PhD Scholarship – Analytical Chemistry Metal incorporation into honeybees


Honeybee health and population are declining worldwide due to multiple stressors. Dr Megan Grainger and her team are unravelling the influence of sub-lethal concentrations of heavy metals on the health of bee colonies. By assessing the impact of metals at three organisational levels (cellular, individual bee and colony), we aim to determine the relationship between metal accumulation in the bee brain with alteration in gene transcription and subsequently colony health and function. This research project is part of a Marsden Fast-Start programme and we have an opening for a PhD student. We anticipate that this research will lead to exciting results and high impact

Fundamental aspects of this project will include carrying out laboratory based and colony bee studies, analysing the uptake of metals into the bee using laser ablation ICP-MS and examining the effect of metals on gene expression using RNA sequencing.

Selection Criteria:

Applicant must
-Have previous experience with at least one of the following: laser ablation ICP-MS, live bee studies (lab-based or colony) and/or RNA sequencing and data analysis
-Demonstrate experience in undertaking research in the fields of chemistry or biochemistry
-Have excellent written skills evidence by scientific journal papers, conference papers or technical reports
-The applicant must be willing to work with bees and not have an allergic reaction to them
-Have excellent interpersonal and communication (oral and written) skills
-The applicant must be self-motivated and able to work both independently and as part of a team, able to work with large datasets, have accurate laboratory skills
-Knowledge on keeping bees is desirable but not essential

This project is funded for 3 years, which includes a stipend of $27,500 per annum, plus fees. This position is based in the School of Science, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Ideally, this project will commence between 1 June and 1 December, but a later start date may be possible if mutually agreed.

Applications should include:

a) Cover letter describing how applicant meets requirements of this position and their motivation and interest related to the research project, plus any other information that is deemed relevant
b) CV
c) Academic transcript
d) Contact information for at least two academic referees, or at least one academic referee and one industry referee.

Applications are to be submitted to, with the subject line: “PhD Application: Metals in Bees”

For any further information, please contact Dr Megan Grainger,