Join Us

NOTE: If you want to apply for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie action to join the SalGo Team (Next deadline projected for Sept 2021), please contact me before the 31st of May 2021 - Decisions on which application I will support will be made shortly after. This type of competitive fellowships require a significant effort/amount of time by both the applicant and the host.

 

Two PhD positions currently available:

- Drivers of variation of life history strategies in flatworms - NERC DTP or other funding

- Mechanisms and impacts of host-parasite relationships - NERC DTP funded

 

If you are a quantitatively driven mind with interests in some of the following topics, please contact me to discuss potential undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral opportunities in my group:

  • Life history evolution
  • Evolution of (and escape from) senescence
  • Plant and animal eco-evolutionary dynamics and demography
  • Comparative biology and comparative demography
  • Drivers of odd life history strategies such as (but not limited to) corals, flatworms, carnivorous plants, and parasitic plants
  • Species distribution modelling and biogeography
  • Population forecasting

In addition to several PhD and postdoc opportunities that will be periodically advertised below, if you have a project in mind that you would like to develop in my group, please contact me with a (1) brief project proposal, (2) CV, including publications, and (3) a list of funding themes that you are considering for this project (e.g. NERC/BBSRC DTP, Marie Curie, Leverhulme Trust, NERC, etc). You may also find some funding schemes that are specific to each of the academic levels below, which can be supplemented with these ones.

 

If you would like to join us for a short research visit to collaborate on various projects where our expertise maybe useful to you, please contact me with a CV, a clearly defined research proposal and specific goals for your visit, a list of funding agencies that will support you, and some suggested dates. Requests to support visiting applications with less than a month in advance to the application deadline will not be considered.  Potential visiting scholars from developing countries are encouraged to apply for a Darwin Fellowship to come work in my team for up to 14 months. More information here.

If you would like to expand your research expertise through further specialised training in my research team, please explore first the postdoctoral fellowship calls that Oxford Zoology supports (Excel file below). Then contact me with:

  • A CV and pertinent publications
  • A brief summary of the research ideas you’d like to explore together
  • A list of fellowships that you are eligible for, including the deadlines when you’d like to apply for.

I do not support prospective applicants who contact me <2 months to the deadline for submission a targetted fellowship. In the case of the Marie Curie fellowship -which requires a very serious effort on both the candidate's and my sides- the prospective candidate must contact me by May 1st of the year of intended submission (with deadline usually in early Sept).

In addition to the fellowships that we support (excel file below), you might want to suggest to me some fellowship calls from your home/continent/embassy for which you'd be eligible, and also pertinent ones from this online global resource.

If you would like to carry out your doctoral studies in my team, please contact me describing briefly:

  • The hypotheses that you would like to test during your DPhil (PhD)
  • The study system(s) you would like to use and why
  • The funding bodies that you are eligible for and are pertinent to the proposed research
  • Attach your CV and any pertinent publications

Please contact me well ahead (~3 months min) of the January annual application deadline (See here to discuss your ideas, feasibility and funding). Funding to do your PhD at Oxford can be obtained through a series of external or internal and highly competitive* fellowships. Most of the internal support is eligible only for UK and EU citizens, with the exception of funds like Natural Motion or Clarendon. You are also welcome to explore other funds such as the Rhodes Foundation, or scholarships from your own alma mater/state/country. The easiest way for an effective exploration of your opportunities with regards to external funding is to ask the graduate office at your undergraduate university, other potential contacts from your country who might have come to Oxford, or even your embassy/consulate. Often times, private foundations offer fantastic sources of support for PhD tuitions and more, but these are not very well advertised, so you may want to spend some time doing your homework on the inter-webs… This is something that takes time, careful planning, and cannot be left for the last minute.

*For most of these, having a peer-review publication under your belt is almost a requirement.

The following website explains the various ways to come to carry out your DPhil at Oxford Zoology.

In addition, keep your eyes open for calls on the Newton Abraham studentship, which supports students for 3.5 years at Oxford. More information here.

Please note that while we can accept MSc students in Oxford Zoology, this is typically more of an exception than the rule. You may find more information here.

Oxford undergraduate students:

If you’d like to do a:

  • Summer internship/project in my team and/or
  • 2nd/3rd year written essay/oral presentation towards your degree

send me an email with 3 different days/times when you could join me in my office to discuss feasibility. For the summer internship/project, I expect that you will have contacted your College and other pertinent financial sources to support you economically during this experience. Oxford Zoology does not support summer internships by undergraduate students who are not supported appropriately.

 

Non Oxford-based undergraduate students:

If you’d like to do a summer project in my team, please contact me with a résumé and summary of your research interests, as well as summer availability. For projects longer than 1 week, the student must have secured external funding that will support the research experience (e.g. accommodation, food).

If you would like to do a short internship in my team, please contact me with:
  • A résumé
  • A summary of your research interests
  • Your availability
For internships longer than 1 week, the student must have secured external funding that will support the research experience (e.g. accommodation, food) prior to joining us.

 

Mentoring Philosophy

My mentoring philosophy is based on three pillars, below, that I have built through the years having been exposed to the diverse teaching and mentoring styles of >10 institutions across 3 continents:

  1. Think first, do second: I’m not impressed by the ability to recite in inverse alphabetical order the main theories on ecology and evolution. What I do care about is for members in my team to critically think and evaluate the validity of the hypotheses and theories that have been put forward since the origin of ecology and evolution. To that end, I aim to frequently challenge the assumptions of the hypotheses and theories used by my mentees. Through the years, I have found the Socratic teaching style to be most effective at equipping my students and postdocs with the ability to think critically and engaging them in big-picture questions in ecology and evolution.
  2. Independence: Members of my team who have recently joined meet rather frequently with me, and as time goes by, the frequency and duration of those formal meetings go down, as per the needs of the mentee and the project. However, I do have an open-door policy for more informal discussions. Overall, I endeavour to instil a sense of ownership of the project and research independence in my team members. Students joining my team can opt to start with a project that I might have developed myself first in a first instance, but are also welcome (and strongly encouraged) to come in with their own ideas from the get-go. Regardless, members in my team are encouraged and adequately equipped to very quickly to fly ca. "solo”.
  3. Goal oriented projects: Some academics take the luxury of treating time as a somewhat relaxed, ephemeral creature. In the “real world”, failure to hand in a project on time can result in the loss of millions of pounds (e.g. architecture), or the loss of lives (e.g. medicine). I take particular pride as a mentor in helping my mentees develop tailor-made strategies for time management and project development that allow them to see projects through on time. I am Spanish (so I would know about things running late…) but I am professionally trained on project management. 

Students and postdocs who graduate from my research team do so on time, with multiple peer-review publications and grants under their belts, and are well-equipped to develop thoughtful, independent, and big-picture science. PhD students from my group have gone on to obtain competitive fellowships incl. Marie Curie fellowship (EU), Smith fellowship (Intl), Juan de la Cierva fellowship (Spain). Similarly, postdocs who have worked with me have continued their professional development in competitive fellowships (e.g. Marie Curie, Ramon Areces (Spain)), and tenure-track positions. I encourage candidates interested in joining the SalGo Team to get in contact with current and past members aside from me to also get an objective sense of the research style and dynamics of the group.