Subject: Other: LavalU.2.VolResAssist.MothBehaviour
Date: August 4, 2018 at 2:01:47 AM EDT


Two short-term volunteer research assistant opportunities (September
5-25, 2018) are available under the direction of Dr. Ilga Porth (Laval
University), representing the chance to work with regulated invasive
gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar spp.) in a USDA quarantine facility in
Connecticut (USA)*. The assistants will live in a dormitory at the
quarantine facility, and will perform moth maintenance and collection
of female flight behavior data under laboratory conditions. Following
data collection, they will have the option to participate in subsequent
data analyses geared towards gypsy moth behavior, morphometrics,
population genetics, or evolution. Travel to the quarantine facility
(from Canada or USA), living expenses, and a daily stipend will be

To apply, please email Gwylim Blackburn (
with a brief  message outlining your interest in the project and an
attached CV that lists 2 references. Review of applications will occur
as they arrive. The successful candidate for this position will require
a passport valid for travel in the USA.

Gypsy moths (Lymantria) are a group of plant defoliators adapted to a
wide variety of deciduous and coniferous hosts. During population
outbreaks, gypsy moth larvae can cause widespread forest damage. Adult
female flight capacity represents a key dispersal limitation and
therefore a crucial trait determining our ability to monitor and
regulate the spread of gypsy moth populations. Currently, a single
introduced species featuring limited female flight capacity (L. dispar
dispar) is established throughout eastern USA and Canada. The
persistent arrival of female-flight-capable gypsy moth species on ships
and cargo at North American trading ports represents an important
invasion threat, in terms of their potential for successful
establishment or hybridization with local moths. The present research
aims to develop genetic markers capable of identifying the species,
origin, and female flight capacity of gypsy moths, and to explore the
genetic architecture and evolution of flight in this group.

Gwylim Blackburn <>