Research Technician in Heat Stress and Insect Reproduction
University of Leeds
United Kingdom

Research Technician in Heat Stress and Insect Reproduction

Do you have a background in insect husbandry or experiments with laboratory model species? Are you looking to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities?

The current climate crisis means that understanding the impacts of climate change on organisms is urgently needed. However, research has largely focused on the impact high temperature has on survival. However, in most animals, males typically lose their fertility at a far lower temperature than that required to kill them. In this BBSRC-funded project, we aim to investigate the mechanisms that underlie sensitivity to heat stress in sperm. We have shown that in many species of Drosophila fruit fly, males become totally sterile at temperatures 1 to 4oC lower than their lethal limits (Parratt et al 2021 Nat Clim Change).

In this project, we will investigate how simulated heatwaves impact: 1) the gross morphological changes to testes, 2) DNA damage in sperm and 3) gene expression. These experiments will use a combination of molecular/ cellular techniques (RNAseq and RT-qPCR, confocal microscopy, TUNEL assays) across multiple species of Drosophila fruit fly to discover why sperm in some species is more temperature sensitive than others. Having identified candidate genes, you will test these functionally by attempting to alter the sensitivity of D. melanogaster through RNAi and use of chemical inhibitors. This project will be led day-to-day by a PDRA as part of our project team, based in Leeds in the lab of in collaboration with Dr Tom Price (Liverpool), Dr Elizabeth Duncan (Leeds) and Prof Rhonda Snook (Stockholm).

For this role you should have a Degree, BTEC higher level or equivalent or equivalent experience. You should also have experience in maintaining and experimenting with lab species, manipulations under microscopes such as microdissection, some molecular biology experience, and working in a laboratory environment.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

, Associate Professor in Behavioural Ecology


Location: Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service: Faculty of Biological Sciences
School/Institute: Biological Sciences Faculty Offices
Category: Technical Support
Grade: Grade 5
Salary: £24,285 to £27,929 p.a.
Working Time: 35 hours - We are open to discussing flexible working arrangements.
Post Type: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed Term (for 36 months)
Release Date: Friday 09 September 2022
Closing Date: Friday 07 October 2022
Reference: FBSFO1170


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