The neural basis of decision making in Drosophila larvae

Supervisor: Katrin Vogt, Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behavior, University of Konstanz

November 22, 2021

The Vogt lab is looking for a Doctoral candidate to explore the neural mechanisms underlying decision making in the fly larva.

To optimally explore and exploit the environment, animals should adapt their behaviors according to all available information, such as present sensory and social context, former experience, and their internal state. But how does the brain integrate such multi-sensory and state-dependent information in different contexts to inform decision making? To explore this question, we are working with the Drosophila melanogaster larva, where we benefit from a rich genetic toolkit which allows visualizing and manipulating anatomically well-known cell types in the brain.

My lab is investigating the neural circuits underlying decision making:

  • - Under different social contexts (for example: cannibalism)
  • - Under different internal states (for example: hungry vs. fed)
  • - When exposed to conflicting cues (for example: attractive odor vs. aversive light)

We approach these questions by performing behavioral experiments combined with using genetic tools (such as optogenetics), by analyzing connectomics data, and by performing functional imaging in fly larvae.

We are looking for a Doctoral candidate to join our interdisciplinary team at the Department of Biology and the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour (CASCB) at the University of Konstanz.


  • • MSc in Neuroscience, Biology, Computer Science, Physics, or a related field.
  • • Basic programming and data analysis skills, using at least one programming language (preferably Python), or the willingness to develop these abilities.
  • • Applicants with hands-on experience in functional imaging, molecular techniques, and/or instrumentation control are particularly welcome to apply.

The successful candidate will work on one of our decision-making paradigms, using a combination of behavioral assays and neurogenetic tools. Candidates are also encouraged to propose their own research project.

Start date:  Spring 2022


The University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Society are equal opportunity employers that are committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. They seek to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourage women to apply  (Equal opportunity). Persons with disabilities are explicitly encouraged to apply.

They will be given preference if appropriately qualified (contact +49 7531 88 4016).




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