Thank you for your interest in joining my research group. I am looking for students and postdocs who are collaborative, curious, and creative. This page will be updated with opportunities for prospective PhD students and postdocs. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in any of these positions or you want to discuss other possibilities.


[1] How does inbreeding influence a population's capacity to cope with thermal stress?


Supervisors: Dr Natalie Pilakouta, Dr Lesley Lancaster, Prof Mike Ritchie, Dr Per Smiseth

In light of global climate change, it is crucial to understand how thermal stress and inbreeding may interact in influencing population performance. For this project, the student will employ cutting-edge techniques integrating animal behaviour, molecular biology, evolutionary ecology, and physiology. They will gain valuable skills in transcriptomics, physiological assays, behavioural observations, statistical modelling, and animal husbandry.

This 4-year project is a collaboration between University of Aberdeen, University of St Andrews, and University of Edinburgh. It is funded by BBSRC through the EASTBIO Doctoral Training Partnership.

Deadline: 5 January 2020

[2] The role of sexual selection in facilitating rapid adaptation to climate change

Supervisors: Dr Natalie Pilakouta, Dr Paul Caplat

This project will investigate how climate change can influence sexual selection and how sexual selection can in turn influence a population’s capacity to adapt to a warming world. For example, do changes in temperature lead to changes in male-male competition or female mate choice? What are the consequences of such behavioural changes for offspring fitness? How does temperature affect sperm competition? The student will gain experience with multi-generational lab experiments, fieldwork, behavioural observations, cutting-edge molecular biology techniques, statistical and theoretical modelling, and animal husbandry.

This 3.5-year project is a collaboration between University of Aberdeen and Queen's University Belfast. It is funded by NERC through the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership.

Deadline: 29 January 2020


I am not currently advertisting any postdoctoral positions, but I am always happy to support exceptional postdocs who are interested in applying for external fellowships to join the lab. Prospective postdocs are welcome to contact me directly to discuss project ideas and funding options.

Copyright 2020 ― Natalie Pilakouta

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