-page outline of their proposal before Aug, 31, 2020. Contact: Roberto Nespolo Rossi (robertonespolorossi@gmail.com), Universidad Austral de Chile. Official deadline for application in Fondecyt: middle September, 2020, for starting in April, 2021. Requisite: to have the PhD.

Location: Valdivia, Chile.

Fondecyt website: https://www.anid.cl/concursos/concurso/?id=281

Fig 1. Images of our replicated outdoor experiment including thermographic imaging of hibernating animals (a), the enclosures (b-c), active individuals in spring (d-e), hibernating animals in winter (f-h).

Hindle, A. G., Otis, J. P., Epperson, L. E., Hornberger, T. A., Goodman, C. A., Carey, H. V. & Martin, S. L. 2015. Prioritization of skeletal muscle growth for emergence from hibernation. Journal of Experimental Biology 218: 276-284.

Humphries, M. M., Thomas, D. W. & Speakman, J. R. 2002. Climate-mediated energetic constraints on the distribution of hibernating mammals. Nature 418: 313-316.

Nespolo, R. F., Fontúrbel, F. E., Mejias, C., Contreras, R., Gutierrez, P., Oda, E., Sabat, P., Hambly, C., Speakman, J. R. & Bozinovic, F. 2020. A mesocosm experiment in ecological physiology: adaptive modulation of energy budget in a hibernating marsupial under chronic caloric restriction. bioRxiv.

Ngatia, J. N., Lan, T. M., Dinh, T. D., Zhang, L., Ahmed, A. K. & Xu, Y. C. 2019. Signals of positive selection in mitochondrial protein-coding genes of woolly mammoth: Adaptation to extreme environments? Ecology and Evolution 9: 6821-6832.

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