The Max-Planck-Institute for Neurobiology of Behaviour – caesar (MPINB) is a neuroethology institute located in Bonn that studies how the collective activity of the vast numbers of interconnected neurons in the brain gives rise to the plethora of animal behaviors. Our research spans a large range of scales from the nano-scale imaging of brain circuitry, to large-scale functional imaging of brain circuitry during behavior, to the quantification of natural animal behaviors.

The Research Group “Genetics of Behavior” is conducting research on the evolution of behavioural diversity and the genetic, molecular and neuronal changes driving these events. To do this we concentrate on the evolution of predation and kin-recognition behaviors found in the roundworm species Pristionchus pacificus and compare this to the microbial feeding species Caenorhaditis elegans.

To support our research we are looking for a PhD Student (m/f/d) Genetics of Behavior.
The position is initially limited for three years.

The Project

Several research projects are available covering areas including identifying the genetic and molecular mechanisms generating nematode predatory and kin-recognition behaviours and determining the influence of developmental plasticity on P. pacificus behavioural adaptations and neuronal connectivity.

Your qualifications

  • A masters degree in neuroscience, molecular biology, evolution and ecology, or related fields.
  • Interest in neurogenetics and investigating the influence of evolution on behavioural adaptations.
  • Prior experience with nematode genetics, molecular biology, and light microscopy would be beneficial.
  • Some knowledge of at least one programming language for data analysis would be advantageous.
  • Interest developing new methods and tools for emerging model systems.

What we offer

  • A cutting-edge research environment
  • Pleasant working atmosphere and a multidisciplinary, international team
  • Salary in line with the Max Planck regulations
  • Employee benefits (additional to 30 days of holiday two more days off at christmas eve and new year’s eve, subsidised job ticket), a family-friendly culture, and flexible working hours

MPINB is committed promoting equal opportunities and diversity. We welcome applications from all backgrounds, regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. We are aiming to increase the percentage of women in areas where they are under-represented. We therefore explicitly encourage women to apply. Handicapped persons with comparable qualifications receive preferential status.

Your application

Please upload your CV, and a letter of motivation to our application portal.

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Dr. James Lightfoot:

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