PhD Position in Neuro and Behavioral Biology
University of Munster Institute of Neuro- and Behavioral Biology

The Collaborative Research Centre SFB-TR212 NC3 “Niche Choice, niche conformance, niche construction” at the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld, Germany, invites applications for a

PhD Position
Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in

(salary level 13 TV-L, 65%)

in the field of circadian clock and environmental control of temporal niche choice.

This fixed-term position is available from the earliest possible date for a period of three years. Currently, the regular working time for full employment is 39 hours and 50 minutes per week.

The CRC SFB-TR212 NC3, funded by the German Research Foundation, aims to understand the importance of the individual for behavioural, ecological and evolutionary processes. Using an integrated research approach, 16 teams in Bielefeld and Münster combine behavioural, evolutionary and theoretical biology and ecology to develop a novel synthesis of individualisation that also takes into account that the environmental conditions change throughout an animal's lifetime and on both a daily and seasonal basis.

The position is in the group of Prof Ralf Stanewsky at the Institute of Neuro- and Behavioral Biology. The group investigates how the circadian clock regulates daily activity rhythms and sleep in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In particular, the group studies how natural environmental conditions (light:dark and temperature cycles) influence and reset the endogenous circadian clock to make sure the animal is active at optimal times (Ogueta et al 2020, Curr Biol 30(13):2551-2563; Chen et al 2018, Curr Biol 28(10):1595-1605). The PhD project will address the hypothesis that fruit flies can actively choose their optimized temporal niche and that individual flies differ in their choices. The student will be involved in establishing a novel behavioural choice apparatus and individual tracking methodology involving machine learning. To test the role of the candidate behavioural capacitor HSP90 and identify the functional cellular substrates, the student will generate conditional HSP90 knock-out mutants using CRISPR/CAS9 methodology.

The prerequisite for this appointment is a MSc or equivalent degree in neurobiology or behavioural biology or a related field. We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a strong background in neurobiology, behavioural biology, and molecular biology. Experience with Drosophila genetics is not an essential requirement. Applications from candidates interested in addressing neuroscience and behavioural questions using automated tracking approaches and neuronal imaging are especially welcome.

The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities. The University of Münster is committed to employing more staff with disabilities. Candidates with recognized severe disabilities who have equivalent qualifications are given preference in hiring decisions.

Applications should include a motivation letter, a curriculum vitae, and a grade transcript. In addition, two letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the address below. The application deadline is 9. December 2020. Applications should be sent electronically as one single PDF file to:

Prof. Dr. Ralf Stanewsky, Institute of Neuro- and Behavioral Biology, Badestr. 9, D-48149 Münster, Germany
For more information please visit

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